First, the “Stimulus Bill” that Congress will present to Mr. Obama is rushed and terribly flawed. Mr. Obama has a rare opportunity to lead. He has a chance to prove to all of us that he was serious about changing Washington. He has a chance to become what the true believers hoped he would be.
He can send the “stimulus bill” back to congress with the following note:
Dear Senator Reid, Congresswoman Pelosi, Senators and Congressmen,
I am returning your bill, HR1, for a rewrite before I will sign it. It appears that you did not believe me when I promised all Americans that we would change the way we do business in Washington, D.C. I promised the American People that there would be no earmarks, no pet projects in a stimulus bill. HR1 is filled with both.
I want you to send me a bill that will be all about stimulus and not about Education, Global Climate Change, Energy Policy, Aid to States, etc. Those are important topics that we need to tackle. Let’s do that in separate legislation with a single bill addressing a single issue.
Hiding a major change to the Whistleblower Act inside a stimulus bill is the old way of doing business in Washington. Funding elderly and disabled programs and state and local law enforcement programs are separate issues only distantly related to stimulus and should be forwarded to me as individual bills, each addressing just one issue.
We have promised transparency. We cannot deliver that if we continue to trade pet projects and earmarks to get the votes to pass a bill.
If you will send me a bill that is devoid of pet projects and what the American people call “Pork,” I will sign it. If you send me a bill like this one that is only halfway about actions directly related to stimulating the economy, I will veto it.
Whatever you send to me, I will, as promised publish for all Americans to be able to read and comment. I will make sure that we all have at least 5 days to consider the legislations before I sign or veto the measure. I want a good bill that will work. If you want a bill in which to hide all your other priorities, I can assure you that you will need to override my veto.
Thank you for your cooperation,
President B. Obama