Thursday, February 5, 2009


From Barack's website:

Sunlight Before Signing: 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. (source)

And now at less than 4 weeks in office, from the Politifact:

When President Obama signed his first bill without posting it to the Web for five days of public comment, we gave him his first Promise Broken.

For his second bill, Obama signed an expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Fund, which provides health coverage for low-income children. He signed it on Feb. 4, 2009, just hours after it was finalized in Congress.

This time, though, the White House had posted the text of the working bill to its Web site on Feb. 1, 2009, with the following note: "Since this version of the bill is expected to pass the House of Representatives in the coming week, we are making the legislation available for public comment now."

That doesn't quite cut it for his promise, though. The legislation was still in process in Congress, and even if no substantial changes were made, the possibility was still there. It's not the five-day waiting period he had promised.

It's also not emergency legislation. The bill's provisions don't kick in until April 1, 2009, almost three months from signing.

We asked the White House about this matter on Jan. 29, when Obama signed his first bill. Five days later, on the day of the SCHIP signing, we got a reply via e-mail from spokesman Tommy Vietor:

"During the campaign, the President committed to introducing more sunlight into the lawmaking process by posting non-emergency legislation online for five days before signing it. The President remains committed to bringing more transparency to government, and in this spirit the White House has posted legislation expected to come to the President's desk online for comment. We will be implementing this policy in full soon; currently we are working through implementation procedures and some initial issues with the congressional calendar. In the meantime, we will continue to post legislation on our website for comment as it moves through congress over the next few weeks."

In deciding on our ratings, we like to be reasonable about promises that take time to implement. That's why all the promises start at "No Action." But the White House has demonstrated it has the technical ability to post information to their site and allow comments. They're just not waiting the promised interval. So it's still a Promise Broken.

Here's the White House website announcement of this deceptive rush-job:

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009 at 6:10 pm


With a stroke of a pen, millions more children now have health care.President Obama signed the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIP) tonight, which renews and expands the plan from 7 million children affected to 11 million.

"This is only the first step," he said. "As I see it, providing coverage for 11 million children is a down payment on my commitment to cover every single American."

We'll have more on CHIP tomorrow, but there's one more thing worth noting -- President Obama is sending a new message, loud and clear, to opponents of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.

It came first in remarks this afternoon, following an announcement of strict new executive compensation rules:
"In the past few days I've heard criticisms that this plan is somehow wanting, and these criticisms echo the very same failed economic theories that led us into this crisis in the first place -- the notion that tax cuts alone will solve all our problems; that we can ignore fundamental challenges like energy independence and the high cost of health care; that we can somehow deal with this in a piecemeal fashion and still expect our economy and our country to thrive. I reject those theories. And so did the American people when they went to the polls in November and voted resoundingly for change. So I urge members of Congress to act without delay. No plan is perfect, and we should work to make it stronger. No one is more committed to making it stronger than me. But let's not make the perfect the enemy of the essential. Let's show people all over thecountry who are looking for leadership in this difficult time that we are equal to the task."

He made similar remarks just a few minutes ago as he signed the CHIP Act. (source)

Never mind that the CHIP program has been tried with disastrous results before now. It just sounds good to brain-dead Democrats who can't think outside the box. The government ruins everything it takes control of in society.

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