Text of Signing Statements
2017
Donald Trump


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

Signing
Statement
Affected Law
2017-01

H.R. 244, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017

2017-02 H.R. 366, the DHS Stop Asset and Vehicle Excess Act
2017-03 H.R. 3364, the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act
2017-04 H.R. 3364, the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act
2017-05 S.J.R. 49, the Charlottesville Resolution
2017-06 H.R. 2989, the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission Act
2017-07 H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018


2017-01

Signing Statement for H.R. 244, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017

Text of the Signing Statement from the White House website

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary _________________________________________________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 05, 2017

Statement by President Donald J. Trump
on Signing H.R. 244 into Law

 

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

 

Today I have signed into law H.R. 244, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, which authorizes appropriations that fund the operation of the Federal Government through September 30, 2017.

Certain provisions of this bill (e.g., Division C, sections 8049, 8058, 8077, 8081, and 8116; Division J, under the heading "Contribution for International Peacekeeping Activities") would, in certain circumstances, unconstitutionally limit my ability to modify the command and control of military personnel and materiel or unconstitutionally vest final decision-making authority in my military advisers. Further, Division B, section 527; Division C, section 8101; and Division F, section 517 each restrict the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the United States; Division C, section 8103 restricts the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to foreign countries and does not include an exception for when a court might order the release of a detainee to certain countries. I will treat these, and similar provisions, consistently with my constitutional authority as Commander in Chief.

Certain provisions (e.g., Division C, sections 8040, 8075, 8114, 9005, 9011, 9014, and under the headings "Operation and Maintenance, Defense-Wide," "Afghanistan Security Forces Fund," "Counter-ISIL Train and Equip Fund," and "Joint Improvised Threat Defeat Fund") require advance notice to the Congress before the President may direct certain military actions or provide certain forms of military assistance. In approving this bill, I wish to reiterate the longstanding understanding of the executive branch that these types of provisions encompass only military actions for which providing advance notice is feasible and consistent with my constitutional authority and duty as Commander in Chief to protect national security.

Numerous provisions could, in certain circumstances, interfere with the exercise of my constitutional authorities to negotiate international agreements (e.g., Division B, sections 509, 519, 530; Division J, sections 7010(c), 7013(a), 7025(c), 7029, 7031(e)(2), 7037, 7042, 7043, 7044, 7045, 7048, 7060, 7070, and 7071), to receive ambassadors (e.g., Division J, section 7031(c)), and to recognize foreign governments (e.g., Division J, section 7070(b)(2)(A)). My Administration will treat each of these provisions consistently with my constitutional authorities in the area of foreign relations.

Division E, section 622 prohibits the use of funds to pay the salaries and expenses for several advisory positions in the White House. The President has well-established authority to supervise and oversee the executive branch and to obtain advice in furtherance of this supervisory authority. The President also has the prerogative to obtain advice that will assist him in carrying out his constitutional responsibilities, not only from executive branch officials and employees outside the White House, but also from advisers within it. Legislation that significantly impedes my ability to supervise or obtain the views of appropriate senior advisers violates the separation of powers by undermining my ability to exercise my constitutional responsibilities, including to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. My Administration will, therefore, construe section 622 consistently with these Presidential prerogatives.

Division B, section 537 provides that the Department of Justice may not use any funds to prevent implementation of medical marijuana laws by various States and territories. I will treat this provision consistently with my constitutional responsibility to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

Several provisions (e.g., Division C, section 10006(b); Division D, section 401; Division J, section 7041(b)(3); Division N, sections 310, 311, 402, 502(d), and 503) mandate or regulate the submission of certain executive branch information to the Congress. I will treat these provisions in a manner consistent with my constitutional authority to withhold information that could impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative processes of the executive branch, or the performance of my constitutional duties. In particular, Division E, section 713(1) and (2) prohibits the use of appropriations to pay the salary of any Federal officer or employee who interferes with or prohibits certain official communications between Federal employees and Members of Congress or who takes adverse action against an officer or employee because of such communications. I will construe these provisions not to apply to any circumstances that would detract from my authority to supervise, control, and correct employees' communications with the Congress related to their official duties, including in cases where such communications would be unlawful or could reveal confidential information protected by executive privilege.

Division C, section 8009 prohibits the use of funds to initiate a special access program unless the congressional defense committees receive 30 days' advance notice. The President's authority to classify and control access to information bearing on the national security flows from the Constitution and does not depend upon a legislative grant of authority. Although I expect to be able to provide the advance notice contemplated by section 8009 in most situations as a matter of comity, situations may arise in which I must act promptly while protecting certain extraordinarily sensitive national security information. In these situations, I will treat these sections in a manner consistent with my constitutional authorities, including as Commander in Chief.

Several provisions (e.g., Division C, section 8134; Division J, section 7063; and Division K, section 418) prohibit the use of funds to deny an Inspector General access to agency records or documents. I will construe these, and similar provisions, consistently with my authority to control the dissemination of information protected by executive privilege.

Several provisions prohibit the use of funds to recommend legislation to the Congress (e.g., Division A, section 716; Division C, sections 8005, 8014, 8070(a)(2), 8076; and Division H, section 210), or require recommendations of legislation to the Congress (e.g., Division C, section 8012(b), 8035(b); Division F, section 532; Division G, sections 101, 102, and a proviso under the heading "Administrative Provisions—Forest Service"; Division N, sections 605(c) and 610). Because the Constitution gives the President the authority to recommend "such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient" (Article II, section 3), my Administration will continue to treat these, and similar provisions, as advisory and non-binding.

Numerous provisions authorize congressional committees to veto a particular use of appropriated funds (e.g., Division C, section 8058), or condition the authority of officers to spend or reallocate funds on the approval of congressional committees (e.g., Division A, sections 702, 706, and 717; Division D, sections 101(a) and 201(a); Division G, sections 403 and 409; Division K, sections 188, 222, 405 and 406). These are impermissible forms of congressional aggrandizement in the execution of the laws other than by enactment of statutes.

My Administration will notify the relevant committees before taking the specified actions and will accord the recommendations of such committees all appropriate and serious consideration, but it will not treat spending decisions as dependent on the approval of congressional committees. My Administration shall treat provisions that allocate benefits on the basis of race, ethnicity, and gender (e.g., Division B, under the heading "Minority Business Development"; Division C, sections 8016, 8021, 8038, and 8042; Division H, under the headings "Departmental Management Salaries and Expenses," "School Improvement Programs," and "Historically Black College and University Capital Financing Program Account"; Division K, under the heading "Native American Housing Block Grants"; and Division K, section 213) in a manner consistent with the requirement to afford equal protection of the laws under the Due Process Clause of the Constitution's Fifth Amendment.

DONALD J. TRUMP

THE WHITE HOUSE,

May 5, 2017.

 

Annotations

Live Link to the Signing Statement on the White House website expand
Text of the Signing Statement from the GPO - 2017 CPD 312

 

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 - 2017 CPD 312

2. PDF file from the GPO - 2017 CPD 312 (digitally signed by the GPO)

 


Text of the Affected Law - P.L. 115-31 (H.R. 244)


The law to which this signing statement applies is:

H.R. 244, the "Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017" - Public Law 115-31 -- 131 STAT 855

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

 

 

 


 

 

 


2017-02

Signing Statement for H.R. 366, the DHS Stop Asset and Vehicle Excess Act

Text of the Signing Statement from the White House website

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary _________________________________________________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 6, 2017

Statement by the President
on the Signing of H.R. 366

 

H.R. 366, the "DHS Stop Asset and Vehicle Excess Act," would assign responsibility for achieving optimal vehicle fleet size in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to the Under Secretary for Management (the Under Secretary). I am pleased to sign this bill and applaud this legislative effort to eliminate waste. One provision of the bill, however, purports to require the Under Secretary to recommend budget rescissions to the Congress if the Under Secretary determines that DHS component heads have not taken adequate steps to achieve optimal vehicle fleet size in the previous fiscal year. My Administration, including the Under Secretary, will respectfully treat the provision in a manner consistent with Article II, section 3 of the Constitution, which provides the President the exclusive authority to "recommend" to the Congress spending "Measures" in such amounts and for such purposes "as he shall judge necessary and expedient." My Administration, including the Under Secretary, looks forward to working with the Congress to identify and implement proposals to eliminate wasteful spending.

DONALD J. TRUMP

THE WHITE HOUSE,

June 6, 2017.

 

Annotations

Live Link to the Signing Statement on the White House website expand
Text of the Signing Statement from the GPO - 2017 CPD 380 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 - digitally signed by the GPO

 


Text of the Affected Law - P.L. 115-38 (H.R. 366) expand


The law to which this signing statement applies is:

H.R. 366, the DHS Stop Asset and Vehicle Excess Act - Public Law 115-38 -- 131 STAT 855

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

 

 

 


 

 

 

 


 


2017-03

First Signing Statement for H.R. 3364, the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act

Text of the Signing Statement from the White House website

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary _________________________________________________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 2, 2017

Statement by President Donald J. Trump
on the Signing of H.R. 3364

 

Today, I have signed into law H.R. 3364, the "Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act." While I favor tough measures to punish and deter aggressive and destabilizing behavior by Iran, North Korea, and Russia, this legislation is significantly flawed.

In its haste to pass this legislation, the Congress included a number of clearly unconstitutional provisions. For instance, although I share the policy views of sections 253 and 257, those provisions purport to displace the President's exclusive constitutional authority to recognize foreign governments, including their territorial bounds, in conflict with the Supreme Court's recent decision in Zivotofsky v. Kerry.

Additionally, section 216 seeks to grant the Congress the ability to change the law outside the constitutionally required process. The bill prescribes a review period that precludes the President from taking certain actions. Certain provisions in section 216, however, conflict with the Supreme Court's decision in INS v. Chadha, because they purport to allow the Congress to extend the review period through procedures that do not satisfy the requirements for changing the law under Article I, section 7 of the Constitution. I nevertheless expect to honor the bill's extended waiting periods to ensure that the Congress will have a full opportunity to avail itself of the bill's review procedures.

Further, certain provisions, such as sections 254 and 257, purport to direct my subordinates in the executive branch to undertake certain diplomatic initiatives, in contravention of the President's exclusive constitutional authority to determine the time, scope, and objectives of international negotiations. And other provisions, such as sections 104, 107, 222, 224, 227, 228, and 234, would require me to deny certain individuals entry into the United States, without an exception for the President's responsibility to receive ambassadors under Article II, section 3 of the Constitution. My Administration will give careful and respectful consideration to the preferences expressed by the Congress in these various provisions and will implement them in a manner consistent with the President's constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations.

Finally, my Administration particularly expects the Congress to refrain from using this flawed bill to hinder our important work with European allies to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, and from using it to hinder our efforts to address any unintended consequences it may have for American businesses, our friends, or our allies.

DONALD J. TRUMP

THE WHITE HOUSE
August 2, 2017.

 

Annotations

Live Link to the Signing Statement on the White House website expand
Text of the Signing Statement from the GPO - 2017 CPD 559 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 - digitally signed by the GPO

 


Text of the Affected Law - P.L. 115-44 (H.R. 3364) expand


The law to which this signing statement applies is:

H.R. 3364, the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. - Public Law 115-44 -- 131 STAT 886

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

 

 

 


 

 

 


 


2017-04

Second Signing Statement for H.R. 3364, the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act

Text of the Signing Statement from the White House website

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary _________________________________________________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 2, 2017

Statement by President Donald J. Trump
on Signing the “Countering America’s Adversaries
Through Sanctions Act”

 

Today, I signed into law the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act,” which enacts new sanctions on Iran, North Korea, and Russia. I favor tough measures to punish and deter bad behavior by the rogue regimes in Tehran and Pyongyang. I also support making clear that America will not tolerate interference in our democratic process, and that we will side with our allies and friends against Russian subversion and destabilization.

That is why, since taking office, I have enacted tough new sanctions on Iran and North Korea, and shored up existing sanctions on Russia.

Since this bill was first introduced, I have expressed my concerns to Congress about the many ways it improperly encroaches on Executive power, disadvantages American companies, and hurts the interests of our European allies.

My Administration has attempted to work with Congress to make this bill better. We have made progress and improved the language to give the Treasury Department greater flexibility in granting routine licenses to American businesses, people, and companies. The improved language also reflects feedback from our European allies – who have been steadfast partners on Russia sanctions – regarding the energy sanctions provided for in the legislation. The new language also ensures our agencies can delay sanctions on the intelligence and defense sectors, because those sanctions could negatively affect American companies and those of our allies.

Still, the bill remains seriously flawed – particularly because it encroaches on the executive branch’s authority to negotiate. Congress could not even negotiate a healthcare bill after seven years of talking. By limiting the Executive’s flexibility, this bill makes it harder for the United States to strike good deals for the American people, and will drive China, Russia, and North Korea much closer together. The Framers of our Constitution put foreign affairs in the hands of the President. This bill will prove the wisdom of that choice.

Yet despite its problems, I am signing this bill for the sake of national unity. It represents the will of the American people to see Russia take steps to improve relations with the United States. We hope there will be cooperation between our two countries on major global issues so that these sanctions will no longer be necessary.

Further, the bill sends a clear message to Iran and North Korea that the American people will not tolerate their dangerous and destabilizing behavior. America will continue to work closely with our friends and allies to check those countries’ malignant activities.

I built a truly great company worth many billions of dollars. That is a big part of the reason I was elected. As President, I can make far better deals with foreign countries than Congress.

 

Annotations

Live Link to the Signing Statement on the White House website expand
Text of the Signing Statement from the GPO - 2017 CPD 558 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 - digitally isgned byt the GPO

 


Text of the Affected Law - P.L. 115-44 (H.R. 3364) expand


The law to which this signing statement applies is:

H.R. 3364, the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. - Public Law 115-44 -- 131 STAT ___

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

1. Plain text at the GPO's Public and Private Laws - not yet available

2. PDF from the GPO's Public and Private Laws - not yet available

3. Enrolled text from GPO - PDF file

 

 

 


 

 


 


2017-05

Signing Statement for S.J.R. 49, the Charlottesville Resolution

Text of the Signing Statement from the White House website

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary _________________________________________________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 14, 2017

Statement from the President about
the Signing of S.J. Res. 49 --
Charlottesville Resolution

 

Today, I am pleased to sign S.J. Res. 49. As Americans, we condemn the recent violence in Charlottesville and oppose hatred, bigotry, and racism in all forms. No matter the color of our skin or our ethnic heritage, we all live under the same laws, we all salute the same great flag, and we are all made by the same almighty God. We are a Nation founded on the truth that all of us are created equal. As one people, let us move forward to rediscover the bonds of love and loyalty that bring us together as Americans.

 

Annotations

Live Link to the Signing Statement on the White House website expand

 

SJR 29, the Charlottesville Resolution (last visited 9/16/2017)

 

Text of the Signing Statement from the GPO - 2017 CPD 638 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 -digitally signed by the GPO

 


Text of the Affected Law - P.L. 115-58 (S.J. Res. 49) expand


The law to which this signing statement applies is:

S.J. Res. 49, the Charlottesville Resolution - Public Law 115-58 -- 131 STAT 1149

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

 

 

 


 

 


 


2017-06

Signing Statement for H.R. 2989, the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission Act

Text of the Signing Statement from the White House website

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary _________________________________________________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 2, 2017

Statement by the President

 

Today, I am pleased to sign into law, H.R. 2989, the "Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission Act", which will create the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission, which will be responsible for planning, developing, and carrying out activities to honor Frederick Douglass on the 200th anniversary of his birth. Our Nation rightly honors the life of Mr. Douglass, a former slave who became an outstanding orator and a leader of the abolitionist movement. I also welcome the participation of the members of the Congress in the valuable work the Commission will perform. Consistent with Signing Statements issued by President Obama and President Reagan regarding similar legislation, I understand that, with respect to their work on the Commission, the members of the Congress and their appointees "'will be able to participate only in ceremonial or advisory functions'" and "'not in matters involving the administration of the act in light of the separation of powers and the Appointments and Ineligibility Clauses of the Constitution.'" (Public Papers of the President, Barack Obama, Vol. I, 2009, page 756 (quoting Public Papers of the President, Ronald Reagan, Vol. II, 1983, page 1390)). All Americans have much to learn from the life and writings of Mr. Douglass, and I look forward to working with the Commission to celebrate the achievements of this great man.

 

DONALD J. TRUMP

THE WHITE HOUSE,

November 2, 2017.

 

 

Annotations

Live Link to the Signing Statement on the White House website expand
Text of the Signing Statement from the GPO - 2017 CPD 809 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 -digitally signed by the GPO

 


Text of the Affected Law - P.L. 115-77 (H.R. Res. 2989) expand


The law to which this signing statement applies is:

H.R. 2989, the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission Act - Public Law 115-77 -- 131 STAT 1251

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

 

 

 


 

 


 


2017-07

Signing Statement for H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018

Text of the Signing Statement from the White House website

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary _________________________________________________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 12, 2017

Statement by President Donald J. Trump on H.R. 2810

 

Today, I have signed into law H.R. 2810, the "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018." This Act authorizes fiscal year 2018 appropriations for critical Department of Defense (DOD) national security programs, provides vital benefits for military personnel and their families, and includes authorities to facilitate ongoing military operations around the globe. I am very appreciative that the Congress has passed this bill to provide the DOD with the resources it needs to support our Armed Forces and keep America safe. I note, however, that the bill includes several provisions that raise constitutional concerns.

Several provisions of the bill, including sections 1046, 1664, 1680, and 1682, purport to restrict the President's authority to control the personnel and materiel the President believes is necessary or advisable for the successful conduct of military missions. Additionally, section 1601 provides that the Commander of Air Force Space Command, a military officer subordinate to the civilian leadership of the President as the Commander in Chief, the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of the Air Force, has "sole authority" over certain matters. While I share the objectives of the Congress with respect to maintaining the strength and security of the United States, my Administration will treat these provisions consistent with the President's authority as Commander in Chief.

Certain other provisions of the bill, including sections 350, 1011, 1041, 1202, and 1227, purport to require that the Congress receive advance notice before the President directs certain military actions. I reiterate the longstanding understanding of the executive branch that these types of provisions encompass only military actions for which such advance notice is feasible and consistent with the President's constitutional authority and duty as Commander in Chief to protect the national security of the United States.

Sections 1033 and 1035 restrict transfers of detainees held at the United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay. I fully intend to keep open that detention facility and to use it for detention operations. Consistent with the statement I issued in signing H.R. 244, I reiterate the longstanding position of the executive branch that, under certain circumstances, restrictions on the President's authority to transfer detainees would violate constitutional separation-of-powers principles, including the President's constitutional authority as Commander in Chief. Additionally, section 1035 could, in some circumstances, interfere with the ability of the United States to transfer a detainee who has been granted a writ of habeas corpus.

I also strongly object to section 1633, which threatens to undermine the effective operation of the Executive Office of the President by making full funding for the White House Communications Agency (WHCA) contingent upon the submission of a report on a national policy for cyberspace, cybersecurity, and cyberwarfare. I take cyber‑related issues very seriously, as demonstrated by Executive Order 13800, which has initiated strategic actions across executive departments and agencies that will improve the Nation's cyber-related capabilities. Among other things, WHCA plays a critical role in providing secure communications to the President and his staff. The Congress should not hold hostage the President's ability to communicate in furtherance of the Nation's security and foreign policy. I look forward to working with the Congress to address, as quickly as possible, this unprecedented and dangerous funding restriction.

Several provisions of the bill, including sections 1069, 1231, 1232, 1239, 1239A, 1258, 1259, 1263, 1271, 1279A, and 1607, could potentially dictate the position of the United States in external military and foreign affairs and, in certain instances, direct the conduct of international diplomacy. My Administration will treat these provisions consistent with the President's exclusive constitutional authorities as Commander in Chief and as the sole representative of the Nation in foreign affairs to determine the terms on which recognition is given to foreign sovereigns and conduct the Nation's diplomacy.

Section 1244(b) purports to limit certain expenditures unless, under section 1244(c), the President submits to the Congress a plan to impose sanctions -- including asset blocking, exclusion from the United States, and procurement bans -- on certain persons for failing to comply with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. My Administration will apply these provisions consistent with the President's constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations, including the President's authority under Article II, section 3 of the Constitution to "receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers." Section 1245 purports to direct the United States Government to consider the RS-26 ballistic missile to be a breach of the INF Treaty "for purposes of all policies and decisions," if the President, with the concurrence of certain other executive branch officials, were to make certain legal and factual determinations. My Administration will apply this provision consistent with the President's constitutional authority to identify breaches of international agreements by counterparties.

Section 910 purports to elevate the current Deputy Chief Management Officer of the DOD to the position of Chief Management Officer, which would result in an expansion of duties, along with an increase in both responsibility and pay. While my Administration supports the policy of section 910, the provision raises constitutional concerns related to the President's appointment authority. My Administration will devise a plan to treat this provision in a manner that mitigates the constitutional concerns, while adhering closely to the intent of the Congress.

Section 1097 purports to reauthorize the Office of Special Counsel, including by continuing the existing tenure protections for the Special Counsel. The Special Counsel is a principal officer of the United States who performs executive functions, and has both broad authority and long tenure insulated from the President's removal authority. I reiterate the longstanding position of the executive branch that such insulation of a principal officer like the Special Counsel raises serious constitutional concerns.

Section 1653 purports to require the Nuclear Weapons Council to make an assessment and provide a report to the congressional defense committees in response to legislative activity by a single house of Congress. To direct the Council's operations in this manner, the Congress must act in accord with the requirements of bicameralism and presentment prescribed in Article I, section 7 of the Constitution. Accordingly, my Administration will treat section 1653 as non-binding, and I will instruct the Council to take action in response to this provision only as an exercise of inter-branch comity -- i.e., only insofar as such action would be practicable and consistent with the Council's existing legal responsibilities.

Several provisions of the bill, including sections 737, 1097, 1244, 1631, 1632, and 1669, as well as language in the classified annex to the joint explanatory statement of the committee of conference, purport to mandate or regulate the submission to the Congress of information -- such as deliberative process and national security information -- protected by executive privilege. My Administration will treat these provisions consistent with the President's constitutional authority to withhold information, the disclosure of which could impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative processes of the executive branch, or the performance of the President's constitutional duties. Additionally, I note that conditions in the classified annex to the joint explanatory statement of the committee of conference are not part of the text of the bill and do not carry the force of law.

Several provisions of the bill, including sections 513, 572, 807, 1648, 1676, 1696, 2878, and 3117, purport to require executive branch officials under the President's supervision to recommend certain legislative measures to the Congress. My Administration will treat those provisions consistent with Article II, section 3 of the Constitution, which provides the President the discretion to recommend to the Congress only "such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient."

 

DONALD J. TRUMP

THE WHITE HOUSE,

December 12, 2017.

 

 

Annotations

Live Link to the Signing Statement on the White House website expand
Text of the Signing Statement from the GPO - 2017 CPD 906 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. 115-91 (H.R. Res. 2810) expand


The law to which this signing statement applies is:

H.R. 2810, the "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018- Public Law 115-77 -- 131 STAT 1251

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

1. Plain text at the GPO's Public and Private Laws - not yet available

2. PDF from the GPO's Public and Private Laws - not yet available

3. Enrolled text from GPO - PDF file

 

 


 

 

 


 

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