GAO Report Shows Bush Administration Ignores Laws It Doesn’t Like

Brian Zick

Jesse Lee at The Gavel reports: GAO Report Shows Power Grab in Presidential Signing StatementsToday, the nonpartisan General Accounting Office (GAO) released a report which found that in a limited number of Presidential signing statements examined, the Bush Administration failed to execute the law as instructed in over 30 percent of the cases. House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and Senate Appropriations Chairman Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) requested the report.GAO researchers found signing statements in 11 of 12 appropriations acts in fiscal year 2006 and examined a sample of 19 provisions with which the President expressed concern in his signing statements. The President objected to, and federal agencies failed to execute, public law in six of those cases - 30 percent of the total sample.“The Administration is thumbing its nose at the law,” Conyers said. “This study calls for an extensive review of these practices, something the Administration has so far refused to do.”“The White House cannot pick and choose which laws it follows and which it ignores. When a president signs a bill into law, the president signs the entire bill. The Administration cannot be in the business of cherry picking the laws it likes and the laws it doesn’t,” Senator Byrd said. “This GAO opinion underscores the fact that the Bush White House is constantly grabbing for more power, seeking to drive the people’s branch of government to the sidelines. Too often, the Bush Administration does what it wants, no matter the law. It says what it wants, no matter the facts. We must continue to demand accountability and openness from this White House to counter this power grab.”

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