Choosing the best political outcome in this case is difficult given the highly politicized actions of the Congress is the decision to impeach. However, as the group with the most direct relationship with the voters, it is imperative to American history that we have faith in the decision of the Congress. The best result for the nation would be to avoid this type of tragic interaction in the first place, but once it has happened, we must either trust the Constitution or we must seek a revolution. Re: Congressional Appropriations and the President’s use of Defense Spending
The second issue in the case of the U. S. Congress v. Dick Cheney and George W. Bush is the question of whether president can reallocate funds that Congress has earmarked for a specific purpose. This is a very complex issue. To sum up the issues, the question is whether Congress can pass a funding bill with stipulations regarding how the president conducts the war in Iraq and whether once he ahs signed the bill, the President has the authority to ignore Congressional dictates and spend the money as he sees fir.
The Constitution would appear in this case to support the right of the President to spend the money as he sees fit. In Article I, section 7, the Cosntitution authorizes the House of representatives to originate bills which regulate revenue, but there is no provision for them to micro-manage the budget of the country. In essence, it could be argued that Congress’ responsibility, right and duty is solely to create appropriations bills and that the administrative branch of the government, the president, cabinet officers and lifelong bureaucrats should be the ones determining how the money is spent.
Congress, as noted in the Constitutional section regarding the State of Union address, should be apprised of the country’s priorities, but has no inherent right to dictate how money is spent. Furthermore, the President is specifically granted the right is Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution to act as the Commander-in-Shief of the American armed forced. As written the funding law that President Bush signed violates the Constitution in that it takes away the president’s sworn duty and attempts to usurp it for the Congress.
The president as the defacto head of the defense department and the vice president as his vice commander should therefore be allowed to spend any money allocated to the defense of the nation in whatever manner they see fit. This means that Congress’ proviso that the money could not be used for the operations of the president’s or vice president’s office is also a violation of the Constitution in that it attempts to exclude the highest military officials in the country from the nation’s defense.
Furthermore, using the national emergency powers in World War I, President Woodrow Wilson took nearly unlimited power to himself to raise and army and fund it. Precedence is again on the side of the President. He has sworn an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and believes as Commander-in-chief that to do so he must be able to fund the American military operations as he sees fit.
Congressional representatives are likely to argue that if the Presidnet felt their bill was unconstitutional, he could have vetoed it or he could have challenged it in the federal court system, but that he does not possess the authority for a line item veto and that cannot simply enact legislation on his own behalf. Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution also gives Congress the authority to make whatever laws are necessary for the faithful execution of their duties. Congressional leaders will argue that earmarking the funds for the defense department was a way of exercising this granted poer.