Presidential Signing Statements

Remember all the the Democrat derision, indignation and uproar when George W. Bush issued signing statements, statements that have been issued by Presidents since the inception of the country?

Ruh roh, people are asking questions, there might be a disturbance in the Hope (or the Change, I get confused), unleash the pet weasel!

Well, so much yada, yada yada.

Signing Statements Reappear in Obama White House

Democrats often criticized the Bush White House for its use of the presidential signing statement, a means by which the president can reject provisions of a bill he deems unconstitutional without vetoing the entire legislation. Now the approach is back.

President Barack Obama, after signing into law a $410 billion budget bill on Wednesday, declared five provisions in the bill to be unconstitutional and non-binding, including one that would effectively restrict U.S. troop deployments under U.N. command and another aimed at preventing punishment of whistleblowers.

The move came two days after Mr. Obama ordered a review of his predecessor’s signing statements and said he would rein in the use of such declarations.

“As I announced this past Monday, it is a legitimate constitutional function, and one that promotes the value of transparency, to indicate when a bill that is presented for Presidential signature includes provisions that are subject to well-founded constitutional objections,” Mr. Obama said in the statement.

[SIGNING] STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

Today I have signed into law H.R. 1105, the “Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009.” This bill completes the work of last year by providing the funding necessary for the smooth operation of our Nation’s Government.

As I announced this past Monday, it is a legitimate constitutional function, and one that promotes the value of transparency, to indicate when a bill that is presented for Presidential signature includes provisions that are subject to well-founded constitutional objections. The Department of Justice has advised that a small number of provisions of the bill raise constitutional concerns.

Foreign Affairs. Certain provisions of the bill, in titles I and IV of Division B, title IV of Division E, and title VII of Division H, would unduly interfere with my constitutional authority in the area of foreign affairs by effectively directing the Executive on how to proceed or not proceed in negotiations or discussions with international organizations and foreign governments. I will not treat these provisions as limiting my ability to negotiate and enter into agreements with foreign nations.

United Nations Peacekeeping Missions. Section 7050 in Division H prohibits the use of certain funds for the use of the Armed Forces in United Nations peacekeeping missions under the command or operational control of a foreign national unless my military advisers have recommended to me that such involvement is in the national interests of the United States. This provision raises constitutional concerns by constraining my choice of particular persons to perform specific command functions in military missions, by conditioning the exercise of my authority as Commander in Chief on the recommendations of subordinates within the military chain of command, and by constraining my diplomatic negotiating authority. Accordingly, I will apply this provision consistent with my constitutional authority and responsibilities.

Executive Authority to Control Communications with the Congress. Sections 714(1) and 714(2) in Division D prohibit the use of appropriations to pay the salary of any Federal officer or employee who interferes with or prohibits certain communications between Federal employees and Members of Congress. I do not interpret this provision to detract from my authority to direct the heads of executive departments to supervise, control, and correct employees’ communications with the Congress in cases where such communications would be unlawful or would reveal information that is properly privileged or otherwise confidential.

Legislative Aggrandizements (committee-approval requirements). Numerous provisions of the legislation purport to condition the authority of officers to spend or reallocate funds on the approval of congressional committees. These are impermissible forms of legislative aggrandizement in the execution of the laws other than by enactment of statutes. Therefore, although my Administration will notify the relevant committees before taking the specified actions, and will accord the recommendations of such committees all appropriate and serious consideration, spending decisions shall not be treated as dependent on the approval of congressional committees. Likewise, one other provision gives congressional committees the power to establish guidelines for funding costs associated with implementing security improvements to buildings. Executive officials shall treat such guidelines as advisory. Yet another provision requires the Secretary of the Treasury to accede to all requests of a Board of Trustees that contains congressional representatives. The Secretary shall treat such requests as nonbinding.

Recommendations Clause Concerns. Several provisions of the Act (including sections 211 and 224(b) of title II of Division I, and section 713 in Division A), effectively purport to require me and other executive officers to submit budget requests to the Congress in particular forms. Because the Constitution gives the President the discretion to recommend only “such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient” (Article II, section 3 of the Constitution), the specified officers and I shall treat these directions as precatory.

BARACK OBAMA

THE WHITE HOUSE,
March 11, 2009.

See also:
Obama’s Signing Statement and Federal Agencies
Obama Uses Signing Statements, Though Maybe Not Like Bush. Sigh
Presidential Signing Statements
Signing statement (United States)
H.R. 1105

/Barack Obama, complete, utter assclown or just an arrogant, condescending, cynical, hypocritical, lying assclown?

Senate Republicans Tell You To Bend Over Again

Senate passes earmark-loaded budget bill

The Senate approved a $410 billion spending bill Tuesday that will fund the federal government until the end of September, overcoming the objections of Republicans who argue the bill costs too much and is chock-full of pet projects.

Utah’s GOP Sens. Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett stood in opposition to the omnibus bill, which ultimately passed on a voice vote and will now go to President Barack Obama for his signature.

Hatch zeroed in on earmarks, while Bennett objected to the overall price tag. Bennett defends the earmarking process and says that some in his own party use it to “mislead” the public.

Their disparate views show a rift among Republicans on earmarks, which has dominated the discussion over the budget bill.

The omnibus bill funds transportation, health, energy, education and a slew of other programs. It includes an 8 percent funding increase over the previous year, not to mention 8,500 earmarks worth about $7.7 billion.

Hatch called it “a big huge spending boondoggle,” singling out the pet projects in explaining his “no” vote.

“There’s a lot of stuff in there that’s just thrown in to take advantage of what happens to be a financial crisis,” he said.

But Hatch sponsored 42 of those earmarks worth $63 million and 40 percent of all earmarks were requested by Republicans. He said that many of the earmarks are legitimate, but others “are slipped into the bill at the last minute.”

See also:
Senate passes omnibus bill
Senate passes $410-billion spending bill
Obama gets omnibus and earmark fight
GOP Cross-Overs Have Earmarks to Gain in $410 Billion Spending Bill
H.R.1105

The final passage was by voice vote so we’ll never know who the cowardly weenies were. However, the cloture vote, required to cut off debate (filibuster) was 62-35.
The guilty?

YEAs —62

Alexander (R-TN)
Bond (R-MO)
Cochran (R-MS)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Shelby (R-AL)
Snowe (R-ME)
Specter (R-PA)
Wicker (R-MS)

Please note that between the Stimulus Porkapalooza and this latest $410 billion dip at the debt trough, Obama toadies Olympia Snowe and Arlen Specter have personally cost American taxpayers, with interest on the debt, well over a trillion dollars!

/if the Republican party stood for anything resembling conservative economic values and fiscal restraint, this $410 billion porkfest could have easily been stopped dead in it’s tracks