Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has announced that she may sue President Bush if he issues a signing statement to change the meaning of a carefully compromised supplemental spending bill for the Iraq War. “We can take the president to court,” Speaker Pelosi told a group of liberal bloggers, according to Kid Oakland, who writes for the website dailykos.com.
President Bush has been criticized for using signing statements — or written pronouncements that accompany the President’s approval of a law — in order to change or strip meaning from bills. Nadeam Elshami, a spokesperson for Speaker Pelosi, told The Hill, “The president has made excessive use of signing statements and Congress is considering ways to respond to this executive-branch overreaching. Whether through the oversight or appropriations process or by enacting new legislation, the Democratic Congress will challenge the president’s non-enforcement of the laws.”
Congressional Democrats in the 1970s pursued a lawsuit against President Nixon to stop bombings in Cambodia, though their efforts proved unsuccessful. Currently, anti-war US Representatives and Senators are considering other methods to end the war. Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) suggested that the House try to pass a measure that would rescind the 2002 authorization for the Iraq War, The Hill reports. Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), who co-founded the Out of Iraq Caucus, told The Hill that “there was a ripple around the room” in support of Rep. Inslee’s proposition.