Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Congress challenge Bush claim that he can ignore law

The Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Arlen Specter, believes the Bush administration has been abusing its power.

"Bush's signing statement in March on Congress's renewal of the Patriot Act riled Specter and others who labored for months to craft a compromise between Senate and House versions, and what the White House wanted. Reluctantly, the administration relented on its objections to new congressional oversight of the way the FBI searches for terrorists.

Bush signed the bill with much flag-waving fanfare. Then he issued a signing statement asserting his right to bypass the oversight provisions in certain circumstances."

The committee is holding a hearing today asking administration officials to explain their justification for signing statements and other controversial and arguably illegal practices like the NSA warrantless wiretapping.

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