OpinionMeister

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Bush Thwarts Lott on Base Closings

The Washington Post reports that President Bush used one procedure to thwart Senator Lott from using another procedures to tie up a base-closing board. Link.
Just before Congress returned from a two-week recess, President Bush on Friday night used his recess-appointment power to thwart an effort by Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) to stall the work of a military base-closing commission.

When Congress is out of session, a president can use that power to sidestep the need for Senate confirmation by appointing officials who can perform their duties until the end of that Congress. The White House made the announcement at 7:27 p.m. Friday, ahead of the Senate's return at midday Monday.

Senate officials said Lott, who has had bitter relations with the White House since being unseated as majority leader in 2002, was using a procedure known as a "hold" to prevent the Senate from voting on the nomination of Anthony J. Principi, Bush's designee as chairman of the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission, also known as BRAC. (...)

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John W. Warner (R-Va.) issued a statement of support for Bush's action, saying this base-closing round is important to national security and that the time to act is very short. "The existing BRAC law sets a very tight schedule, with specific dates, within which the commission must hire a staff, travel to numerous military bases, consult with community leaders, conduct a thorough analysis, and prepare its detailed report," Warner said.

The country owes a great debt of gratitude to the blogosphere for keeping the heat on Lott until he was forced to resign as Senate majority leader. The Republicans can certainly do without leaders like him. If he wants to be such an obstructionist, he should switch allegiance to the Obstructionist Party, also known as the Democrats,

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