Sunday, January 22, 2006

Since when do lawmakers operate on request only?

The Democrats seem to have turned on a dime with respect to warrantless wiretaps. As polling data has shown public support for snooping on suspected terrorists, the Democrats have begun saying that although the President was wrong he should have the authority. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said on Fox News Sunday, that the President should just ask them and they will whip up some legislation.

Now why would Senator Durbin say this? It's not as if Congress can't take up legislation without a special request. They aren't called the Legislative Branch for nothing. It's not even a matter of needing to clear other business as they are in the middle of debating renewal of the Patriot Act.

No, it seems the new Democrat strategy is to get President Bush to ask them so they can use his request as an admission of wrong doing. The President believes he has inherent authority under the Constitution, Congress thinks the FISA law is what applies. This is a question that needs to be resolved, but more than likely at the Supreme Court level. If the courts decide that the power was in the Constitution, then Congress can't write a law that changes that. That change could only be effected through a Constitutional Amendment.

John Kerry (D-MA) has picked up the theme on "This Week" on ABC saying essentially the same thing as Durbin, albeit in a few hundred more words.

Senators, if you truly feel this is an authority that the President needs and you have some doubt as to whether that authority exists write a law that removes that doubt. It is your job description, after all.

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