Emily Miller of The Washington Times reports that Obama plans to violate the $1 trillion omnibus spending bill he signed on Friday. Instead,he issued a signing statement that he and Eric Holder’s Justice Department believe the bill is “subject to well-founded constitutional objections.” (Here’s the text of the statement.)
What are they? That Congress has asked to be notified if U.S. troops are placed under foreign command. It does not ban the practice of placing U.S. troops under foreign generals;it simply requires that Congress be notified beforehand. Yet Obama whines the bill he signed “disallows the expenditure of funds ‘for any United Nations peacekeeping mission that will involve United States Armed Forces under the command or operational control of a foreign national,’unless my military advisers have advised that such an involvement is in the national interest,and unless I have made the same recommendation to the Congress.”
Placing U.S. troops under foreign command has been controversial for decades —and had been unthinkable for more than 100 years after the ratification of the Constitution. Then-Congressman Doug Bereuter,R-Nebraska, said on the House floor in 1995,“There is a serious question whether foreign command can ever be constitutional.”Even those on the Right who would allow the possibility do so only under limited circumstances. Liberals in the Justice Department have argued for the president’s unlimited use of the military,under UN command,just as long. Evidently this president views Congressmen asking him for notification when he is violating their war-making powers beyond the pale.
Obama is also livid Congressional Republicans have “once again included provisions that would bar the use of appropriated funds for transfers of Guantanamo detainees into the United States.”Obama threatened to use executive powers to bring Guantanamo Bay detainees to the mainland last December,before backing down.