Secrecy News notes that the House Armed Services Committee released a report this week criticizing the Bush administration’s extensive use of signing statements, saying that the practice has generated confusion, undermined oversight of defense policy, and is often “broad and unsubstantiated.” From the report:
– “While presidents have issued signing statements for quite some time, this President has issued a significantly larger percentage of signing statements challenging or objecting to various provisions of the law.”
– “78 percent of President Bush’s more than 150 signing statements have raised constitutional or legal objections, compared with only 18% of all of President Clinton’s.”
– In the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act, signing statements from President Bush “appear simply to be hortatory assertions of executive power,” according to the Congressional Research Service.
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