On Friday, President Obama signed a new war spending bill into law, but "not without taking a page from his predecessor and ignoring a few elements in the legislation," the Hill reports.
Obama included a five-paragraph signing statement with the bill, including a final paragraph that outlined his objections to at least four areas of the bill.
President George W. Bush was heavily criticized for his use of signing statements, declaring he'd ignore some elements of legislation by invoking presidential prerogative.
The Obama administration announced in the statement it would disregard provisions of the legislation that, among other things, would compel the Obama administration to pressure the World Bank to strengthen labor and environmental standards and require the Treasury department to report to Congress on the activities of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The full text of Obama's statement is below, and available on the White House website here.
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Today I have signed into law H.R. 2346, the "Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2009." This Act provides the necessary resources for our troops while supporting ongoing diplomatic and development efforts around the world.
We face a security situation abroad that demands urgent attention. The Taliban is resurgent and al Qaeda is increasing its attacks from its safe haven along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. The funding provided in this Act will ensure that the full force of the United States is engaged in an overall effort to defeat al Qaeda and uproot this safe haven.
At the same time, funding contained in this Act will provide resources to help create political and economic stability in post-conflict areas. These funds will assist Afghans and Iraqis in protecting and sustaining their infrastructure and building their capacity for more responsive and transparent governance. The Act also provides critical support for continued U.S. diplomatic and development activity in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
In addition, this Act includes funding for other domestic and international issues, including nearly $8 billion to enhance our Nation's capability to respond to the potential spread of the H1N1 flu outbreak. It also expands the resources available to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by allowing it to boost its lending ability. Many developing countries are experiencing severe economic decline and a massive withdrawal of capital, and the IMF needs to make sure it has the resources necessary to effectively respond to the current financial crisis.
However, provisions of this bill within sections 1110 to 1112 of title XI, and sections 1403 and 1404 of title XIV, would interfere with my constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations by directing the Executive to take certain positions in negotiations or discussions with international organizations and foreign governments, or by requiring consultation with the Congress prior to such negotiations or discussions. I will not treat these provisions as limiting my ability to engage in foreign diplomacy or negotiations.