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this website last updated
8:27 am EDT 6/24/2017

 



Text of Signing Statements
2016
Barack Obama


to jump to the text of a signing statement, click on it in the table below

Signing
Statement
Affected Law
2016-01

H.R. 644, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015

2016-02 S. 524, Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016
2016-03 S. 246, Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children Act
2016-04 S. 612, Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act
2015-05 H.R. 6452, the Ensuring Access to Pacific Fisheries Act
2016-06 S. 2943, the "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017


2016-01

Signing Statement for H.R. 644, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015

Text of the Signing Statement from the White House website

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary _________________________________________________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 24, 2016

Statement by the the President

Today I have signed into law H.R. 644, the "Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015," an Act that is an important milestone to the overall U.S. trade agenda and that will help our workers and businesses to compete fairly with the rest of the world. This bipartisan piece of legislation will strengthen trade enforcement at our ports, improve our ability to combat evasion of our enforcement actions, and improve transparency, accountability, and coordination in enforcement efforts. It also provides unprecedented new measures to address unfair currency practices by establishing a process that directs the executive branch to confront countries that engage in such practices and to impose penalties on countries that fail to remedy these issues.

The Act provides new tools and authorities for U.S. companies and workers to more effectively hold our trading partners accountable -- now and into the future -- and press for the investigation of cases of duty evasion.  Antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) orders are a critical tool for cracking down on unfair competition by trading partners and companies that put American workers and businesses, such as in the steel industry, at a disadvantage.  The Act will allow U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Department of Commerce to more effectively enforce AD/CVD orders and allow CBP to act more quickly to prevent importers from evading AD/CVD orders on unfairly traded imports of steel and other products.  The Act will also improve communication between U.S. Government agencies and the private sector over how duty evasion investigations are proceeding, heighten accountability throughout the enforcement process, and more effectively counter attempts at duty evasion.  It also enhances CBP efforts to combat the import of counterfeit goods and protect intellectual property rights holders and streamlines CBP operations by establishing the CBP Centers of Excellence and Expertise to enforce compliance and facilitate the flow of legitimate trade, thereby increasing U.S. competitiveness.  And, it eliminates a provision that previously allowed some imports into the United States made, in whole or in part, with forced labor, including child labor.

The Act also provides tools to hold accountable trading partners that violate their trade obligations. The Act permanently establishes the Interagency Center on Trade Implementation, Monitoring, and Enforcement at the office of the United States Trade Representative, codifying the successor to the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center (ITEC) that was created by Executive Order in 2012. This Center will bring together expertise from across the Federal Government into one organization that will build on the crucial research and analytical work currently being done by ITEC to investigate potential trade enforcement disputes. Additionally, the Act provides my Administration with new tools to enhance engagement with countries that do not adequately and effectively protect intellectual property rights. My Administration looks forward to working with the Congress on the most effective way to use these new tools.

Provisions of the Act address trade with Israel. I have directed my Administration to strongly oppose boycotts, divestment campaigns, and sanctions targeting the State of Israel. As long as I am President, we will continue to do so. Certain provisions of this Act, by conflating Israel and "Israeli-controlled territories," are contrary to longstanding bipartisan United States policy, including with regard to the treatment of settlements. Moreover, consistent with longstanding constitutional practice, my Administration will interpret and implement the provisions in the Act that purport to direct the Executive to seek to negotiate and enter into particular international agreements (section 414(a)(1)) or to take certain positions in international negotiations with respect to international agreements with foreign countries not qualifying for trade authorities procedures (sections 108(b), 414(a)(2), 415, and 909(c)) in a manner that does not interfere with my constitutional authority to conduct diplomacy.

BARACK OBAMA

 

Annotations

Live Link to the Signing Statement on the White House website expand
Text of the Signing Statement from the GPO - 2016 CPD 00098

 

Text of the same signing statement from the Compilation of Presidential Documents (CPD) published by the Office of the Federal Register at the Government Printing Office (GPO)

(click either link below to see the text)

1. HTML format at the GPO - Comp. Pres. Docs., 2016, pg 00098

2. PDF file from the GPO - Comp. Pres. Docs., 2016, pg. 00098 - digitally signed by the GPO

 


Text of the Affected Law - P.L. 114-125 (H.R. 644)


The law to which this signing statement applies is:

H.R. 644, the "Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015" - Public Law 114-125 -- 130 STAT 122

To read the law, select one of the links below:

1. Plain text at the GPO's Public and Private Laws -

2. PDF from the GPO's Public and Private Laws - digitally signed by the GPO

3. Enrolled text from GPO - PDF file

 

 

 


 

 

 


 
2016-02

Signing Statement for S. 524, Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016

Text of the Signing Statement from the White House website

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary _________________________________________________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 22, 2016

Statement by the President on the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016

Today, I signed S.524, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 into law. This legislation includes some modest steps to address the opioid epidemic. Given the scope of this crisis, some action is better than none. However, I am deeply disappointed that Republicans failed to provide any real resources for those seeking addiction treatment to get the care that they need. In fact, they blocked efforts by Democrats to include $920 million in treatment funding. Every day, 78 Americans die from opioid overdoses. I have heard from too many families across the country whose lives have been shattered by this epidemic, including a mom from Ohio who recently wrote: “There are not near enough facilities in this area to handle the amount of care that is needed… We need help.” My Administration has been doing everything we can to increase access to treatment, and I’m going to continue fighting to secure the funding families desperately need. In recent days, the law enforcement community, advocates, physicians, and elected officials from both sides of the aisle have also joined in this call. Now, it’s up to Republicans to finish the job and provide adequate funding to deal with this public health crisis. That’s what the American people deserve.

 

Annotations

Live Link to the Signing Statement on the White House website expand
Text of the Signing Statement from the GPO - 2016 CPD 00486expand

 

Text of the same signing statement from the Compilation of Presidential Documents (CPD) published by the Office of the Federal Register at the Government Printing Office (GPO)

(click either link below to see the text)

1. HTML format at the GPO

2. PDF file from the GPO

 


Text of the Affected Law - P.L. 114-198 (S. 524) expand


The law to which this signing statement applies is:

S. 524, the "Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016" - Public Law 114-198 -- 130 STAT 695

To read the law, select one of the links below:

1. Plain text at the GPO's Public and Private Laws -

2. PDF from the GPO's Public and Private Laws - digitally signed by the GPO

3. Enrolled text from GPO - PDF file

 

 

 


 

 

 


 
2016-03

Signing Statement for S. 246, Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children Act

Text of the Signing Statement from the White House website

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary _________________________________________________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 22, 2016

Statement by the President -- S. 246

 

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

Today I am pleased to sign into law S. 246, the "Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children Act," which will create the Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children. The Commission is tasked with the important work of undertaking a comprehensive study of Federal, State, local, and tribal programs that serve Native children, and making recommendations on how those programs could be improved. Over the past 8 years, my Administration has been committed to working closely with tribes to strengthen our nation-to-nation relationships and to forge a brighter future for all our children. During my own visits to Indian Country, I have been inspired by the talent and enthusiasm of young people who want nothing more than to make a positive difference in their communities. From the Indian Child Welfare Act to working to return control of Indian education to tribal nations, I am proud of the progress we have made over the past 8 years. I applaud the Congress, and in particular Senator Heitkamp, for the efforts that made this new law possible.

The bill provides for a Commission consisting of three individuals appointed by the President and eight individuals appointed by congressional leaders, and would place this Commission in a specific office within the Department of Justice. While I welcome the creation of this Commission, it cannot be located in the executive branch consistent with the separation of powers because it includes legislative branch appointees (who here are empowered to direct other executive branch agencies to provide additional resources to the Commission). I am therefore instructing the Attorney General to treat the Commission as an independent entity, separate from the executive branch. Upon signing the bill my Administration will begin seeking appointments for the Commission from the Congress so we can implement this legislation as soon as possible. I look forward to seeing the Commission's work in the years to come -- work that will help ensure all our young people can reach their full potential.

BARACK OBAMA

 

Annotations

Live Link to the Signing Statement on the White House website expand
Text of the Signing Statement from the GPO - 2016 CPD 0695 expand

 

Text of the same signing statement from the Compilation of Presidential Documents (CPD) published by the Office of the Federal Register at the Government Printing Office (GPO)

(click either link below to see the text)

1. HTML format at the GPO - 2016 DCPD 0695

2. PDF file from the GPO - 2016 DCPD 0695 - digitally signed by the GPO

 


Text of the Affected Law - P.L. 114-244 (S. 246) expand


The law to which this signing statement applies is:

S. 246, the "Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children Act" - Public Law 114-244 -- 130 STAT 981

To read the law, select one of the links below:

1. Plain text at the GPO's Public and Private Laws - link to GPO website

2. PDF from the GPO's Public and Private Laws - digitally signed by the GPO

3. Enrolled text from GPO - PDF file

 

 

 


 
 

 
2016-04

Signing Statement for S. 612, the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act

Text of the Signing Statement from the White House website

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary _________________________________________________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2016

Today I am signing the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act into law. It authorizes vital water projects across the country to restore watersheds, improve waterways and flood control, and improve drinking water infrastructure. The law also authorizes $170 million for communities facing drinking water emergencies, including funding for Flint, Michigan, to recover from the lead contamination in its drinking water system. That help for Flint is a priority of this Administration. WINN also includes four Indian water rights settlements that resolve long-standing claims to water and the conflicts surrounding those claims, address the needs of Native Communities, fulfill the Federal trust responsibility to American Indians, and provide a sound base for greater economic development for both the affected tribes and their non-Indian neighbors.

Title III, Subtitle J, of the law has both short-term and long-term provisions related to addressing the continuing drought in California. In the long-term, it invests in a number of water projects to promote water storage and supply, flood control, desalination, and water recycling. These projects will help assure that California is more resilient in the face of growing water demands and drought-based uncertainty.

Title III, Subtitle J, also includes short term provisions governing operations of the federal and state water projects under the Endangered Species Act for up to five years, regardless of drought condition. Building on the work of previous Administrations, my Administration has worked closely with the State of California and other affected parties to address the critical elements of California's complex water challenges by accommodating the needs and concerns of California water users and the important species that depend on that same water. This important partnership has helped us achieve a careful balance based on existing state and federal law. It is essential that it not be undermined by anyone who seeks to override that balance by misstating or incorrectly reading the provisions of Subtitle J. Consistent with the legislative history supporting these provisions, I interpret and understand Subtitle J to require continued application and implementation of the Endangered Species Act, consistent with the close and cooperative work of federal agencies with the State of California to assure that state water quality standards are met. This reading of the short-term operational provisions carries out the letter and spirit of the law and is essential for continuing the cooperation and commitment to accommodating the full range of complex and important interests in matters related to California water.

 

Annotations

Live Link to the Signing Statement on the White House website expand
Text of the Signing Statement from the GPO - 2016 CPD 00852 expand

 

Text of the same signing statement from the Compilation of Presidential Documents (CPD) published by the Office of the Federal Register at the Government Printing Office (GPO)

(click either link below to see the text)

1. HTML format at the GPO

2. PDF file from the GPO

 


Text of the Affected Law - P.L. 114-322 (S. 612) expand


The law to which this signing statement applies is:

S. 612, the "Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act" - Public Law 114-322 -- 130 STAT 1627

To read the law, select one of the links below:

1. Plain text at the GPO's Public and Private Laws - links to GPO

2. PDF from the GPO's Public and Private Laws - digitally signed by the GPO

3. Enrolled text from GPO - PDF file

 

 

 


 
 

 
2016-05

Signing Statement for H.R. 6452, the Ensuring Access to Pacific Fisheries Act

Text of the Signing Statement from the White House website

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary _________________________________________________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2016

Statement by the President on Signing the Ensuring Access to Pacific Fisheries Act

Today I am pleased to sign into law H.R. 6452, the "Ensuring Access to Pacific Fisheries Act," which implements the Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fisheries Resources in the North Pacific Ocean, the Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fishery Resources in the South Pacific Ocean, and the amendments to the Convention on Future Multilateral Cooperation in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries.  I recommended that the Senate give its advice and consent to the ratification of all of these treaties because they will help promote sound fishery management; enable us to better combat illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing; and prevent destructive fishing practices and contribute to the long-term conservation and sustainable use of fisheries resources on the high seas.  I appreciate the efforts of the Congress to ensure that the United States can contribute to these international efforts.

The bill provides that the United States will be represented on the North Pacific Fisheries Commission by five commissioners -- two appointed by the President, and the three chairpersons of the North Pacific, Pacific, and Western Pacific Fishery Management Councils, who are selected by the members of those Councils.  Because the commissioners have the authority to speak on behalf of the United States before an international body, they are diplomatic officers.  The Constitution grants the President the exclusive authority to represent and to decide who else will represent the United States in foreign relations.  Allowing the regional fishery management chairpersons to represent the United States on the North Pacific Fisheries Commission would raise constitutional concerns.  The executive branch will develop an approach to treat this provision of the statute in a manner that mitigates the constitutional concerns while adhering closely to the intent of the Congress.

 

Annotations

Live Link to the Signing Statement on the White House website expand
Text of the Signing Statement from the GPO - 2016 CPD___ expand

 

Text of the same signing statement from the Compilation of Presidential Documents (CPD) published by the Office of the Federal Register at the Government Printing Office (GPO)

(click either link below to see the text)

1. HTML format at the GPO - not yet available

2. PDF file from the GPO - not yet available

 


Text of the Affected Law - P.L. 114-327 (H.R. 6452) expand


The law to which this signing statement applies is:

H.R. 6452, the "Ensuring Access to Pacific Fisheries Act" - Public Law 114-327 -- 130 STAT 1974

To read the law, select one of the links below:

1. Plain text at the GPO's Public and Private Laws

2. PDF from the GPO's Public and Private Laws - digitally signed by the GPO

3. Enrolled text from GPO - PDF file

 

 

 


 
 

 
2016-06

Statement by the President on Signing the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017

Text of the Signing Statement from the White House website

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary _________________________________________________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 23, 2016

Statement by the President on Signing the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017

Today, I have signed into law S. 2943, the "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017." This Act authorizes fiscal year 2017 appropriations principally for the Department of Defense and for Department of Energy national security programs, provides vital benefits for military personnel and their families, and includes authorities to facilitate ongoing operations around the globe. It continues many critical authorizations necessary to ensure that we are able to sustain our momentum in countering the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and to reassure our European allies, as well as many new authorizations that, among other things, provide the Departments of Defense and Energy more flexibility in countering cyber-attacks and our adversaries' use of unmanned aerial vehicles.

I note that section 923 of the Act requires that the President establish a unified combatant command for cyber operations forces, while section 1642 prohibits the Secretary of Defense from terminating the "dual-hat" arrangement under which the Commander of U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) also serves as the Director of the National Security Agency (NSA), unless the Secretary and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff jointly certify that ending this arrangement will not pose risks to the military effectiveness of CYBERCOM that are unacceptable to the national security interests of the United States. Although I appreciate the Congress's interest in strengthening our Nation's cyber capabilities and ensuring that the NSA and CYBERCOM are best positioned to confront the array of cyber threats we face, I do not support these provisions as drafted: the Congress should leave decisions about the establishment of combatant commands to the executive branch and should not place unnecessary and bureaucratic administrative burdens and conditions on ending the dual-hat arrangement at a time when the speed and nature of cyber threats requires agility in making decisions about how best to organize and manage the Nation's cyber capabilities. That said, after directing a comprehensive review of this issue earlier this year, and consistent with the views of the Secretary of Defense and the Director of National Intelligence, I strongly support elevating CYBERCOM to a unified combatant command and ending the dual-hat arrangement for NSA and CYBERCOM -- a position my Administration has communicated to the incoming Administration. While the dual-hat arrangement was once appropriate in order to enable a fledgling CYBERCOM to leverage NSA's advanced capabilities and expertise, CYBERCOM has since matured and the current construct should be replaced through a deliberate, conditions-based approach to separating the organizations. The two organizations should have separate leaders who are able to devote themselves to each organization's respective mission and responsibilities, but should continue to leverage the shared capabilities and synergies developed under the dual-hat arrangement. To these ends, the Department of Defense and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence have taken steps to ensure that separation would occur in a phased manner that enables NSA to continue to provide vital operational support to CYBERCOM during a transition period.

Beyond these provisions, I remain deeply concerned about the Congress's use of the National Defense Authorization Act to impose extensive organizational changes on the Department of Defense, disregarding the advice of the Department's senior civilian and uniformed leaders. The extensive changes in the bill are rushed, the consequences poorly understood, and they come at a particularly inappropriate time as we undertake a transition between administrations. These changes not only impose additional administrative burdens on the Department of Defense and make it less agile, but they also create additional bureaucracies and operational restrictions that generate inefficiencies at a time when we need to be more efficient.

My Administration has similar concerns with the Administrative Leave Act, which would limit the period of time for which an employee of the Federal Government may be put on administrative leave. The provision substantially limits Federal agencies' discretion and is administratively burdensome, raising the risk of harm to the safety of Government employees and the risk of loss or damage to Government properties. Further, for the Intelligence Community, the Act creates unacceptable counterintelligence and security risks.

I am also disappointed that the Congress again failed to enact meaningful reforms to divest unneeded force structure, reduce wasteful overhead, and modernize military healthcare. Instead, the Congress redirects funding needed to support the warfighter to fund additional end-strength that our military leaders have not requested at a time when our troops are engaged overseas supporting the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and against al-Qa'ida. This approach hides the long-term costs of the Congress's authorizations, imposes significant costs in FY 2017 and substantially more over the next 5 years, and exacerbates the budgetary pressures already facing our military. Increasing force structure without adequate funding support in the base budget is dangerous; it will degrade, not enhance, readiness and modernization, contrary to our senior civilian and military leaders' priorities.

Once again, the Congress has also failed to take action toward closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. As I have said before, spending hundreds of millions of dollars, year after year, to keep fewer than sixty men in an isolated detention facility in Cuba is not consistent with our interests as a Nation and undermines our standing in the world. It weakens our national security by draining resources, damaging our relationships with key allies and partners, and emboldening violent extremists.

In February, my Administration submitted a comprehensive plan to safely and responsibly close the detention facility. Rather than answer that call and work with my Administration to finally bring this chapter of our history to a close, this bill aims to make the facility a permanent feature of our struggle against terrorism. During my Administration, we have responsibly transferred over 175 detainees from Guantanamo, and the population once held at the facility has now been reduced from 242 to 59. In the last 2 years, we have transferred 73 detainees, and our efforts to transfer additional detainees will continue until the last day I am in office. It is long past time for the Congress to lift the restrictions it has imposed, work to responsibly and safely close the facility, and remove this blot on our national honor. Unless the Congress changes course, it will be judged harshly by history.

As I have said in the past, the restrictions contained in this bill concerning the detention facility at Guantanamo are unwarranted and counterproductive. In particular, section 1033 renews the bar against using appropriated funds to construct or modify any facility in the United States, its territories, or possessions to house any Guantanamo detainee in the custody or under the control of the Department of Defense unless authorized by the Congress. Section 1032 also renews the bar against using appropriated funds to transfer Guantanamo detainees into the United States for any purpose. The bill leaves in place onerous restrictions on the transfer of detainees to foreign countries, and section 1034 imposes additional restrictions on foreign transfers of detainees -- in some cases purporting to bar such transfers entirely.

As I have said repeatedly, the provisions in this bill concerning detainee transfers would, in certain circumstances, violate constitutional separation of powers principles. Additionally, section 1034 could in some circumstances interfere with the ability to transfer a detainee who has been granted a writ of habeas corpus. In the event that the restrictions on the transfer of detainees in sections 1032 and 1034 operate in a manner that violates these constitutional principles, my Administration will implement them in a manner that avoids the constitutional conflict.

My Administration strongly supports the bill's structural reform of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which streamlines BBG operations and reduces inefficiencies, while retaining the longstanding statutory firewall, protecting against interference with and maintaining the professional independence of the agency's journalists and broadcasters and thus their credibility as sources of independent news and information. Section 1288 would elevate the current Chief Executive Officer of the Broadcasting Board of Governors to the head of the agency and reduce the current members of the Board, unless on expired terms, from serving as the collective head of the agency to serving as advisors to the Chief Executive Officer. While my Administration supports the empowerment of a Chief Executive Officer with the authority to carry out the BBG's important functions, the manner of transition prescribed by section 1288 raises constitutional concerns related to my appointments and removal authority. My Administration will devise a plan to treat this provision in a manner that mitigates the constitutional concerns while adhering closely to the Congress's intent.

Several other provisions in the bill also raise constitutional concerns.

First, section 507 of the bill would authorize certain cabinet officials to "drop from the rolls" military officers without my approval. The Constitution does not allow Congress to authorize other members of the executive branch to remove presidentially appointed officers, so I will direct my cabinet members to construe the statute as permitting them to remove the commission of a military officer only if the officer accepts their decision or I approve the removal.

Second, section 553 of the bill would establish a commission, composed primarily of members appointed by the Congress, in the executive branch. Because the commission contains legislative branch appointees, it cannot be located in the executive branch consistent with the separation of powers. My Administration will therefore treat the commission as an independent entity, separate from the executive branch.

Finally, section 1263(d) purports to require me to determine whether a foreign person has committed a sanctionable human rights violation when I receive a request to do so from certain members of Congress. Consistent with the constitutional separation of powers, which limit the Congress's ability to dictate how the executive branch executes the law, I will maintain my discretion to decline to act on such requests when appropriate.

 

Annotations

Live Link to the Signing Statement on the White House website expand
Text of the Signing Statement from the GPO - 2016 CPD 863 expand

 

Text of the same signing statement from the Compilation of Presidential Documents (CPD) published by the Office of the Federal Register at the Government Printing Office (GPO)

(click either link below to see the text)

1. HTML format at the GPO

2. PDF file from the GPO

 


Text of the Affected Law - P.L. 114-328 (S. 2943) expand


The law to which this signing statement applies is:

S. 2943, the "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017" - Public Law 114-328 -- 130 STAT 1999

To read the law, select one of the links below:

1. Plain text at the GPO's Public and Private Laws - links to GPO

2. PDF from the GPO's Public and Private Laws - digitally signed by the GPO

3. Enrolled text from GPO - PDF file

 

 

 


 
 

 

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