Taking the President to Court
by Congressman John Conyers
Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 12:46:24 PM PDT

As some of you may be aware, according to the President and Congressional Republicans, a bill does not have to pass both the Senate and the House to become a law. Forget your sixth grade civics lesson, forget the book they give you when you visit Congress – “How Our Laws Are Made,” and forget Schoolhouse Rock. These are checks and balances, Republican-style.

As the Washington Post reported last month, as the Republican budget bill struggled to make its way through Congress at the end of last year and beginning of this year (the bill cuts critical programs such as student loans and Medicaid funding), the House and Senate passed different versions of it. House Republicans did not want to make Republicans in marginal districts vote on the bill again, so they simply certified that the Senate bill was the same as the House bill and sent it to the President. The President, despite warnings that the bill did not represent the consensus of the House and Senate, simply shrugged and signed the bill anyway. Now, the Administration is implementing it as though it was the law of the land.
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After consulting with some of the foremost constitutional experts in the nation, I determined that one group of people are injured by the entire bill: Members of the House. We were deprived of our right to vote on a bill that is now being treated as the law of the land.

So, I am going to court. With many of my Democratic Colleagues (list appended at the bottom of this diary), I plan to file suit tomorrow in federal district court in Detroit against the President, members of the Cabinet and other federal officers seeking to have a simple truth confirmed: a bill not passed by the House and Senate is not a law, even if the President signs it. As such, the Budget bill cannot be treated as the law of the land.

Story continued…

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