Signing of Health Bill on Tuesday Would Violate President's "Sunlight Before Signing" Promise


Posted by Sandra Fabry on Monday, March 22nd, 2010, 12:09 PM PERMALINK

The following is cross-posted at www.fiscalaccountability.org:

According to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, President Barack Obama is expected to sign the healthcare bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives late on Sunday, March 21, into law on Tuesday, March 23. In doing so, he would violate his promise to post on the Internet all non-emergency legislation that lands on his desk for a full five days before signing them into law.

On his campaign website, the “Sunlight Before Signing” promise reads as follows:

Too often bills are rushed through Congress and to the president before the public has the opportunity to review them. As president, Obama will not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days.

And while he may claim that the bill that was passed this weekend has been online for quite some time since it was the Senate-passed bill, the President’s commitment extended explicitly to bills after they have been sent to him. In this video clip from his Presidential campaign he says:

“When there’s a bill that ends up on my desk as President, you, the public, will have five days to look online, to find out what’s in it, before I sign it, so that you know what your government’s doing.”

Says Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform:

“When the President signs the bill on Tuesday, he will have broken yet another one of his promises to American people. But what’s another broken promise? In the context of his healthcare-related promises alone, negotiations were held behind closed doors and not on C-SPAN, and lobbyists did have access to the White House – so why should he bother beginning to keep his promises now? Taxpayers, who were promised more openness and transparency from their government, however, will take note.”

Click here for a pdf version of the press release.

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