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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A Handshake and a Warning

President George Bush wrote a piece for the Opinion Journal where he let the world know that administration and Congress can work together, but will they? He congratulates them and welcomes them but he also makes his position very clear and issues a clear warning.

Tomorrow, members of the 110th Congress will take their oaths of office here in Washington. I will have the privilege of working with them for the next two years--one quarter of my presidency, plenty of time to accomplish important things for the American people.

Together, we have a chance to serve the American people by solving the complex problems that many don't expect us to tackle, let alone solve, in the partisan environment of today's Washington. To do that, however, we can't play politics as usual. Democrats will control the House and Senate, and therefore we share the responsibility for what we achieve.

That was the handshake.

He will not compromise the basic principles that won him two elections, he will make every attempt to work with Congress on items where they have common ground.

My principles are no secret. I have campaigned on them in my races for governor and in two presidential contests, and I have worked hard during my presidency to translate these principles into sound policy.

I believe that when America is willing to use her influence abroad, the American people are safer and the world is more secure. I believe that wealth does not come from government. It comes from the hard work of America's workers, entrepreneurs and small businesses. I believe government closest to the people is more responsive and accountable. I believe government plays an important role in helping those who can't help themselves. Yet we must always remember that when people are hurting, they need a caring person, not a government bureaucracy.

These are all common-sense principles, and they provide the basis for how I will approach governing with the new Congress. We've proved it can be done: When our nation was attacked, Republicans and Democrats came together to pass the Patriot Act and reform our intelligence agencies. When our economy was struggling, we worked together to pass tax relief that has helped our economy grow, create jobs, and raise the standard of living for the American people. When we saw that our public schools were failing our children, we came together to pass the No Child Left Behind Act, insisting on high standards, accountability and better options for parents.

That is his stand.

Our Founders believed in the wisdom of the American people to choose their leaders and provided for the concept of divided and effective government. The majority party in Congress gets to pass the bills it wants. The minority party, especially where the margins are close, has a strong say in the form bills take. And the Constitution leaves it to the president to use his judgment whether they should be signed into law.

That gives us a clear challenge and an opportunity. If the Congress chooses to pass bills that are simply political statements, they will have chosen stalemate. If a different approach is taken, the next two years can be fruitful ones for our nation. We can show the American people that Republicans and Democrats can come together to find ways to help make America a more secure, prosperous and hopeful society. And we will show our enemies that the open debate they believe is a fatal weakness is the great strength that has allowed democracies to flourish and succeed.

This was his warning.

He may have not used his veto power often but if he sees the Democrats passing strictly political bills, he will veto them. Period. It is the right and the power the president has.

The choices for Congress are clear, they can keep their campaign promises and work in a bipartisan fashion or they can run 101 investigations and do nothing but waste the next two years AND throw away any hope they have for 2008.

Yesterdays I saw quite a bit written about how the Democrats are not going to include the Republicans in their initial agenda of bills, breaking their campaign promises right from the start, but what does it really matter? If they choose to go that route, the final signature will be the President of the United State's and if they are not careful, that veto pen of his could end up being well used in his last two years.

If the president vetoes a bill, Congress can override his veto with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Do the Democrats have two-thirds majority? Nope, espeially not in the senate where it is 51-49 (two of which are technically independents). So they should be wise, the question remains.... will they?

Franklin D. Roosevelt issued the most vetoes in presidential history with 635 vetoes, in which only 9 of them were overridden. This was over a 12 year period, from 1933-1945.

With Franklin Roosevelt's administration ... the presidency began to undergo not a shift but rather a metamorphosis." Indeed, so powerful an impression did FDR leave on the office that in the most recent survey of historians he was ranked as the second greatest president in our history, surpassed only by the legendary Abraham Lincoln.

The next president to issue the most vetoes was Grover Cleveland with 414 vetoes which only two of which were able to be overridden in his first term from 1885-1889 and 170 vetoes with only five able to be overriden in his second from 1893-1897.

The veto is a very powerful tool and it would behoove the members of congress to remember that and to do what they were voted in to do, clean up congress and work in a bipartisan fashion.

The President shook their hand and offered them congratulations. He also issued them their one warning.

The veto pen is out and it is up to congress to decide whether it will get quite a bit of use if they act foolishly, or whether all plan to work together to actually get things done.

We shall see which option they choose.

Personally my confidence in the new congress is thin and I will be mailing the White House a very big box of ink for his veto pen.

Others discussing this:
Captain's Quarters, Right Voices, Jules Crittenden, Sister Toldjah.

Trackposted to Rightwing Guy, Pet's Garden Blog, Perri Nelson's Website, third world county, The Random Yak, The HILL Chronicles, Faultline USA, Dumb Ox News, Conservative Cat, and Right Voices, Stop the ACLU, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Tracked back by:
The Clinton Mistake from Rightwing Guy...
Under-Reported News of 2006, and THE Question of 2 from Dumb Ox News...
Polish Barber Shop from Planck's Constant..
SympathY for the DeviL from Woman Honor Thyself...
U.S. sympathy for Saddam from The HILL Chronicles...
Illegal War? from Perri Nelson's Website...
Wesley Autrey - hero from Mark My Words...
Good Stuff Wednesday from 123beta...
Terrorist Dictionary -- Cease-fire = Reload from Perri Nelson's Website...
An attack on our southern border from Mark My Words...