President Bush signed into law today H.R. 4, the “Pension Protection Act of 2006”. I am pleased to report that the White House gave the ABA’s foolish resolutions on signing statements the full weight they deserved: zero. The President’s signing statement includes these boilerplate provisions about how the President will construe certain provisions of the Act:
The executive branch shall construe sections 221(a) and 1632(b)(1) of the Act, which call for the submission of legislative recommendations to the Congress, in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President to supervise the unitary executive branch and to recommend for the consideration of the Congress such measures as the President shall judge necessary and expedient.
Section 1634(e) purports to require the United States Trade Representative to submit to congressional committees the contents of the negotiating positions of the United States and foreign countries in certain international trade negotiations. The executive branch shall construe section 1634(e) in a manner consistent with the President’s constitutional authority to conduct the Nation’s foreign affairs including negotiations with foreign countries, supervise the unitary executive branch, and to withhold information the disclosure of which could impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative processes of the Executive, or the performance of the Executive’s constitutional duties.