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This is Congressional oversight?
Posted by: mcq on Friday, November 03, 2006

Amazing:
Investigations led by a Republican lawyer named Stuart W. Bowen Jr. in Iraq have sent American occupation officials to jail on bribery and conspiracy charges, exposed disastrously poor construction work by well-connected companies like Halliburton and Parsons, and discovered that the military did not properly track hundreds of thousands of weapons it shipped to Iraqi security forces.

And tucked away in a huge military authorization bill that President Bush signed two weeks ago is what some of Mr. Bowen’s supporters believe is his reward for repeatedly embarrassing the administration: a pink slip.

The order comes in the form of an obscure provision that terminates his federal oversight agency, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, on Oct. 1, 2007. The clause was inserted by the Republican side of the House Armed Services Committee over the objections of Democratic counterparts during a closed-door conference, and it has generated surprise and some outrage among lawmakers who say they had no idea it was in the final legislation.
Even more amazing? No one knows how the provision ended up in the bill:
Susan Collins, a Maine Republican who followed the bill closely as chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, says that she still does not know how the provision made its way into what is called the conference report, which reconciles differences between House and Senate versions of a bill.

Neither the House nor the Senate version contained such a termination clause before the conference, all involved agree.

“It’s truly a mystery to me,” Ms. Collins said. “I looked at what I thought was the final version of the conference report and that provision was not in at that time.”

“The one thing I can confirm is that this was a last-minute insertion,” she said.
You know what Ms. Collins, I think a lot of things are a "mystery" to a good portion of you folks up there. And, if I were to guess, we're seeing legislation by staffers, not elected Reps. And the staffers obviously have an agenda, which, again guessing, might have something to do with special interests.

The good news is pressure is building on both sides of the isle to do something about it. Not that that stops the usual political sniping:
“It appears to me that the administration wants to silence the messenger that is giving us information about waste and fraud in Iraq,” said Representative Henry A. Waxman, a California Democrat who is the ranking minority member of the House Committee on Government Reform.
Yeah, Mr. Waxman, it's Bush's fault, even though, in the final analysis, it is the job of Congress to write and pass such bills.

Hey, if we can term limit a president, why not the Congress?
 
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Yeah, Mr. Waxman, it’s Bush’s fault, even though, in the final analysis, it is the job of Congress to write and pass such bills.
Now that’s chutzpah. That Bush is something else, I tell you. He’s both perfectly incompetent, and responsible for each and every thing that happens anywhere at any time. All at the same time!

If only we’d throw all of them out and start over.
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
Hey, if we can term limit a president, why not the Congress?
Well, THAT is just another episode of "We Have Met The Enemy And He Is Us!"
Angry black woman: Are you sayin’ the Democratic Party don’t care about the African-American community?

Bullworth: Isn’t that OBVIOUS? You got half your kids are out of work and the other half are in jail. Do you see ANY Democrat doing anything about it? Certainly not me! So what’re you gonna do, vote Republican? Come on! Come on, you’re not gonna vote Republican! Let’s call a spade a spade!

[Loud, angry booing]

Bullworth: I mean - come on! You can have a Billion Man March! If you don’t put down that malt liquor and chicken wings, and get behind someone other than a running back who stabs his wife, you’re NEVER gonna get rid of somebody like me!
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
Yeah, Mr. Waxman, it’s Bush’s fault
If you read further into the article, it reveals that the language was put in the bill by the Republican chairman of the Armed Services Comittee. It is very credible to suggest that Dick Cheney put a word in this guy’s ear. Or is the Republican Administration coordinating with the Republican legislative heads of Congressional commitees really such an incredibly far-fetched scenario? Only when you get to make fun of someone.

How do *you* think the Republican Adminstration would have gone about having these investigations killed? Maybe Bush would make a speech at a press conference about how the inspector general’s reports on corruption are hurting the morale of our troops? Maybe he could claim that the guy is in league with the liberal media?

I set that up as a strawman, but hey, it sounds almost plausible.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
It is very credible to suggest that Dick Cheney put a word in this guy’s ear
Where’s MK to defend Cheney? I mean, he was all over us for ’misinterpreting’ sKerry and for ’reading his mind’. Here’s glasnost suggesting Cheney ’put a word in someones ear!’. Oh the humanity.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
The President did sign the bill

Is he not expected to know what he is signing?

If he didn’t know, what does that say about his competency?
If he did know, what does that say about his complicity?
 
Written By: Laime
URL: http://
How do *you* think the Republican Adminstration would have gone about having these investigations killed?
The real question is how do *you* think Bushie and the PNAC Neocons would have gone about knocking down the World Trade Center. Maybe the plan said Chimpy would sit in an elementary school reading about a goat as cover!

Think of the possibilities, man! So, are you gonna hit that bong, or what?
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
Yeah, Mr. Waxman, it’s Bush’s fault, even though, in the final analysis, it is the job of Congress to write and pass such bills.
This is where you see fit to conclude a very interesting and telling piece of information, a knock on a guy who is speaking up against it?

Bush=Republican Congress and Republican Senate.

That is why we have come to call them the rubber stamp congress and/or the do-nothing-congress.

Congress has nothing to lose by doing it’s job, but yet it fails at every turn, because the President DOES have something to lose when this stuff is brought to light.

Apparently, Republicans things any bad news affecting the Republican President affects them... and because of their lack of oversight, they have made this a self fulfilling propehcy.

Cap
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
A reminder of what’s at stake on Tuesday.
 
Written By: Geek, Esq.
URL: http://
If you read further into the article, it reveals that the language was put in the bill by the Republican chairman of the Armed Services Comittee.
Which as zip to do with "this administration", a term normally used to refer to the executive branch.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Which as zip to do with "this administration", a term normally used to refer to the executive branch.

How true. And yet, I don’t know why you’re taking the approach that it’s far fetched to consider it plausible that the Admin was behind this. When dealing with legislative matters, the White House gets its way by making requests, often not publicized, of legislators Such as Tom Delay on the drug bill, John McCain on the detainee bill.. Ted Stevens on the highway bill... etc, etc, etc.



 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Which as zip to do with "this administration", a term normally used to refer to the executive branch.
I think we all know the process of getting a bill through Congress, and you are being obtuse.

We know that Congressmen ostensibly write bills, but as a practical matter, we also know lobbyists and others write bills and have Congressmen put their names on the bills.

I tend to follow the money, this benefits the Bush administration, so I would suspect that since they benefit, it is not unlikely that they would have initiated the action to get this put into the bill.

We’ll see what comes out, and I am not saying that I KNOW Bush did this, but my immediate speculation is that the administration pushed this.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
I’d be all for a term limit on Congressmen. My district, by the way, is Waxman’s (30th District in CA), and the Republican they’re running against him is uimpressive.
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
All the more reason that, following the success Porkbusters this last session, efforts should be made to create a web publication plus 48 hour waiting period requirement before final passage of all bills. Of course it is no guarantee, but it’s a good check and balance that will have a great many successes.
 
Written By: Dusty
URL: http://
All the more reason that, following the success Porkbusters this last session, efforts should be made to create a web publication plus 48 hour waiting period requirement before final passage of all bills. Of course it is no guarantee, but it’s a good check and balance that will have a great many successes.
I love it, a "cooling off period" for legislation.

But the terrorists....

But the children....

Count me in.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
I think we all know the process of getting a bill through Congress, and you are being obtuse.
I’m being obtuse?

Heh ... who’s job is it to put legislation together and bring it to final approval through the conference report?

The administration?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I’m being obtuse?
YES!!!
Heh ... who’s job is it to put legislation together and bring it to final approval through the conference report?
Yes, Congress does the paperwork.

Does anyone influence what goes into that paperwork? Of course.

For crying out loud Q, we have lobbyists writing laws, so is it a surprise that we don’t think of Congress as doing anything but what they are told to do?

Follow the money.

Duncan Hunter himself in is in tight with defense contractors, so this may be a simple quid pro quo, but the Bush administration has it’s own ties, so they could easily have encouraged this provision to be inserted.

Again, why do you think we call this the rubber stamp Congress? It’s because they do what they are told.

So don’t act all surprised when people think that if they do something, someone told them to.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
For crying out loud Q, we have lobbyists writing laws, so is it a surprise that we don’t think of Congress as doing anything but what they are told to do?
Good lord.

Thus the title of the post!

Who’s being obtuse? Is BDS that strong?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog

Who’s being obtuse?
When it was suggested that Congress was being influenced by the administration, you dropped back and suggested that people who mkae such a suggestion don’t understand how laws are made. Remember...
"Which as zip to do with "this administration", a term normally used to refer to the executive branch."
That comment was obtuse, we all know how the process works.
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
That comment was obtuse, we all know how the process works.
So when they refer to the "Clinton administration", to what were they referring?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
"The President did sign the bill"

And since his signature is not necessary for it to become law, what does that say about its relevancy?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

 
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