Bush vetoed the same legislation and Obama said frequently on the campaign trail that he would sign it.
But by signing the bill just a few hours after it passed the House of Representatives, Obama broke a campaign promise to allow a five-day period for the American public to review and comment on legislation passed by Congress.
"Too often bills are rushed through Congress and to the president before the public has the opportunity to review them," the campaign Web site said. "As president, Obama will not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House Web site for five days."
In a memo to the heads of all executive branch departments and agencies March 9, Obama said he will continue the use of presidential signing statements, but will do so more sparingly than the Bush administration.
"I will issue signing statements to address constitutional concerns only when it is appropriate to do so as a means of discharging my constitutional responsibilities," he wrote, without providing specific details on what would fall under that definition.
These signing statements are legal documents that presidents can release after signing legislation into law if they want to outline their own interpretation of how the law should be implemented.
The Bush administration came under fire for using hundreds of these statements to tell government officials to ignore parts of the law that it believed were unconstitutional restrictions on the president's executive power, most notably on national security issues. Obama was critical of Bush's use of these statements and said that as president he would employ them differently.