Former Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter defected from his party to support Senate Democrats and assert the power of Congress.
A parade of experts before the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmed the power of Congress to “validly limit the presidential use of force.” Tuesday’s hearing came as legislators prepared to square off against Bush’s war escalation and amid the concern, shared by Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., that a constitutional battle is “imminent.”
New York Times:
Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee began laying the constitutional groundwork today for an effort to block President Bush’s plan to send more troops to Iraq and place new limits on the conduct of the war there, perhaps forcing a withdrawal of American forces from Iraq.
They were joined by Senator Arlen Specter, the Pennsylvania Republican who led the panel for the last two years, in asserting that Mr. Bush cannot simply ignore Congressional opposition to his plan to send 21,500 additional troops to Iraq.
“I would respectfully suggest to the president that he is not the sole decider,” Mr. Specter said. “The decider is a joint and shared responsibility.”