WASHINGTON — President Obama on Wednesday signed legislation that bans the U.S. Postal Service from shipping cigarettes — a measure that's expected to cripple the mail-order tobacco businesses run by members of the Seneca Nation of Indians.
White House press secretary Robert L. Gibbs announced the signing in a brief statement that included no comment on the new law, which the Senecas fought furiously.
In response, Seneca Nation President Barry E. Snyder Sr. accused the president of betraying the very Indian nations he wooed during his 2008 campaign and spoke to last fall.
"The president of the United States invited Native American leaders to Washington, D.C., in November and looked us in the eye as a sign of good faith in his pledge to protect federal treaties," Snyder said. "Now, four months later, he has betrayed that promise."