With the White House in “Panic Mode” over the GOP revolt on Bush’s Iraq War, Senator John Kerry gave them a little more cause earlier today when he announced that he will co-sponsor legislation aimed at preventing the President from writing so-called “signing statements” when he signs bills – a little known measure that allows the White House to effectively circumvent Congress.
Under the new bill, the president could not issue a signing statement if it substantially altered the original legislation. Kerry is co-sponsoring the legislation with Republican Senator Arlen Specter of PA. The measure could be voted on as early as this month if it is added as an amendment to the defense spending bill.
“The Bush Administration’s abuse of signing statements is clearly unconstitutional and renders the Constitution’s system of checks and balances null and void,” Kerry said. “With these statements, the President has effectively subverted the law and the legislative process without actually ever using a veto. No administration should be allowed to cherry-pick legislation this way. I look forward to working with my colleagues on this legislation and I want to again thank the Boston Globe for shining a bright light on this abuse.”