Friday, February 1, 2008

Signing Statements..FINALLY someone speaks up

Bush has issued more signing statements than I think all past presidents combined. It's how he has avoided boatload o' vetoes. Finally, someone in Congress is calling for some oversight and investigation. Representatives Barbara Lee , Lynn Woolsey, and Maxine Waters sent this letter to Pelosi and the House leadership.

February 1, 2008

Hon. Nancy Pelosi
US House of Representatives
The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Pelosi:

President George W. Bush issued a signing statement on Monday, January 28, 2008 where he signaled his intent to ignore a provision in the FY08 Department of Defense Authorization Bill (PL 110-181) that prohibits permanent military bases in Iraq. We urge you to request the appropriate committee chairs to quickly schedule oversight hearings on this important issue.

We believe this is a particularly contradictory and serious development given that the President has signed similar provisions into law five times before. (PL109-289, PL 109-364, PL 110-28, PL 110-116, and PL 110-161.)

When a majority of the American people are committed to ending our occupation in Iraq on a timeline within a year, in making this proclamation President Bush has only reinforced what we have always known; that he intends our occupation in Iraq to be indefinite.

Sadly, this is a pattern of behavior from a White House that seems intent on cutting Congress out of any decisions relating to the permanent stationing of the US military in Iraq. At the end of last year, without any congressional input, President Bush and Prime Minister al-Maliki signed a “Declaration of Principles for a Long-Term Relationship of Cooperation and Friendship Between the Republic of Iraq and the United States of America” that will set the stage for future agreements on the disposition of US troops in Iraq and other wide-ranging aspects of this important bilateral relationship. (We introduced H.R. 5128, legislation disapproving of any agreement that doesn’t have the approval of both houses of Congress and that of the Iraqi Parliament, too)

We believe that Congress must find out and the American public made aware of the serious consequences of long-term military basing agreements or treaties that bypass congressional action as the ‘Declaration of Principles’. In addition, it is critical to shed light on the implications of the President’s signing statement and intention to ignore the law. At the same time it is also imperative to give greater scrutiny to the Bush administration’s efforts to maintain a long-term or indefinite military presence in Iraq. Holding hearings will complement the 166 hearings on Iraq that Democrats have held since you became our speaker in January 2007.

We appreciate your strong leadership and commitment in ending the US occupation of Iraq and look forward to working with you on this matter.


Member of Congress

Member of Congress

Member of Congress

All three women are members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and strong supporters for bringing our troops home from Iraq.
And here is the rest of it.

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