Waive Goodbye to the Benchmarks
[Welcome, Digby readers!]
From May 25, 2007 to the utterance of this comment by President Bush in a White House press conference on July 12, an entire 48 days elapsed:
“Economic development funds are critical to helping Iraq make this political progress. Today, I’m exercising the waiver authority granted me by Congress to release a substantial portion of those funds.”
What the hell did that mean? Obviously none of the White House reporters made any queries. If they had they may well have demonstrated their own ignorance. The members of Congress don’t read the text of legislation they vote on. Why should the members of the White House press corps read them either? This type of ignorance is not blissful. It’s outrageous.
Bush was referring to Public Law 110-28 , “US Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Care, Katrina Recovery and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007.” In particular, Section 1314(c)(2):
“WAIVER AUTHORITY. – The president may waive the requirements of this section if he submits to Congress a written certification setting forth a detailed justification for the waiver, which shall include a detailed report describing the actions being taken by the United States to bring the Iraqi government into compliance with the benchmarks set forth in subsection (b)(1)(A).”
Politically motivated waivers all around: Libby, meet Al-Maliki.
There are 65 days until the report of General David Patreaus on the escalation plan in Iraq. The Decider decided that 48 days was long enough to waive the intent of Congress, yet those in Congress who are finally expressing doubt about the Iraq War are accused of speaking prematurely.
Let the funds flow – contrary opinions, be damned.