Obama Signing Statement Says He isn’t Bound by 20 Provisions of General Spending Bill

Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Regardless of what Congress says, President Barack Obama intends to do otherwise, according to the latest signing statement released by the White House on the Friday before Christmas.
Obama responded to the 2012 Consolidated Appropriations Act adopted by lawmakers to fund the U.S. government by declaring that he is not bound by at least 20 policy riders attached to the legislation.
Normally, if a U.S. president objects to a law passed by Congress, he vetoes it. But a president can issue a signing statement that claims he can ignore a certain section of a law if he says he considers it unconstitutional or if he claims that it might “interfere with his ability to conduct foreign policy.”
The president objected to:
·       A ban on spending money to move terrorist detainees from Guantánamo to prisons in the U.S.
·       Restrictions on placing American troops involved in United Nations peacekeeping missions under foreign command
·       Thirty days advance notice to Congress for any use of the military that would involve more than $100,000 in construction costs
·       “Disclosure to the Congress of information regarding ongoing diplomatic negotiations”
·       Language that blocks health, climate, auto policy and urban affairs “czars” from being employed by the White House
·       A provision that bars health officials from advocating for gun control
·       Congressional approval of funds transferred from the Library of Congress to the Copyright Office.
This is Obama’s 18th signing statement since he assumed the presidency. During his two terms as president, George W. Bush issued 149 signing statements.
It remains to be seen what Obama will do when he signs the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes controversial provisions about imprisoning terror suspects without trial and cutting civilian courts out of the process of trying terror-related cases. If he follows the normal, bipartisan presidential strategy of approving contentious laws when the least number of people are paying attention, Obama could sign the bill on December 30, which is exactly what Bush did in 2005 when he issued a signing statement asserting that he was not bound by provisions of a law that prohibited the use of torture.
-David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff
Another Holiday Tradition (by Andrew Rudalevige, American Prospect)

Both Parties in House Slam Obama Signing Statement (by David Wallechinsky and Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov) 


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