The anti-earmark President today signed the Omnibus Spending bill which contains about 9,000 earmarks.
Obama signed the bill in private, unlike a number of recent signings that took place with fanfare, but he raised the issue of earmarks in public remarks playing down their scope and possible harm in the measure. They comprise about 1 percent of the spending package, which will keep the government running through September, he told reporters.
Incredible. As if working hard to win a Profiles in Courage award from Caroline Kennedy, the President went into hiding to sign the measure. Then, he did his latest George W. Bush imitation.
On another potentially controversial matter, the president also issued a "signing statement" with the bill, saying several of its provisions raised constitutional concerns and would be taken merely as suggestions. He has criticized President George W. Bush for often using such statements to claim the right to ignore portions of new laws, and on Monday he said his administration wouldn't follow those issued by Bush unless authorized by the new attorney general.
Oh - by the way - he likes earmarks now.
"Done right, earmarks have given legislators the opportunity to direct federal money to worthy projects that benefit people in their districts. And that's why I've opposed their outright elimination," he said.