Et Tu, Barack - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Et Tu, Barack
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Candidate Barack Obama criticized the Bush administration for its promiscuous use of signing statements.  And appropriately so, since presidents should veto legislation which they believe to be unconstitutional, rather than choosing to apply the provisions they like and ignore the rest. 

However, guess who now is employing signing statements?

Reports USA Today:

Two days after criticizing his predecessor for issuing guidelines on how to put legislation into practice, President 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, his 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.”

Ain’t politics wonderful!

Doug Bandow
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Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute.
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