Obama breaking promise on "signing statements"

Remember how Obama attacked Bush for increasing the debt ceiling, but that now Obama rails against Republicans who don't want to increase the debt ceiling without doing something about spending. Well, add another item to the list of actions that are only allowable for Obama and not others. From John Fund at the WSJ's Political Diary:

. . . In 2007, Mr. Obama singled his disagreement with Mr. Bush's practice of issuing "signing statements," when he affixed his signature to bills, that specified which parts Mr. Bush felt he had no obligation to follow.

"While it is legitimate for a president to issue a signing statement to clarify his understanding of ambiguous provisions of statutes and to explain his view of how he intends to faithfully execute the law, it is a clear abuse of power to use such statements as a license to evade laws that the president does not like or as an end-run around provisions designed to foster accountability," Mr. Obama said. "I will not use signing statements to nullify or undermine congressional instructions as enacted into law."

Well, that was then. This month's spending compromise setting out this year's federal budget included -- with the White House's agreement -- a prohibition on the White House using federal money to fund the offices of various czars who are advising the president on health care, climate change, car companies and urban affairs. But late last Friday, the president issued a "signing statement" explaining that he did not feel bound by any such agreement. . . .



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