President Obama Signs the Fair Sentencing Act

This morning the President signed the Fair Sentencing Act, which reduces the disparity in the amounts of powder cocaine and crack cocaine required for the imposition of mandatory minimum sentences and eliminates the mandatory minimum sentence for simple possession of crack cocaine.  It also increases monetary penalties for major drug traffickers.

President Barack Obama Signs the Fair Sentencing Act in the Oval Office

President Barack Obama signs the Fair Sentencing Act in the Oval Office, Aug. 3, 2010. Joining the President are, from left, Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Attorney General Eric Holder, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, of Ill., Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked about the legislation in his daily press briefing and responded:

MR. GIBBS:  Well, let me see if there’s any guidance on it.  I will say this, April, I think the signing of today’s bill into law represents the hard work of Democrats and Republicans coming -- this is a good example -- of coming together and making progress on something that people had identified as a glaring blight on the law.

Look, I think if you look at the people that were there at that signing, they’re not of the political persuasions that either always or even part of the time agree.  I think that demonstrates the, as I said, the glaring nature of what these penalties had -- the glaring nature of what these penalties had done to people and how unfair they were.  And I think the President was proud to sign that into law.