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The United States Congress is being asked to ratify a trade agreement with Colombia. This involves simple economics, the exchange of goods between nations.President Bush is negotiating a treaty with Prime Minister al Maliki of Iraq for indefinite military occupation of that nation. This involves endangering the lives and health of American troops and spending of billions of dollars for their deployment and for their armament. Regardless of semantic gymnastics, the president is usurping the Senate’s right to ratify this treaty.All we hear about this from our duly elected representatives is ineffectual bleating about passing a law that will be vetoed by the president. We already have a law. It is called the Constitution of the United States. It is not subject to veto.Article II, Section 2, of that document states, “He [the President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senate present concur ...”The Senate must immediately alert Prime Minister al Maliki that any agreement not duly ratified in accordance with our Constitution is null and void, and that there will be no funding for its execution. And then stick to it!Adele E. ZimmermannEmbudo
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