Thursday, July 12, 2007

Congress - Surrender In Iraq

Today the House passed a measure to withdraw US troops from Iraq by a mostly party line vote of 223 - 201. Four Republicans voted with the majority, while 10 Democrats voted against this measure.
A few hours after Bush's remarks, Democratic leaders engineered passage of legislation requiring the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops to begin within 120 days, and to be completed by April 1, 2008. The measure envisions a limited residual force to train Iraqis, protect U.S. assets and fight al-Qaida and other terrorists.
This legislation still requires Senate approval before going to President Bush. The President has indicated he will veto any legislation with arbitrary time lines for US Military reduction. It is also dishonest for the Congress to play Commander In Chief of our Military. According to Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution this authority rests only with the President.
Section 2. The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States
There is only one honest way for the Congress to force the Withdrawal of US Forces. The Representatives in the House have the legally honest method through the power of the purse granted by Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution.
Section 7. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.
But Congress is unwilling to take this action because the House and Senate Members do not want to be on record as refusing support to the troops in Harms Way. That is how most voters would view pulling the funding from our Troops in Active Combat.

I am not a Constitutional Lawyer, or for that matter any kind of Lawyer, but it appears to me that the President would win a court challenge or Impeachment proceedings over any Congressional Legislation which did not meet the qualifications of Article I, Section 7. In other words, if Congress were to pass a piece of Legislation with arbitrary time lines, President Bush could justify ignoring said measure on Constitutional Grounds as Commander In Chief. Then we would see Impeachment and probable Supreme Court challenges to what many would call a Constitutional Crisis.

Related article on Iraq Time Lines.

No comments: