Secrecy News

Presidential Signing Statements, and More from CRS

President Obama has used “signing statements” to take exception to provisions of law enacted by Congress with significantly less frequency than did President George W. Bush.  He has also abandoned reference to the “unitary executive” concept that was favored by the Bush Administration.

In most other respects, however, the Obama Administration’s use of signing statements is consistent and continuous with recent past practice, according to a newly updated report from the Congressional Research Service.  The report reviewed the basis for signing statements, their legal implications, and the controversy that has surrounded them.  See Presidential Signing Statements: Constitutional and Institutional Implications, January 4, 2012.

Some other new or newly updated CRS reports that have not been made readily available to the public include the following (all pdf).

Legal Issues Associated with the Proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, January 23, 2012

“Who is a Veteran?” — Basic Eligibility for Veterans’ Benefits, January 23, 2012

Federal Aid to Roads and Highways Since the 18th Century: A Legislative History, January 6, 2012

Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress, January 6, 2012

Iran Sanctions, January 6, 2012