Posted by lex, on December 22, 2007
It’ll never happen of course, but it’d be fun to see the fireworks if a president who really cared about fiscal discipline more than underwriting political pork ever followed this finding of the Congressional Research Service to its rational conclusion:
A December 18 legal analysis by the Congressional Research Service concluded that ‘because the language of committee reports does not meet the procedural requirements of Article I of the Constitution — specifically, bicameralism and presentment – they are not laws and, therefore, are not legally binding on executive agencies… Given both the implied legal and constitutional authority as well as the long-standing accepted process of Presidents, it appears that a President can, if he so chooses, issue an executive order with respect to earmarks contained solely in committee reports and not in any way incorporated into the legislative text.’
Whee, that’d be a ride, and it’d make the the current tussle over executive and legislative privilege look like a preschool school brawl. Congress exists on an all-pork diet and would react violently. It’s more than likely that a bipartisan coalition would defund the entire bureaucracy in a fit of pique.
But I would so love to watch the Byrds and Murthas of the world collapse into apoplexy.