Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

The Latest Obama Signing Statement

By Ed O'Keefe

Talk about a minor technicality!

President Obama issued a signing statement yesterday objecting to one minor item in the monster Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009. At issue is whether Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has to consult with lawmakers when making appointments to an obscure commission.

The omnibus comprises more than 150 individual bills that, among other things, designate roughly two million acres of new wilderness areas, create ten new National Heritage Areas and authorize a big land swap between USDA’s Forest Service, DOI’s Bureau of Land Management, DOI’s National Park Service, and a bunch of state, local and private groups.

Obama's signing statement raises objections to Section 8203, which "provides that the Secretary of the Interior shall appoint certain members of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Commission 'based on recommendations from each member of the House of Representatives, the district of which encompasses the Corridor.'"

A quick check of the map finds that Salazar would have to account for the recommendations of at least seven Upstate New York lawmakers.

Obama, on the advice of Justice Department lawyers, argues otherwise: "Because it would be an impermissible restriction on the appointment power to condition the Secretary's appointments on the recommendations of members of the House, I will construe these provisions to require the Secretary to consider such congressional recommendations, but not to be bound by them in making appointments to the Commission."

The president has said he will use signing statements sparingly, but he issued his first one earlier this month after signing the omnibus spending bill. It raised similar objections about the varying powers of the executive and legislative branches.

Read the full signing statement.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 31, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Administration  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Senators Unveil Bill to Streamline Federal Hiring
Next: Eye Opener: March 31, 2009

No comments have been posted to this entry.

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company