Bill signing ceremonies: a rarity at the White House
April 4th, 2012
02:08 PM ET

Bill signing ceremonies: a rarity at the White House

Here at the White House we're seeing something this week that we haven't seen in a very long time: public bill signings attended by Republican and Democrats.

In recent months, as President Obama has positioned himself opposite an unpopular congress, he has shied away from the fanfare of signing ceremonies, once routine in the early months of his term. But today he signed the STOCK Act, aimed at preventing elected officials from using their professional knowledge for financial benefit, in a public ceremony at the White House. Tomorrow he will do the same with the JOBS Act, a bill that is supposed to make it easier for small businesses and start-ups raise investment dollars (though some critics say it won't create jobs and could increase risk for investors).

The last signing ceremony at the White House was in early February (a bill spearheaded by Democratic former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona) and, before that, November. In February, congress passed a substantial bill to fund the FAA and an extension of the payroll tax cut, a measure that received overwhelming bipartisan support and that Obama had pressed congress to pass. He signed both in private.

Republicans charged that he was playing politics, denying them a visual of bipartisanship in an election year. House Republican leaders have adopted a more conciliatory tone toward the president in recent months following a bruising battle on a temporary extension of the payroll tax cut in December. But not all Republicans want a picture standing next to the president. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) did not make the trip. Noticeable among the handful of GOP lawmakers at todays signing ceremonies were those who are trying not to appear hyper-partisan as they face strong Democratic challengers in tough re-election races, including Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) and Rep. Robert Dold (R-IL).

Topics: 2012 Election • The Buzz

soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. dionysusBeer

    I wouldn't have a problem with the GOP if they would just compromise every so often. There's nothing wrong with being firm in your beliefs (unless those beliefs are dead wrong and are proven to be wrong) but at some point concessions have to be made for anything to get done. That's life. But in the era of the internet and powerful TV and radio personalities people have become incredibly stubborn (OWS and especially the Tea Party) and refuse to compromise on anything. That's why nothing's getting done and putting more stubborn Teapers into Congress isn't going to fix it. Let's vote out all extremists and come back to the middle again.

    April 4, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • jerry

      rose colored glasses eh?

      April 4, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • jon

      These politicians need to reject Israel lobby support.

      Down with AIPAC

      April 4, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • John

      "unless those beliefs are dead wrong and are proven to be wrong". Don't you get it? You have captured the Dem policies with your statement and you explained why nobody should be voting for the majority of the policies this administration has put forth.
      In the past we have heard how this administration will avoid congress with an executive order if need be. We have also heard this week how this administration thinks the courts should not overturn what this administration wants. That leaves one branch of our governmnet that this administration thinks should hold power.
      When you think of other world leaders that have governed with this concept in mind i.e. only "the leader" holds power, it certainly does not bring freedom to the forefront.

      April 5, 2012 at 6:59 am |
      • The REAL Truth

        John – you have just exemplified the comment above by stating "You have captured the Dem policies with your statement and you explained why nobody should be voting for the majority of the policies this administration has put forth."
        The folks on the "other" side feel EXACTLY the same about the GOP policies of fear-mongering, tax breaks for the 1%, Oil subsidies, women's health, ACA, and numerous other items.
        It's not like a GOP President has never issued an executive order ( Nixon, Ford, Reagan and BOTH Bushies used it for political advantage. Where's the spoutrage with that??

        April 5, 2012 at 10:49 am |
      • John

        Get up to speed buddy. This administration has been in charge for 3.4 years. Say what you will. The party in the WH and in charge of the Senate are the lib dems. They are the biggest problem at the moment. Maybe before you "upchuck" you should actually read what I wrote. As an independent I see many, many faults in both parties. I understand how people feel. I responded to a post that said the repubs shoud compromise. Tell me, if a robber came to your house to rob it would you step aside and let them do their thing?
        How do you feel when you hear our president say he will bypass congress if he feels the need and he feels the supreme court has no authority to vote against his bill. If we go by what he says (and I know we really can't) he wants to be a dictator. You are ok with this? You see a repub someplace who wants to be the dictator of the US?

        April 5, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
      • FLIndependent

        John, Obama is far from a dictator and to say he wants to be one is ridiculous. BTW, I distinctly remember Bush saying that his job would be easier if he were a dictator but I'm sure you didn't hear that repeated on Faux News. Anyway, you are distorting what this President said about the ACA and the Supreme Court – he never said they couldn't overturn it – he was just giving his opinion on whether or not it would be found constitional which he has every right to do. Also, as far as bypassing Congress, as President he does have the ability to grant executive orders so why should he not use them if he can. He realized, unfortunately too late, that this Congress was never going to cooperate with him, so in order to get anything accomplished he's going to go it alone on matters that he can. You anti-Obama people must really hate our democracy as this President was overwhelmingly elected by a majority yet you have wanted him to fail from the very beginning.

        April 5, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Name*Liz Carter

      @dionyusbeer; I'd have to agree with you because that is exactly what the Dems did for the GOP/Bush! They often remind us of that when we start pointing out the failed policies of the Bush administration. We did try to agree and compromise and made concessions on many of those!

      April 6, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
  2. B

    I think it has something to do with Republicans Filibustering and blocking every piece of legislation put forth by the President to an all time record.

    What have the Republicans put forth that has done -One positive thing for the American people in the last three years ?
    They have become a total backward drag on the country, a basically worthless lot to say the least.

    Term Limits!

    April 4, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Lizzie

      Isn't that what the democrats been doing for years. How can you bring anything forth, when Price Reid calls it dead on arrival, or if they tell the republicans to shut up and sit in the back of the bus or look the doors so the other side can't enter or if you want something passed payoff your members or threaten them, whichever comes first

      April 4, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
      • The REAL Truth

        Lizzie – grow up! These are supposed to be adults ruining the country. They SHOULD be able reach an agreeable compromise on ALL legislation/issues. However, whining about 2 wrongs and all that, will fix the problem.

        April 5, 2012 at 10:52 am |
  3. jerry

    oh really I still remember the hugh dog and pony over the health care bill signing...remember he had that little black kid standing next to him... 15 out of over 300 millions without healthcare insurance....and many of those who just don't want health care insurance...some that self fund... the biggest manipulation of Americans in decades....the good new is its all going in the garbage. You just don't do something this important under the table and partisan. The arrogance of this foolish narcissistic man.

    April 4, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Hiroyuki

      The crux of your writing whlist sounding reasonable in the beginning, did not sit perfectly with me after some time. Somewhere within the sentences you managed to make me a believer but just for a short while. I still have got a problem with your leaps in logic and one might do well to help fill in those breaks. When you actually can accomplish that, I will definitely end up being amazed.

      May 20, 2012 at 8:13 am |
  4. rightytighty

    Divider and Chief

    April 4, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  5. jon

    Israel is a proven terrorist state, that has carried out aggressive actions against their own allies, not to mention innocent civillians.

    White phosphorous...

    Bomblets in lebannon..

    And AIPACS enourmous influence in American politics.

    That is the face of true terrorism.


    April 4, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • G-man

      Israel and AIPAC aren't mentioned even once in this article. You are coming off like some kind of raving antisemitic looney. Chill out already.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:29 am |
  6. Sponge-Bob

    Purely political.

    April 4, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  7. d

    This is very rare. Bipartisinship in Congress. Now that we knoe it can be a reality again. Lets do it with The KEYSTONE Pipeline. We all know that Romney & his in BED WITH oil company freinds are planning to ship that oil coming down from Canada OUT OF THE COUNTRY & We all know taht The Prez is trying to stop this in its tracks. Mitt has a MARVELOUS relationship with these multi millionares & BILLIONAIRES. All of America knows Mr Personality cares about the workin man as he does puppies. We need our Journalist to get ALL UP IN THESE CONGREESS peoples faces & call them out 1 by 1 by 1 by 1. Starting with The Senate 1st. Do you Eric Cantor support ALL THAT SUPPLY STAYING IN THE US? on the record. Next Do you Nancy Pelosi support this supply STAYING IN THE US? on the record. You get the picture. This I believe is a National Security Issue, no not by paying Europe prices at the pump, By going the other way when it comes to Supporting overseas Terrorist Ecomomies. Thank you & God Bless America!!

    April 4, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
  8. just say no!

    compromise. as long as its the republicans.. pffft grow up.

    The word compromise isn't even word to most democrats/libs... they only use it when it suits them. If a republican asks the democrats to compromise........ GAHHHHH! you must be high on drugs or something.

    I applaud their efforts to stand their ground.

    April 4, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • The REAL Truth

      And you exemplify the root cause of the problem! "Stand their ground" is EXACTLY what the part of NO has done for 3 years and made EVERY effort to make Obama a 1-term President. I'm continually amazed that supposedly intelligent adult individuals by into all the right wingnut garbage provided by Faux Noise and then re-spew it here.
      If you did a little fact checking before up-chucking, you might begin to realize that BOTH parties do the same. And, oh, BTW – I'm still waiting to see the tax cut that I supposedly got from the last GOP administration. Smaller Govt. Less Taxes. Not on ANY GOP watch. Check the FACTS bud!

      April 5, 2012 at 10:56 am |
      • John

        Stupid dem party line "1-term president". Both parties want to get the other party out of office. You think they do not? If you do in fact want smaller government and less taxes dem is not the way to go.

        April 5, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
      • Steveo


        I couldn't agree with you more. Why did the GOP send Dole to run against Clinton? Why did the Dems have Kerry run against Bush. Answer: To make the incumbents one-termers! Nobody can tell me the opposite party did not have that in the back of their minds from day one! The issue is McConnell was the only one to actually vocalize it. Ah, but the fake hurt feelings are adorable though!

        April 5, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  9. hiddenagenda

    of course bill signing ceremonies are rare.. if you hide it .. they can't question you on it.....

    April 4, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  10. Marlee

    1600 report reminds me of those monster high cartoons. Some of those plastic waif dolls are priced thru the castle roof! Not unlike the monsters in Congress costing the American people a mint. America, home of the incarcerated. Nothing like letting the fox guard the henhouse.

    April 5, 2012 at 6:31 am |
  11. lonewolf

    Don't blame it all congress. You have a half a$$ presdent in office who thinks every thing ought to go his way . His plan on clean energy is nice, but we need oil now lay the pipe line now. Get off your but and start drilling off the coast and do something about the cost of gas now. Maybe the people ought to thank about going to the polls the day after the vote. Another four years of this half a$$ in office and there will be change. I wonder if the rest of the world will feed us like we do them. Do us a favor Obama get off the stage the fat lady is starting to sing and its not you singing

    April 5, 2012 at 7:15 am |
  12. B

    One thing is -for sure, and that is that Racism is still very much a part of this country, it knows no boundaries.
    People do understand why things do not get done right now and it has a great deal to do with people like Mitch McConnell & company.

    April 5, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Steveo

      One thing is -for sure, and that is that Racism is still very much a part of this country, it knows no boundaries
      That would include politics, yet you only mentioned McConnell!

      April 5, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
      • Name*Liz Carter

        B didn't just mention McConnel; B said 'like Mitch McConnell & company. They know who they are...they're tossing their 'sheets' and 'hoods' everyday! Whole pointy hat hoods...that up until now they coveried their whole heads! And Trayvon Martin got shot down in the streets for wearing a 'hoodie'! They said it made him look like a criminal! Now what's wrong with this picture Steveo?? I'm just sayin'!

        April 6, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
      • Steveo


        You're rambling! You have insider info that McConnell and company are Klansmen or are you making up stories? My money is on the latter! In addition the Trayvon Martin case has nothing to do with your insinuations! I'm just sayin!!

        April 7, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
  13. Truck It Up

    This POTUS is proof that racism is still in our country? Are you people blind? Obama least qualifed person to run for POTUS in years gets elected because he is black then plays race card when it doesn't go his way. And we white folks are racist? Looks like the pot callin the kettle black to me!

    April 5, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
  14. bp

    When are those idiot lawmakers in that picture going to realize that it doesn't matter if you're an American, what matters is if you're a Democrat or a Republican. Also, there is no longer any such thing as the common good – the only valid goal of government policy initiatives is to reward your supporters at the expense of those who support your opponents. Get real.

    April 13, 2012 at 5:57 pm |