Congressmen sue to block implementation of law that didn't pass House
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Thursday April 27, 2006
Ten members of the U.S. House of Representatives will file a lawsuit tomorrow seeking to block implementation of a budget law as signed by President George W. Bush, RAW STORY has learned.
In February, the President signed a version of the "Deficit Reduction Act" that never passed the House. The draft signed by Bush omitted provisions from the version that passed the House that required the government pay for 36 months of durable medical equipment rentals for those who qualified. The version Bush signed allows just 13 months--a difference of 23 months rental and $2 billion in spending.
According to the Constitution of the United States, the same version of a bill must pass both houses of Congress before it can be signed by the President to become law.
The plaintiffs seeking to block the law are all ranking Democratic members of committees affected by the differences.
According to earlier published accounts, House Republican leadership notified the President that it had not passed the House of Representatives before the President went ahead with the Feb 8 signing.
"Anyone who has passed the sixth grade knows that before a bill can become a law, both Houses of Congress must approve it," blasted John Conyers (D-MI), ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee. "That the Bush Administration is now saying otherwise underscores the Constitutional crisis we are facing in this country."
Joining Conyers in the suit are: Rep. John Dingell, Ranking Member on the Energy and Commerce Committee; Rep. Charles B. Rangel, Ranking Member on the Ways and Means Committee; Rep. George Miller, Ranking Member on the Education and Workforce Committee; Rep. James L. Oberstar, Ranking Member on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee; Rep. Barney Frank, Ranking Member on the Financial Services Committee; Rep. Collin C. Peterson, Ranking Member on the Agriculture Committee; Rep. Bennie Thompson, Ranking Member on the Homeland Security Committee; Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, Ranking Member on the Rules Committee; Rep. Fortney "Pete" Stark, Ranking Member on the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee; Rep. Sherrod Brown, Ranking Member on the Commerce Health Subcommittee. The Congressmen are represented by Dykema Gossett PLLC and Professor Erwin Chemerinsky, a constitutional expert at Duke Law School.