Donald Trump signed the stimulus relief bill on Sunday night, after spending a week getting none of the changes that he was demanding. But based on the signing statements he added to the bill, he appears to now mistakenly believe that he has line item veto power.
It’s common for presidents to attach signing statements to bills, but they’re more for the historical record than anything; they certainly carry no legal weight, and don’t change the legislation in any way. The president can either sign a bill or veto it, not edit on the fly.
But Trump is claiming that he’s sending a “redlined” version of the bill back to Congress, when in reality he’s not sending anything back to Congress. He signed the bill. It’s now law. The end.
Now comes the question of what led Donald Trump to sign this bill into law while performing essentially imaginary edits to it. Did someone in his own circle trick him into signing the bill by telling him that red line edits actually count for something? Is Trump that far gone that he actually fell for it? Just how senile is this guy?
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report