- Nov 22, 2003
- Reaction score
Not often you see an op-ed by the current POTUS:
One important message I took away from the election is that people want to end the secretive process by which Washington insiders are able to slip into legislation billions of dollars of pork-barrel projects that have never been reviewed or voted on by Congress. I'm glad Senator Robert Byrd and Congressman Dave Obey--the Democrats who will lead the appropriations process in the new Congress--heard that message, too, and have indicated they will refrain from including additional earmarks in the continuing resolution for this fiscal year.
But we can and should do more. It's time Congress give the president a line-item veto. And today I will announce my own proposal to end this dead-of-the-night process and substantially cut the earmarks passed each year.
The strength of our economy also requires us to address some of the biggest issues facing the American people--greater energy security, comprehensive immigration reform, and affordable health care. While progress has been made in each of these areas, we must do more. I look forward to working with Congress on these difficult issues.
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.
To the new members of the 110th Congress, I offer my welcome--and my congratulations. The American people have entrusted us with public office at a momentous time for our nation. Let them say of these next two years: We used our time well.
Mr. Bush is the president of the United States.