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Obama Issues Signing Statement on Spending Bill

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  • Obama Issues Signing Statement on Spending Bill

    Obama issues signing statement on spending bill
    By DARLENE SUPERVILLE Associated Press Writer
    Updated: 03/11/2009 07:24:00 PM EDT

    WASHINGTON—Two days after criticizing his predecessor for issuing guidelines on how to put legislation into practice, President Barack Obama issued such a directive himself.

    Out of public view Wednesday, Obama signed a $410 billion spending bill that includes billions for items known as earmarks, the targeted spending that lawmakers direct to projects in their districts. Obama promised during the presidential campaign to curb such spending.

    He also issued a "signing statement" in which he objected to provisions of the bill that he said the Justice Department had advised "raise constitutional concerns." Among them are provisions that Obama said would "unduly interfere" with his authority in the foreign affairs arena by directing him how to proceed, or not to, in negotiations and discussions with international organizations and foreign governments.

    Another provision, Obama said, would limit his discretion to choose who performs specific functions in military missions.

    On Monday, Obama ordered a review of former President George W. Bush's guidelines for implementing bills passed by Congress—the signing statements.

    Bush often issued statements when he signed bills, objecting to parts of the legislation. Critics said the statements often showed government officials how to get around a law if Bush disagreed with it on constitutional grounds.

    "There is no doubt that the practice of issuing such statements can be abused," Obama wrote Monday in a memo to the heads of executive departments and agencies. "Constitutional signing statements should not be used to suggest that the president will disregard statutory requirements on the basis of policy disagreements."

    At the same time, however, Obama did not rule out issuing any signing statements, which have been used for centuries. Rather, he ordered his administration to work with Congress to inform lawmakers about concerns over legality before legislation ever reaches his desk. He also pledged to use caution and restraint when writing his own signing statements, and said he would rely on Justice Department guidance when doing so.

    "With these considerations in mind and based upon advice of the Department of Justice, I will issue signing statements to address constitutional concerns only when it is appropriate to do so as a means of discharging my constitutional responsibilities," Obama pledged.

  • #2
    Sounds like pot meets kettle to me.


    • #3
      Yes, it does. I am still waiting on the change that was being shouted from all four corners during the election. ;)


      • #4
        Check this out - it's a warning about what he's up to. If anyone is surprised, they've been comatose for over a year. The book the WSJ piece is talking about is here .
        "If Howdy Doody runs against him, I'm voting for the puppet." - SkyOwl's Wife, 2012