Sunday, December 25, 2011

Signing Statement on the Budget Bill

Please read the post at the link below, Wells C. Bennett's excellent Lawfare Blog.  Congress is once again passing bills prohibiting the government from using Federal funds to transfer Guantanamo detainees to the US or other countries. Obama objects.

Congress's insistence on passing these bills is canny. It takes 2/3s of the Senate to override a law, and you know that that will not happen anytime soon. -ed

Text from the President's Signing Statement:

I have previously announced that it is the policy of my Administration, and in the interests of promoting transparency in Government, to indicate when a bill presented for Presidential signature includes provisions that are subject to well-founded constitutional objections. The Department of Justice has advised that a small number of provisions of H.R. 2055 raise constitutional concerns.
In this bill, the Congress has once again included provisions that would bar the use of appropriated funds for transfers of Guantanamo detainees into the United States (section 8119 of Division A), as well as transfers to the custody or effective control of foreign countries unless specified conditions are met (section 8120 of Division A). These provisions are similar to others found in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012. My Administration has repeatedly communicated my objections to these provisions, including my view that they could, under certain circumstances, violate constitutional separation of powers principles.  In approving this bill, I reiterate the objections my Administration has raised regarding these provisions, my intent to interpret and apply them in a manner that avoids constitutional conflicts, and the promise that my Administration will continue to work towards their repeal.

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