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John Dean: If Dems Do Their Job-BUSH & CHENEY Will Find It Difficult To Stonewall Dem Investigations

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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 05:12 PM
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John Dean: If Dems Do Their Job-BUSH & CHENEY Will Find It Difficult To Stonewall Dem Investigations
Edited on Fri Dec-29-06 05:15 PM by kpete
What Should Congressional Democrats Do, When the Bush Administration Stonewalls Their Efforts To Undertake Oversight?:
Part Two in a Three-Part Series
Friday, Dec. 29, 2006

"We see a war coming on Capitol Hill," a well-connected Republican attorney based in Washington recently told me, as I reported in my last column on the subject. The clash is not surprising, because Vice President Dick Cheney -- who is at the center of many of the subjects the Democratic Congress will be investigating -- is strongly opposed to Congress's inquiring into these areas. He believes the power of the presidency is at stake. Accordingly, as I noted earlier, he has made it quite clear that he is not going to cooperate with these investigations.


"Congressional oversight is one of the most important responsibilities of the United States Congress," the Committee on Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives states, adding that this responsibility extends to "the review, monitoring, and supervision of federal agencies, programs and policy implementation, and it provides the legislative branch with an opportunity to inspect, examine, review and check the executive branch and its agencies." For all practical purposes, then, there is nothing that transpires within the Executive Branch that is beyond Congressional oversight.


Historical Practice: Congress Seeks and Gets Wide-Ranging Information on the Executive

Indeed, since the beginnings of our government, Congress has sought, and been given, information relating to every facet of executive actions.
The fact that a president's actions are undertaken pursuant to his Constitutional authority, such as that granted by the Commander-in-Chief clause or the "Take Care" clause, does not preclude Congress from examining that activity. There is almost no area of presidential activity into which Congress has not previously made inquiry. Thus, Bush and Cheney are going to be hard-pressed to justify any refusal to cooperate with the Democratic Congress.


Thus, if the 110th Congress, controlled by the Democrats, fails to get the information it needs -- and the public wants -- about the workings of the Bush/Cheney presidency, it will not be because it does not have the tools with which to obtain that information. Rather, it will be because it lacks the will to use those tools.

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