One in a series that takes a look at some unsavory news being jettisoned from D.C. right before the weekend in the hopes that no one will notice.
Do you remember when they told us that if we voted for McCain it would mean 4 more years of signing statements that violated the will of Congress and the law? Well, they were right.
No Czar left behind!
In a statement issued Friday night, President Obama took issue with some provisions in the budget bill – and in one case simply says he will not abide by it.
Last week the White House and congressional Democrats and Republicans were involved in intense negotiations over not only the size of the budget for the remainder of the FY2011 budget, and spending cuts within that budget, but also several GOP “riders,” or policy provisions attached to the bill.
One rider – 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.
“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.”
Or as Jack Tapper helpfully summarizes: We know what you want that provision in the law to do but we don't think it's constitutional and more importantly we really don't feel like abiding by it. Czars are, like, constitutional.
It's been quite a run for the Prez these past 2-3 weeks: keeping Gitmo open for business, formalizing open-ended detentions of suspected terrorists, removing us from that quagmire in Libya and now continuing a policy of his predecessor of which Obama the candidate had this to say:
the “problem” with the Bush administration “is that it has attached signing statements to legislation 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.”
The back bencher said at the time, as President, he would not use signing statements.
We should be hearing the howls of outrage and betrayal from his base any minute now.