One rider [to the bill] – Section 2262 -- de-funds certain White House adviser positions – or “czars.” The president in his signing statement declares that he will not abide by it.Tapper notes that when he was running for President, Obama was very critical of the way President Bush used signing statements "in an effort to change the meaning of the legislation, to avoid enforcing certain provisions of the legislation that the President does not like, and to raise implausible or dubious constitutional objections to the legislation.” And then-Senator Obama said he would "not use signing statements to nullify or undermine congressional instructions as enacted into law." Of course, Obama is President now.
“The President has well-established authority to supervise and oversee the executive branch, and to obtain advice in furtherance of this supervisory authority,” he wrote. “The President also has the prerogative to obtain advice that will assist him in carrying out his constitutional responsibilities, and do so not only from executive branch officials and employees outside the White House, but also from advisers within it. Legislative efforts that significantly impede the President's ability to exercise his supervisory and coordinating authorities or to obtain the views of the appropriate senior advisers violate the separation of powers by undermining the President's ability to exercise his constitutional responsibilities and take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”
Therefore, the president wrote, “the executive branch will construe section 2262 not to abrogate these Presidential prerogatives.”
In other words: we know what you wanted that provision to do, but we don’t think it’s constitutional, so we will interpret it differently than the way you meant it.
April 15, 2011
Obama issues a "signing statement" saying he won't follow the part of the budget bill that he thinks violates separation of powers.
Jake Tapper reports: