Friday, February 09, 2007

Authorization of Use of Force

Well the House is warming up to advance a non-binding resolution expressing that body's opposition to Bush's escalation. While a binding resolution would be better, this is a good first step and should go better than the effort has so far in the Senate. The Democrats in the House enjoy a substantially larger majority. One concern with regard to the various proposals for these resolutions, whether binding or not, is the expected Presidential veto. The House, and more certainly the Senate, will not have the two-thirds majority needed to override anytime soon. Republican disaffection is growing, but not that fast.

Of growing concern now, of course, is the possibility that this Administration will launch some attack on Iran. There is widespread agreement that the Administration has no such authority to do so, but this Administration has not shown much concern over such things as appropriate authority. Some consideration is being given now as well to an official expression from the Congress that the White House does not have that Authority. Again one must consider that any such expression is, unless I'm very much mistaken, subject to veto.

One option that might help get around this occurred to me recently. Could the Democrats not propose to grant the authorization of force against Iran, and vote it down? The failure of a bill to pass the Congress is not subject to veto (although it would not shock me to see this White House try to claim otherwise) so the rejection would stand. There would then be a very official statement that Congress had considered that authorization and denied it.

It seems like a move worthy of consideration, but I have seen no mention of it elsewhere.

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