Washington (CNN) - The day before Mitt Romney makes a highly publicized trip to Israel, President Barack Obama on Friday signed a bill passed by Congress designed to increase security ties with the Jewish state.
Both the timing of Friday's event and the presence of TV cameras opened the White House to accusations of political maneuvering in a presidential election year.
Obama's schedule for this week, distributed by the White House on July 20, made no mention of the signing of the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act. The measure won final approval from Congress on July 17, receiving strong bipartisan support.
White House spokesman Jay Carney denied any political intent with the timing of the bill signing, saying the measure passed last week and Obama was traveling from Sunday to Wednesday.
"The president's been on the road, and today was the day to sign it," he said Friday. (READ MORE)
11:30AM Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney
PRESIDENT OBAMA'S SCHEDULE:
9:00AM Pool Call Time
9:40AM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT receive the Presidential Daily Briefing/Oval Office/ Closed Press
10:15AM THE PRESIDENT signs the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act/ Oval Office/ Pool Spray
11:00AM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT meet with Ambassador Crocker/ Oval Office/ Closed Press
11:30AM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT meet with Secretary of State Clinton / Oval Office /Closed Press FULL POST