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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Supplemental Appropriations

There is much soul searching in the Press about who will be responsible if the Supplemental Appropriations Bill for Iraq fails to go into law (A Hostage Situation, New York Times, April 23, 2007, p: A21). Will it be the fault of the President who vetoed it; or will it be the fault of the legislators who insisted on placing deadlines for troop withdrawal in the Bill.

The answer is clear: the President will be responsible. As Nancy F. Kaplan wrote in your pages on March 30th (Letters to the Editor), When a Bill contains provisions that the President objects to, whether by whim or on constitutional grounds, he usually issues a signing statement that he will not abide by this or that part of the Bill. It seems to me that, on constitutional grounds (he is, alas, the only commander in Chief that we have), the President could legitimately issue a signing statement that he will not be bound by a timetable as this reduces his flexibility as Commander in Chief.

So why doesn't he just sign the bill and issue a signing statement? Why is he putting the funding of our, and his, troops in jeopardy?

By the way it is the responsibility of the media to hold the President accountable if he vetoes that Bill. It is he that is jeopardizing funding, not the Congress. The media must make sure that in this instance, perception matches reality.

Sent to New York Times

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