Bill Clinton photo

Exchange With Reporters in Philadelphia

June 30, 2000

President's Electronic Signature

[The transcript began with a reporter's paraphrased question concerning bill signings.]

The President. ——we had a question if I could even fax a signature back on bills and Executive orders. The electronic signature, in effect, defines what the obligations—the satisfaction of the obligations of commerce contracts. Congress clearly has the authority to define that. But there's an open question as to whether we could do it for bills and fax. That's why I signed the bill before I did this, because that might require a constitutional amendment. And at least it would require some sort of judicial opinion or something before we could decide to do it.

But the volume of bills signed every year is so small, that's really not that much of a problem. The only real problem would be if the President for some reason had to go abroad at a time when the time was running out on a bill. So that's really the only issue here.

Thank you.

NOTE: The exchange began at approximately 11:15 a.m. at Independence Hall. S. 761, the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, approved June 30, was assigned Public Law No. 106-229. A tape was not available for verification of the content of this exchange.

William J. Clinton, Exchange With Reporters in Philadelphia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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