That sneaky pro-settlement amendment attached to President Obama’s prized trade legislation—which he just signed into law—is making a real mess of the administration’s policymaking and press relations. State Department spokesman John Kirby went on record to say that the bill has not and will not change the longstanding position that the U.S. does not recognize Israel’s settlements and counts them as a final status issue for peace negotiations. Some speculated that Kirby was essentially saying that Obama had no plans of actually making the amendment part of U.S. trade objectives in any way that would change the status of U.S. policy. Just words on a paper, right? Well, some are saying that it’s more – and it’s not within Executive authority to override, line veto, or otherwise ignore trade legislation. And President Obama’s quandary doesn’t end there. The most dangerous form of the pro-settlement legislation, which is attached to a customs bill and has actual repercussions on U.S. business practices, is still alive and well. The Senate and House both passed similar versions of the customs bill – so now a conference committee is tasked with reconciling the two versions. There is a small hope that the pro-settlement language is excised, but it’s seeming more and more like Congress has quietly out-maneuvered Obama on settlement policy—and dangerously changed decades-old U.S. policy on illegal Israel settlements.