If you hauled loads for the Federal Emergency Management Agency after
Hurricane Katrina, you may have occasionally scratched your head and asked,
“Who’s running this operation?”
At the time, the answer was Michael Brown, who had no emergency
preparedness background and went to FEMA after being fired as head of the
Arabian Horse Association.
Now, according to the Boston Globe,
President George W. Bush has added a controversial “signing statement” to a law
just passed by Congress. The law requires any new head of FEMA to be a person
with at least five years’ experience and a strong background in emergency
However, Bush’s signing statement allows him to essentially ignore the
new hiring requirements, which are part of a broader bill aimed at reducing
fraud within FEMA’s ranks, the Globe reported.
Bush’s use of signing statements – which many previous presidents
treated as more of a ceremonial gesture – has come under fire in recent months
by the American Bar Association as a way to allegedly sidestep congressional
oversight of the Executive Branch.