I'll be the first to confess: I've been skeptical about Obama. So, while I'm glad that he's pledged to veto CISPA and any budgetary shenanigans by the R's, I wasn't particularly confident he'd follow through. I was talking about it with a friend, and he asked "Has Obama actually vetoed anything yet?"
I looked it up.
It turns out that Obama has vetoed two bills since taking office. The first was an appropriations continuing resolution, H.J.RES.64, a stop-gap defense funding bill that was rendered moot after it was passed by the passage of an actual defense appropriations bill (H.R. 3326). Boring, procedural fare.
The other, one, though, is far stranger. H.R. 3808, the "Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2010".
From the summary of the bill:
Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2010 - Requires each federal and state court to recognize any lawful notarization occurring in or affecting interstate commerce which is made by a notary public licensed or commissioned under the laws of a state other than the state where the court is located.
What was so objectional about this bill that it inspired the only real veto Obama has wielded in over 3 years? It was sponsored by a Keith Ellison and passed both houses of congress by unanimous consent. It seems mundane. What's the big deal?
From the Desk of the President:
It is necessary to have further deliberations about the possible unintended impact of H.R. 3808, the ``Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2010,'' on consumer protections, including those for mortgages, before the bill can be finalized. Accordingly, I am withholding my approval of this bill. (The Pocket Veto Case, 279 U.S. 655 (1929)).
The authors of this bill no doubt had the best intentions in mind when trying to remove impediments to interstate commerce. My Administration will work with them and other leaders in Congress to explore the best ways to achieve this goal going forward.
To leave no doubt that the bill is being vetoed, in addition to withholding my signature, I am returning H.R. 3808 to the Clerk of the House of Representatives, along with this Memorandum of Disapproval.
Hunh. Two sentences stand out there. First, "The authors of this bill no doubt had the best intentions in mind" is a perfect example of the diplomatically understated condemnation. It translates from diplo-speak to plain English as something akin to "You guys are psychopathically evil, and I can't believe you thought you'd get away with it."
And second... "It is necessary to have further deliberations about the possible unintended impact of H.R. 3808, the ``Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2010,'' on consumer protections, including those for mortgages." Mortgages? What would be the impact of a bill about easier interstate notarization on mortgages?
...Oh. Right. Of course.
That little problem with the banks playing so many games with the bad loans they issued that they lost the paperwork proving they actually owned the loans, and thus resorted to mass forgery. That might be relevant. I can definitely see how allowing banks to produce documents from Out of State, where the Rules are Laxer might be beneficial to the 1%.
And I can definitely be thankful that the President saw through it.