Sunday, February 15, 2009

Promises, Promises!

From Mike Soraghan at The Hill:
If President Obama signs the $787 billion economic stimulus legislation Monday, he’ll again be dodging a campaign pledge he made on transparency.During the campaign, Obama pledged to post legislation online for five days before signing it. But administration officials have said they don’t have to do that for the stimulus because the pledge applied only to non-emergency legislation.
“This would certainly meet the President's test of emergency legislation,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said in a press conference this week before the bill passed.

A copy of the conference report was posted on the White House website at 2:05 p.m. Friday. Under the campaign pledge, it couldn’t be signed until 2:05 p.m. Wednesday. In his radio address today, Obama said that he will sign the legislation “shortly.” The Associated Press has reported that it could be signed as soon as Monday.
The first bill Obama signed into law, the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, wasn't posted online until after he signed it Jan. 29.He signed legislation expanding children’s health insurance on Feb. 4 after posting it online Feb. 1.
Democrats have already violated another transparency pledge on the stimulus. The House had voted unanimously earlier this week to have the bill posted online for 48 hours before a vote. But the House voted Friday after waiting less than 15 hours. That brought bitter complaints from Republicans, but also some Democrats.“The honorable thing to do is to give us the time to see the bill,” said Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-La.), a leader of the centrist Blue Dog Coalition. "When you make commitments you follow through on them."

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