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Lawmakers ask Obama to re-sign Patriot Act

A group of GOP lawmakers sent a letter on Friday to
President Obama urging him to re-sign the Patriot Act with his own hand after
using an autopen.

The letter comes a few weeks after Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.)
questioned whether using the automated signing machine was legally the same as
Obama signing the bill himself. Graves is one of the authors of the letter to
Obama.

“On May 27, 2011, Congressman Tom Graves wrote you to
request an explanation for your constitutional authority to assign a surrogate
the responsibility of signing bills passed by Congress into law,” the
letter reads. “As of today, Congressman Graves has yet to receive a response
from the White House.”

{mosads}Obama had previously used an autopen to authorize an extension
of the act because he was in France to meet with G-8 leaders and the bill’s
provisions would have expired at midnight the night he signed it.

“Mr. President, it is clear that assigning a surrogate
the responsibility of signing bills passed by Congress is a debatable issue,
and could be challenged in court,” the letter continues. “That being
the case, our request is that, out of an abundance of caution, you affix your
signature to S. 990 by personally re-signing the enrolled bill.”

The lawmakers also request that Obama work to end the
practice of using the autopen to authorize bills.

When Graves originally questioned the authority of using an
autopen to sign a bill, he cited Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution, which
says a president has to sign a bill for it to go into law.

In 2005, the Bush administration’s Office of Legal Counsel
argued that using an autopen was consistent with the Constitution.

In the
letter, the Republican lawmakers cite a number of dissenting opinions.

“While the July 7, 2005, opinion of the Office of Legal
Counsel (OLC) to President George W. Bush on using a surrogate to sign bills
into law was apparently the basis for your decision, we are compelled to point
out that the memorandum provides a long list of dissenting opinions,” the
letter says.

Read the letter below:

11 06 17 LTRtoObama_Autopen

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