BERGDAHL, CONGRESS, AND THE EXECUTIVE

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Even if it couldn’t meet the thirty day requirement, nobody seems to buy that the administration didn’t have time to notify Congress about the Bergdahl swap. As Jeffrey Toobin’s saying, maybe the answer — at least the ideal answer — is that if a bill contains something the president fundamentally disagrees with, instead of issuing a signing statement, he simply shouldn’t sign it into law, regardless of the political consequences. On the other hand, Congress should respect the constitutional powers necessary for an effective commander in chief. The thirty day requirement looks unreasonable from the point of view of the executive.

I see Syria as a distinct case. According to press accounts, after the walk with McDonough the president decided that getting involved in Syria was a mistake. Based on that, I don’t see the logic of sending the decision off to Congress. There is no need to get approval for not doing something.

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