George Bush’s habit of signing bills and then issuing signing statements that tell his subordinates to ignore the laws, goes unabated.
Mr. Bush signed the two measures into law. But he then issued a so-called signing statement in which he instructed the executive branch to view parts of each as unconstitutional constraints on presidential power.
In the authorization bill, Mr. Bush challenged four sections. One forbid the money from being used “to exercise United States control of the oil resources of Iraq”; another required negotiations for an agreement by which Iraq would share some of the costs of the American military operations there.
The sections “purport to impose requirements that could inhibit the president’s ability to carry out his constitutional obligations,” including as commander in chief, Mr. Bush wrote.
In the other bill, he raised concerns about two sections that strengthen legal protections against political interference with the internal watchdog officials at each executive agency.
Hopefully in three months when Mr. Cheney has returned to his bunker in Wyoming, we won’t have to hear anymore of this nonsense about the Unitary Executive.