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Project on Government Oversight

POGO Letter to Senators Levin, McCaskill, and Webb regarding the President’s recent Signing Statement

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February 4, 2008

POGO recently sent a letter to Senators Claire McCaskill, Carl Levin, and James Webb commending them for responding so forcefully in opposition to the President’s (George W. Bush) recent signing statement in which he stated his intentions to not enforce the full accounting of tax dollars, as was required by the Webb-McCaskill Commission on Wartime Contracting. Of significant concern to POGO was his promise to subvert the protections for whistleblowers that are so important in combating waste, fraud, and corruption in federal contracting.


February 4, 2008

Senator Carl Levin
269 Russell Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Senator Claire McCaskill
717 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Senator Jim Webb
144 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Via Facisimile

Dear Senators Levin, McCaskill, and Webb:

The Project On Government Oversight would like to commend you for taking a stand against the President's unconstitutional grab for power through his continued use of the signing statements, which undermine the power of Congress. As you know, in his latest signing statement, the President has said that he will not enforce the full accounting of tax dollars, as was required by the Webb-McCaskill Commission on Wartime Contracting. He would also subvert the protections for whistleblowers that are so important in combating waste, fraud, and corruption in federal contracting.

The President needs to be forcefully reminded that there are three branches of government in the United States.  The American people and their interests are vested in their elected representatives. The President does not get to choose which laws passed by Congress he will uphold and enforce.  The Constitution provides the President with the appropriate action if he genuinely opposes a bill: a veto.  But once that law has passed, the President must uphold it.

A strong democracy requires the consent of the people, and they deserve that the laws be faithfully executed in accordance with the Constitution's separation of powers.

Thank you for your continued leadership on this matter.

Sincerely,


Danielle Brian
Executive Director
Project On Government Oversight