LAWFUEL – The Law Newswire – There’s little President Bush can do – no speech, no press conference and mostly, no influence – that can help him sway Republican votes on an immigration bill that has provoked protest, reports Fox News.
A simple distinction explains why President Bush is unlikely to alter the outcome of the Senate debate on immigration reform, his visit to a Senate Republican luncheon this week notwithstanding.
Despite his relatively low presidential approval rating, Bush has plenty of power. There’s the veto and the executive order. He’s commander-in-chief and boss of American foreign policy. What he lacks is influence.
Presidential power — the veto in particular — allowed the president to ward off Democratic efforts to attach timetables for withdrawal of American troops to the Iraq funding bill last month. Democrats didn’t have the votes to override his veto of a bill with timetables.
But none of the constitutional powers of the presidency are useful to Bush in trying to sway Republican votes on immigration. Even the bully pulpit — speeches, press conferences, press availabilities — doesn’t help much in the seventh year in office of an unpopular president.