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Not Reading the Same Constitution

Obama is essentially saying he won’t be bound by the bill that prevents him from doing anti-gun studies on the taxpayer dime. This is the same guy who our opponents and the media touts as not, in fact, leading a stealth gun control campaign. You’re apparently paranoid for even thinking so, from what I’ve read from these charlatans.

Obama’s claim is essentially this:

“I have advised the Congress that I will not construe these provisions as preventing me from fulfilling my constitutional responsibility to recommend to the Congress’s consideration such measures as I shall judge necessary and expedient,” Obama said in a statement as he signed the bill into law.

No. This is not how it works. Congress controls the purse strings. This is how the system works. Dave Hardy, who thankfully reads the same Constitution the rest of us do, notes:

I can’t find that clause in my own copy. I just find “No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law.” Maybe I’ve got an outdated version. But I’m sure my copy of the anti deficiency act is up to date. So is the provision making violation a felony.

The President isn’t just skating on thin Constitutional ice here, he’s staking on water, and he’s going to sink of he follows his words with deeds.

10 Responses to “Not Reading the Same Constitution”

  1. Yeah Bush largely got away with signing statements because he based them on separation of power or special executive privileges (wartime powers) granted by the congressional authorization of force in Iraq. Obama can’t do (1) because it’s explicitly constitutional for congress to control appropriations and (2) we aren’t in Iraq anymore.

  2. lumpy says:

    Remember he taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago between 1992 and 2004.

  3. Ian Argent says:

    The Constitution is like the Pirate’s Code to him; more like guidelines, really. Petty rules shouldn’t get in the way of doing Good. Which is a horrific attitude, btw.

  4. Thirdpower says:

    Does anyone else hear the voice from the guy in South Park “I am Above The Law!!!!”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-jXe0x4YdM

  5. terraformer says:

    You folks are taking his statements too far.

    Additional provisions in this bill, including section 8013 of Division A and section 218 of Division F, purport to restrict the use of funds to advance certain legislative positions. I have advised the Congress that I will not construe these provisions as preventing me from fulfilling my constitutional responsibility to recommend to the Congress’s consideration such measures as I shall judge necessary and expedient.

    Note the copious use of “I” and “me”. He isn’t saying federal agencies but his office of the president.

    Section 218 says:

    SEC. 218. None of the funds made available in this title may
    be used, in whole or in part, to advocate or promote gun control.

    By saying ANY money instead of stating any money given to xyz agencies, etc; they made the law overly broad.

    Congress can limit the activities of federal agencies, but congress does not have the power to muzzle the political office of the executive. i.e.; The President.

    Imagine if they did for a moment how that would work out.

    • Ian Argent says:

      Can they stop him from spending federal tax money on this, though. His personal and even ex officio ability to speak in the topic are not blocked, but should Congress allow the Office of the President to make and distribute a 30-second PSA on the evils of private sale, using federal tax funds?

      • terraformer says:

        The president doesn’t normally have the power to use tax payer dollars to make and distribute a 30-sec PSA. He has the power to make one with private funds though.

        So no, tax dollars could not be used for this purpose on a normal basis. There is are anti propaganda laws on the books that severely limit the ability of the government to engage in this type of activity.

  6. terraformer says:

    PS: You will note that the president didn’t feel the need to include such language for the second NRA backed proviso on funding relating to Division H: §503

    Here is why:

    Sec. 503. (a) No part of any appropriation contained in this Act or transferred pursuant to section 4002 of Public Law 111-148 shall be used, other than for normal and recognized executive-legislative relationships, for publicity or propaganda purposes, for the preparation, distribution, or use of any kit, pamphlet, booklet, publication, electronic communication, radio, television, or video presentation designed to support or defeat the enactment of legislation before the Congress or any State or local legislature or legislative body, except in presentation to the Congress or any State or local legislature itself, or designed to support or defeat any proposed or pending regulation, administrative action, or order issued by the executive branch of any State or local government, except in presentation to the executive branch of any State or local government itself.
    (b) No part of any appropriation contained in this Act or transferred pursuant to section 4002 of Public Law 111-148 shall be used to pay the salary or expenses of any grant or contract recipient, or agent acting for such recipient, related to any activity designed to influence the enactment of legislation, appropriations, regulation, administrative action, or Executive order proposed or pending before the Congress or any State government, State legislature or local legislature or legislative body, other than for normal and recognized executive-legislative relationships or participation by an agency or officer of a State, local or tribal government in policymaking and administrative processes within the executive branch of that government.
    (c) The prohibitions in subsections (a) and (b) shall include any activity to advocate or promote any proposed, pending or future Federal, State or local tax increase, or any proposed, pending, or future requirement or restriction on any legal consumer product, including its sale or marketing, including but not limited to the advocacy or promotion of gun control.

  7. SDN says:

    And what if he goes ahead any way? Does anyone think there aren’t 34 Copperheads / RINOs who wouldn’t confirm impeachment no matter what he did?

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