Froomkin links to anAir Force Times article on Bush’s signing statement attached to 2007 Defense Authorization Act which Bush signed on October 17. While Bush “listed two dozen provisions in the act that he indicated he may or may not abide by” the most important would regard war funding in Iraq and Afghanistan. Congress wanted that war funding to be included in the defense budget rather than through supplementals and bridge funds. The section of the bill regarding that is cited in the signing statement. From the AFT article..
Among the provisions is Section 1008 of the Authorization Act, which requires the president to submit defense budgets for 2008 and beyond that include funding for the wars and contain “a detailed justification of the funds requested.”
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said he “would not be surprised” if Bush ignores the budgeting requirements spelled out in Section 1008.
“I’m very dubious he will abide by it. He has ignored it before,” the senior Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee said during an Oct. 18 press conference.
Levin said the measure was “a strong bipartisan statement” that Congress wants responsible budgeting. He said the administration has made a practice of “irresponsible budgeting” for the war since it began in 2003.
The wars have been paid for through emergency spending bills and “bridge funds” that amount to about $450 billion so far.
The statement says: “Several provisions of the act call for executive branch officials to submit to the Congress recommendations for legislation, or purport to regulate the manner in which the President formulates recommendations to the Congress for legislation.”
It goes on to say, “The executive branch shall construe these provisions in a manner consistent with the President’s constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch and to recommend for the consideration of the Congress such measures as the President deems necessary and expedient.”
Congressional aides said that appears to mean the president will decide whether or not he must comply with the provisions.
“Basically, what the administration is saying to Congress is: ‘You’ve told us what you want, now we’re going to tell you what we’re going to do,'” said Christopher Hellman, director of the Project on Military Spending Oversight.
A key congressional complaint about war funding through supplementals and bridge funds is that lawmakers see far fewer details about how the money will be spent, and supplementals must be approved by appropriations committees, but not by authorizing committees. Regular defense budgets must be approved by both.
So anyideas of ending the war by cutting the funding well…—–