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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Obama passes the buck

President Obama has passed the buck to Congress, announcing that he will seek Congressional approval for an attack on Syria (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
Obama said he had made the decision that military action was justified by U.S. intelligence showing the use of chemical weapons. 
He also said he had the authority under his executive powers to launch an attack, but argued seeking the blessing of Capitol Hill was a better route.
“I will seek authorization for the use of force from the American people’s representatives in Congress,” Obama said in the Rose Garden. “The country will be stronger if we take this course and our actions will be even more effective,” Obama said.
Obama said congressional leaders have agreed to schedule a debate and vote when Congress comes back into session.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said on Saturday that he expects the House to consider the measure the week of Sept. 9.
I guess that he's determined to degrade the power of the US Presidency too as part of his term in office. Ben Smith reports on that aspect.
Presidents for decades have ignored the Constitutional requirement that Congress authorize acts of war, launching attacks from Kosovo to Libya without authorization. Presidents Bush and Obama took a 2001 authorization of the use of force against terrorists as a carte blanche for a global secret war from Rome to Pakistan; the last formal authorization came in 2003, for Iraq. And Obama — the president who spent the summer defending the vast surveillance power of the National Security Agency — had shown no particular inclination to give up presidential authority.
But Saturday’s announcement redefines the playing field over national security, delivering, six years late, on a promise he made during his presidential campaign, and more broadly on the vision of the presidency that he was elected by an anti-war Democratic Party to install.
“The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation,” candidate Obama told he Boston Globe in 2007.
The politics of Washington’s great institutions — the presidency; the congress; the courts — do not always align with partisan politics, and Congressional leaders had no choice but to celebrate the president’s surprise move.
Unbelievable. I wonder if the US will still exist when Obama is scheduled to leave office. 

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At 12:06 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

A Face saving way out for pres Obama.
An 'Imperial President who couldn't care less what Congress wants suddenly needs their approval?


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