Bush is stepping over Congress

Eric Berman

Last week’s State of the Union marked several firsts in America’s and this administration’s history. First, Nancy Pelosi became the first female Speaker of the House in American history. Second, for the first time in this administration’s occupation of the White House, President Bush spoke to an unfriendly audience. For the first time, Bush wasn’t able to speak to a Congress that has done everything he has asked. Instead, Bush had to deal with a Congress divided. One that has already come out against the escalation (I mean augmentation) of troops.

Bush began his speech by basically begging the Democrat controlled Congress to work with him and compromise so that they can achieve great things for the rest of his term. This sounds great if Bush himself wasn’t so hypocritical and already completely ignoring what Congress is doing. Without Congress’ permission, Bush decided to send over 20,000 additional troops to Iraq. In doing this, Bush has overstepped his presidential boundaries once again. It seems that Bush needs a refresher course on the Constitution. The Constitution only grants the President power to send troops to war for 90 days; not the right to send more troops without the consent of Congress. In article one, section eight of the constitution, under Congressional powers it states, “To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;.To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers.” The only branch that has the right to send more troops overseas is Congress.

The State of the Union was not a complete hypocritical travesty. Bush made some comments that received standing ovations from both sides of the aisle. Despite being a few years late, Bush is proposing new limits on carbon dioxide emissions now that he has finally admitted that global warming exists. He also made promises to help to relieve the burdens that our generation will have to bare. He promised to help find new ways to pay for the entitlements of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Bush called for the U.S. to “awaken the conscience of the world to save the people of Darfur.” We need to awaken the conscience of our own citizens to the atrocities occurring in a part of the world that America and the majority of the world has ignored. To let genocide occur and make no effort until recently to end the rape, torture and murder is inexcusable.It is the responsibility of the United States and the rest of the world to end these crimes against humanity and it has taken too long for the U.S. and the U.N. to take action.

Bush has set the bar high for the last two years of his presidency and we’ll see if he keeps his promise to work together with Democrats and Republicans or if he will continue on the path of ignoring the public and continue to cross off the goals of his personal, political agenda. This will be difficult now that the Democrats control the House and Senate and no longer have to struggle to have their voices heard down at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.