Friday, July 10, 2009

More Obama Broken Promises: Presidential Signing Statements

by Maggie at Maggie's Notebook

One thing I know is true (one of Obama's favorite transitions) is...the campaign trail is a lying, cheating road to the Oval Office for four more years of lying and cheating. Congress has rebuked President Obama's Presidential Signings.

Thanks to Stop the ACLU.

This was then...

Obama on Presidential Signing

“What George Bush has been trying to do as part of his effort to accumulate more power in the presidency is he’s been saying ‘well I can basically change what Congress passed by attaching a letter saying I don’t agree with this part or I don’t agree with that part,” Obama said last year during a campaign stop. “I’m gonna’ choose to interpret it this way or that way.’ That’s not part of his power. But this is part of the whole theory of George Bush that he can make laws as he’s going along. I disagree with that. I taught the constitution for 10 years. I believe in the constitution, and I will obey the Constitution of the United States.
“We’re not going to use signing statements as a way of doing an end-run around Congress.”

This is now:

The House rebuked President Obama for trying to ignore restrictions to international aid payments, voting overwhelmingly for an amendment forcing the administration to abide by its constraints.

House members approved an amendment by a 429-2 vote to have the Obama administration pressure the World Bank to strengthen labor and environmental standards and require a Treasury Department report on World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) activities. The amendment to a 2010 funding bill for the State Department and foreign operations was proposed by Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas), but it received broad bipartisan support.

The conditions on World Bank and IMF funding were part of the $106 billion war supplemental bill that was passed last month. Obama, in a statement made as he signed the bill, said that he would ignore the conditions. They would “interfere with my constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations by directing the Executive to take certain positions in negotiations or discussions with international organizations and foreign governments, or by requiring consultation with the Congress prior to such negotiations or discussions,” Obama said in the signing statement.

Hat tip: Hot Air

End Stop the ACLU

The Hill went on to report:
Senior Democrats and Republicans railed against the notion that the president could ignore a law they had passed and he had signed.

"We do this not just on behalf of this institution, but on behalf of this democracy," said Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.). "There's kind of a unilateralism, an undemocratic, unreachable way about these signing statements."

Frank and Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) said that one way they could get presidents to stop issuing signing statements casting aside laws would be to refuse to fund their priorities. The amendment passed Thursday seeks to nullify Obama's signing statement by withholding funds from any agreement involving the Treasury Department that doesn't follow the conditions set out in the supplemental bill.

"The signal we send to the Treasury is very clear: Ignore statute at your peril," Kirk said.

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