Federal Eye: Obama’s Latest Signing Statement

Talk about a minor technicality!

President Obama issued a signing statement yesterday objecting to one minor item in the monster Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009. At issue is whether Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has to consult with lawmakers when making appointments to an obscure commission.

The omnibus comprises more than 150 individual bills that, among other things, designate roughly two million acres of new wilderness areas, create ten new National Heritage Areas and authorize a big land swap between USDA’s Forest Service, DOI’s Bureau of Land Management, DOI’s National Park Service, and a bunch of state, local and private groups.

Obama’s signing statement raises objections to Section 8203, which “provides that the Secretary of the Interior shall appoint certain members of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Commission ‘based on recommendations from each member of the House of Representatives, the district of which encompasses the Corridor.'”

A quick check of the map finds that Salazar would have to account for the recommendations of at least seven Upstate New York lawmakers.

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