Latest Signing Statements

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary _____________________________________________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 19, 2014


Statement By The President on S. 2673

 

Today I have signed into law S. 2673, the "United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014," an Act that underscores the United States unshakeable commitment to Israel's security and its future. This bipartisan piece of legislation reflects the importance placed by my Administration on strengthening and deepening U.S.-Israel bilateral cooperation and ties. It reinforces critical defense and security programs, which have reached an unprecedented level under my Administration. It also lays the groundwork for increased trade and cooperation across a range of cutting-edge fields, including energy, water, agriculture, and technology. Sections 11(b) and 12(c)(2) of this bill purport to require me to provide to the Congress certain diplomatic communications and direct the Secretary of State to undertake certain diplomatic initiatives. Consistent with longstanding constitutional practice, my Administration will interpret and implement these sections in a manner that does not interfere with my constitutional authority to conduct diplomacy and to protect the confidentiality of diplomatic communications.

BARACK OBAMA

THE WHITE HOUSE,
December 19, 2014.

 


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THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary _____________________________________________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 19, 2014


Statement By The President on H.R. 3979

 

Today I have signed into law H.R. 3979, the "Carl Levin and Howard P. 'Buck' McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015." I have signed this annual defense authorization legislation because it will provide vital benefits for military personnel and their families, as well as critical contingency authorities needed to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and to respond to emerging needs in the face of evolving terrorist threats and emergent crises worldwide.

Earlier this month, the Department of Defense transferred the last remaining third-country nationals held in U.S. custody in Afghanistan, ending U.S. detention operations in Afghanistan. Yet halfway around the world, the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, remains open for the 13th consecutive year, costing the American people hundreds of millions of dollars each year and undermining America's standing in the world. As I have said many times, the continued operation of this detention facility weakens our national security by draining resources, damaging our relationships with key allies and partners, and emboldening violent extremists. Closing the detention facility is a national imperative.

I have repeatedly called upon the Congress to work with my Administration to close the detention facility at Guantanamo once and for all. Individuals from across the political spectrum have recognized that the facility should be closed. But instead of removing unwarranted and burdensome restrictions that curtail the executive branch's options for managing the detainee population, this bill continues them. Section 1032 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 1033 likewise renews the bar against using appropriated funds to transfer Guantanamo detainees into the United States for any purpose. The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, contains similar provisions as well as those relating to existing restrictions on the transfer of detainees abroad. I have consistently opposed these restrictions and will continue to work with the Congress to remove them. More than 80 percent of detainees at one time held at the detention facility have now been transferred. The executive branch must have the flexibility, with regard to those detainees who remain, to determine when and where to prosecute them, based on the facts and circumstances of each case and our national security interests, and when and where to transfer them consistent with our national security and our humane treatment policy. Under certain circumstances, the provisions concerning detainee transfers in both bills would violate constitutional separation of powers principles. In the event that the restrictions on the transfer of detainees operate in a manner that violates constitutional separation of powers principles, my Administration will implement them in a manner that avoids the constitutional conflict.

The Guantanamo detention facility's continued operation undermines our national security. We must close it. I call on Members from both sides of the aisle to work with us to bring this chapter of American history to a close.

BARACK OBAMA


THE WHITE HOUSE,
December 19, 2014.

 


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The signing statement above is also found at: