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Republicans Suddenly Decide Presidential Signing Statements Are A Bad Thing

Much as President Obama was against Presidential Signing Statements before he was for them, Republicans seem to have miraculously changed their mind about a process that was used heavily during the Bush Administration:

House Republicans are trying to block President Barack Obama from issuing public statements defying legislative language his administration doesn’t like.

The GOP-backed fiscal 2012 financial services appropriations bill unveiled Wednesday would prohibit funding for the White House to issue statements that vow to ignore legislation passed by both chambers of Congress and signed into law by the president.

Such “signing statements” have been used in the past to “undermine or circumvent laws passed by Congress,” Appropriations Committee Republicans said Wednesday in a summary of the bill.

That’s an excellent point, guys. I just have one question. Where the heck were you when President George W. Bush issued 159 Presidential Signing Statements during his years in the White House?

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. TG Chicago says:

    The link at the bottom doesn’t work.

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  2. Brian says:

    That was different – those were signing statements from a REAL AMERICAN, not a (fill in with choice of following – Kenyan, Muslim, Commie, Arugula-Lover, White-Hater, Gangsta, Democrat).

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  3. Vast Variety says:

    I’m not sure which is more surprising. The fact Republicans suddenly think signing statements are bad, or the fact that signing statements require some sort of funding.

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  4. The GOP-backed fiscal 2012 financial services appropriations bill unveiled Wednesday would prohibit funding for the White House to issue statements that vow to ignore legislation passed by both chambers of Congress and signed into law by the president.

    Would this even do anything? It’s not like there’s a measurable marginal cost to a specific statement issued by the whitehouse that could be pointed to as qualifying as money spent on a signing statement.

    And even if you could, given that a signing statement is the President’s direction to the rest of the executive branch, I’m pretty sure this would be unconstitutional from a separation of powers standpoint.

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  5. george says:

    Is anyone surprised that both parties change their opinion about things like this, depending upon whether they are in power or not?

    Politics is about team sports for both parties, not about principle – except for perhaps the principle of “we when do it its good, when you do it its bad”

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  6. hey norm says:

    it’s just like the republicans sudden fiscal concern…where the f’ were they when bush was running up this debt…oh yeah…voting for it!!!
    same song, different key.

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  7. CB says:

    Is anyone surprised that both parties change their opinion about things like this, depending upon whether they are in power or not?

    democrats and republicans…different sides of the same coin.

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  8. mantis says:

    House Republicans really need to familiarize themselves with our Constitution. It’s clear they haven’t read or do not understand it. They cannot legislate away the president’s ability to run the executive branch.

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  9. Tano says:

    I just hope that Obama signs the bill, and adds a signing statement to the effect that he takes issue with the signing statement clause.

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  10. sam says:

    “The GOP-backed fiscal 2012 financial services appropriations bill unveiled Wednesday would prohibit funding for the White House to issue statements that vow to ignore legislation passed by both chambers of Congress and signed into law by the president.”

    And how would they know which funds were used to issue statements, etc. ? The Stupid Party continues apace.

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  11. OzarkHillbilly (used to be tom p) says:

    Doug, what you said. The abyss of stupidity awaits us…. and we eagerly march towards it.

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