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Old 08-09-2009, 03:16 PM   #1
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Default They are starting to eat their own...

And rightly so...the question that not a SINGLE liberal on this board has had either the courage or the fortitude (let alone the facts and figures) to answer is finally being addressed, and you'll be very surprised to find out who it is exactly that's voicing their displeasure with Obama's adoption of "failed Bush policies"....

Congress critical of use of a Bush-era practice Obama's pick-and-choose approach to law enforcement draws ire from both sides of aisle

By Charlie Savage
New York Times

Published on Sunday, Aug 09, 2009

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama has issued signing statements claiming the authority to bypass dozens of provisions of bills enacted into law since he took office, provoking mounting criticism by lawmakers from both parties.
President George W. Bush, citing expansive theories about his constitutional powers, set off a national debate in 2006 over the propriety of signing statements instructions to executive officials about how to interpret and put in place new laws after he used them to assert that he could authorize officials to bypass laws like a torture ban and oversight provisions of the USA Patriot Act.

In the presidential campaign, Obama called Bush's use of signing statements an ''abuse,'' and said he would issue them with greater restraint. The Obama administration says the signing statements the president has signed so far, challenging portions of five bills, have been based on mainstream interpretations of the Constitution and echo reservations routinely expressed by presidents of both parties.

Still, since taking office, Obama has relaxed his criteria for what kinds of signing statements are appropriate. And last month several leading Democrats including Reps. Barney Frank of Massachusetts and David R. Obey of Wisconsin sent a letter to Obama complaining about one of his signing statements.
''During the previous administration, all of us were critical of the president's assertion that he could pick and choose which aspects of congressional statutes he was required to enforce,'' they wrote. ''We were therefore chagrined to see you appear to express a similar attitude.''

They were reacting to a statement Obama issued after signing a bill that expanded assistance to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank while requiring the administration to pressure the organizations to adopt certain policies. Obama said he could disregard the negotiation instructions under his power to conduct foreign relations.

The administration protested that it planned to carry out the provisions anyway and that its statement merely expressed a general principle. But Congress was not mollified. On July 9, in a bipartisan rebuke, the House voted 429-2 to ban officials from using federal money to disobey the restrictions.

And in their July 21 letter, Frank and Obey the chairmen of the Financial Services Committee and the Appropriations Committee asked Obama to stop issuing such signing statements, warning that Congress might not approve more money for the banking organizations unless he agreed.

In March, Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, sent Obama a letter criticizing a signing statement that challenged a statute protecting government whistle-blowers who tell lawmakers privileged or ''otherwise confidential'' information.
Grassley accused Obama of chilling potential whistle-blowers, undermining the intent of Congress in a way that violated his campaign promises. The White House said it intended only to reaffirm similar reservations made by previous presidents.

Other laws Obama has said he need not obey as written include format requirements for budget requests, limits on whom he may appoint to a commission, and a restriction on putting troops under U.N. command.
After Bush transformed signing statements from an obscure tool into a commonplace term, Obama's willingness to use them has disappointed some who had hoped he would roll back the practice, not entrench it.

''We didn't think it was an appropriate practice when President Bush was doing it, and our policy is such that we don't think it is an appropriate practice when President Obama is doing it,'' said H. Thomas Wells, who just stepped down as president of the American Bar Association.
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