Senator Arlen Specter challenges President Bush

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Senator Arlen Specter (R).

Arlen Specter, the Republican senator from Pennsylvania has directly challenged President George W. Bush in a showdown with Congress saying that Bush is "not the sole decision maker" in regards to sending over 21,500 troops to Iraq.

The response comes after Bush declared that he is "the decision-maker" when it comes to war.

"I would suggest respectfully to the president that he is not the sole decider. The decider is a shared and joint responsibility," said Specter.

The Senate Judiciary Committee began the groundwork today in order to block President Bush’s plan to send 21,500 more US troops to Iraq, or set limits on the war.

During the Congressional hearing today, attorneys told Senators that they do have the power to stop the sending of troops to Iraq and even to stop the war altogether.

"I think the constitutional scheme does give Congress broad authority to terminate a war," said one of those lawyers present during the hearing, Bradford Berenson.

"It is ultimately Congress that decides the size, scope and duration of the use of military force," said another attorney who was also present during the hearing, Walter Dellinger.

Not everyone agrees that Congress has the authority. University of Virginia School of Law teacher, Robert Turner says that "in the conduct of war, in the conduct of foreign affairs, the president is in fact the decider."