[Home]  [Headlines]  [Latest Articles]  [Latest Comments]  [Post]  [Mail]  [Sign-in]  [Setup]  [Help]  [Register] 

Trump WANTS the Dakota Access pipeline and will review Obama administration's decision to sideline crude oil project after months of protests

No, The Shooting Of a Knife-Armed Reno Teen Isn’t “Sparking Debate”

Reno School Cop Shoots Teen Victim of Bullying in the Chest—District Praises Cop for ‘Protecting Children’

It's dead, Jim (Hopalong's site crashes)

Rex Tillerson of ExxonMobil Expected to Be Named Trump's Secretary of State (Bolton, Deputy SOS)

A real C. in C. ... not a metrosexual/bi-sexual fool --- who's hatred of our military is well known.

jethrro strikes oil ... goode bye oklahoma --- we're goining to calyphornia now

Muslim Teen Who Reported NYC Subway Harrassment Found Safe (No kidding?)

A "Soft Coup" Attempt: Furious Trump Slams "Secret" CIA Report Russia Helped Him Win

Senate Passes Major Portman-Murphy Counter-Propaganda Bill as Part of NDAA

Hillary Clinton’s losing campaign cost a record $1.2B

So much for 'lock her up': Trump tells Michigan crowd the famous chant 'plays great before the election' but now 'we don't care'

In Unprecedented Move, Dallas Pension System Suspends Withdrawals

Walmart to invest $1.3 billion in Mexico

Navy Won’t Remove ‘Midshipman’ Title Because It’s Enshrined In The Law As A Rank

Trump picks Goldman Sachs chief for top economic adviser (Swamp Up)

‘After Eight Years of Pajama Boys, It’s Time for the Alpha Males’

Trump: 'WeÂ’re going to work something out' with Dreamers (Lindsey Graham: "encouraged")

Trump’s critics have gone insane

‘Drug War has Failed’ Governor to Pardon Thousands of People Convicted for Pot

Big Media’s Contra-Cocaine Cover-up

If Trump’s Really a Populist, He’ll Fight Against the Destructive AT&T-Time Warner Merger

Has the Trumpian Revolution Begun?

Clinton Puppet Stephen Colbert Tells Pizzagate Conspiracy Researchers to “Grow the F*ck Up”

Dismal Jobs Report

The Ultimate “Fake News” List

Fake Newsman Brian Williams Slams Fake News

'Lives are at risk' because of fake news

Former astronaut, US Sen. John Glenn of Ohio has died at 95

Our Right to Ourselves

This Is the Purge We All Knew Was Coming: “Shutting Down Extremist Content”

Libertarians and Democrats Need to Fall in Love Again

Federal judge kills recount effort in Michigan

FBI employee arrested after firing shots at officer, Planet Fitness

AP source: Trump to tap Oklahoma AG Pruitt to head EPA (climate change skeptic - pro energy)

Police Busted Giving Fake News Reports to Media Who Then Reported It As FACT

Trump says he's consulted Obama on Cabinet picks ("I take his recommendations very seriously")

Carrying Cash? Be Ready to Lose It

#DumpKelloggs: Here Are the Products You’ll Never Need in Your Shopping Cart Again

TIME Person of the Year for 2016 is President-elect Donald Trump

Is Trump Calling Out Xi Jinping?

Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary: Time to Admit the Deception

“Fake News” Has Been a Problem for Thousands of Years… Here’s How Governments Have Stopped It

Corporate Media Demands Social Media Ban “Fake News”

Under President Trump, the Dakota Pipeline and Independence from Saudi Oil is Coming

BREAKING : Michigan Court Rules in Trump’s Favor – Orders Recount to STOP Immediately

Rogue electors brief Clinton camp on anti-Trump plan (Kasich most acceptable, high approval rating)

BREAKING: Ohio Senate passes ‘Heartbeat Bill’

Kissinger summoned to Trump Tower for private meeting

Oakland fire ... City missed signs of looming disaster --- at Ghost Ship


Status: Not Logged In; Sign In

Corrupt Government
See other Corrupt Government Articles

Title: Shift on executive power lets Obama bypass rivals
Source: New York Times
URL Source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4713844 ... e_new_york_times/#.T5VHli_Cz8A
Published: Apr 23, 2012
Author: Charlie Savage
Post Date: 2012-04-23 12:03:11 by SJN
Keywords: None
Views: 1331
Comments: 3

(Posters comment): Another Title could be NYT runs cover for Dictator).

President takes routes around congressional Republicans blocking his agenda

One Saturday last fall, President Obama interrupted a White House strategy meeting to raise an issue not on the agenda. He declared, aides recalled, that the administration needed to more aggressively use executive power to govern in the face of Congressional obstructionism.

“We had been attempting to highlight the inability of Congress to do anything,” recalled William M. Daley, who was the White House chief of staff at the time. “The president expressed frustration, saying we have got to scour everything and push the envelope in finding things we can do on our own.”

For Mr. Obama, that meeting was a turning point. As a senator and presidential candidate, he had criticized George W. Bush for flouting the role of Congress. And during his first two years in the White House, when Democrats controlled Congress, Mr. Obama largely worked through the legislative process to achieve his domestic policy goals.

But increasingly in recent months, the administration has been seeking ways to act without Congress. Branding its unilateral efforts “We Can’t Wait,” a slogan that aides said Mr. Obama coined at that strategy meeting, the White House has rolled out dozens of new policies — on creating jobs for veterans, preventing drug shortages, raising fuel economy standards, curbing domestic violence and more.

Each time, Mr. Obama has emphasized the fact that he is bypassing lawmakers. When he announced a cut in refinancing fees for federally insured mortgages last month, for example, he said: “If Congress refuses to act, I’ve said that I’ll continue to do everything in my power to act without them.”

Aides say many more such moves are coming. Not just a short-term shift in governing style and a re-election strategy, Mr. Obama’s increasingly assertive use of executive action could foreshadow pitched battles over the separation of powers in his second term, should he win and Republicans consolidate their power in Congress.

Many conservatives have denounced Mr. Obama’s new approach. But William G. Howell, a University of Chicago political science professor and author of “Power Without Persuasion: The Politics of Direct Presidential Action,” said Mr. Obama’s use of executive power to advance domestic policies that could not pass Congress was not new historically. Still, he said, because of Mr. Obama’s past as a critic of executive unilateralism, his transformation is remarkable.

“What is surprising is that he is coming around to responding to the incentives that are built into the institution of the presidency,” Mr. Howell said. “Even someone who has studied the Constitution and holds it in high regard — he, too, is going to exercise these unilateral powers because his long-term legacy and his standing in the polls crucially depend upon action.”

Mr. Obama has issued signing statements claiming a right to bypass a handful of constraints — rejecting as unconstitutional Congress’s attempt to prevent him from having White House “czars” on certain issues, for example. But for the most part, Mr. Obama’s increased unilateralism in domestic policy has relied on a different form of executive power than the sort that had led to heated debates during his predecessor’s administration: Mr. Bush’s frequent assertion of a right to override statutes on matters like surveillance and torture.

“Obama’s not saying he has the right to defy a Congressional statute,” said Richard H. Pildes, a New York University law professor. “But if the legislative path is blocked and he otherwise has the legal authority to issue an executive order on an issue, they are clearly much more willing to do that now than two years ago.”

The Obama administration started down this path soon after Republicans took over the House of Representatives last year. In February 2011, Mr. Obama directed the Justice Department to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act, which bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages, against constitutional challenges. Previously, the administration had urged lawmakers to repeal it, but had defended their right to enact it.

In the following months, the administration increased efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions through environmental regulations, gave states waivers from federal mandates if they agreed to education overhauls, and refocused deportation policy in a way that in effect granted relief to some illegal immigrants brought to the country as children. Each step substituted for a faltered legislative proposal.

But those moves were isolated and cut against the administration’s broader political messaging strategy at the time: that Mr. Obama was trying to reach across the aisle to get things done. It was only after the summer, when negotiations over a deficit reduction deal broke down and House Republicans nearly failed to raise the nation’s borrowing limit, that Mr. Obama fully shifted course.

First, he proposed a jobs package and gave speeches urging lawmakers to “pass this bill” — knowing they would not. A few weeks later, at the policy and campaign strategy meeting in the White House’s Roosevelt Room, the president told aides that highlighting Congressional gridlock was not enough.

“He wanted to continue down the path of being bold with Congress and flexing our muscle a little bit, and showing a contrast to the American people of a Congress that was completely stuck,” said Nancy-Ann DeParle, a deputy chief of staff assigned to lead the effort to come up with ideas.

Ms. DeParle met twice a week with members of the domestic policy council to brainstorm. She met with cabinet secretaries in the fall, and again in February with their chiefs of staff. No one opposed doing more; the challenge was coming up with workable ideas, aides said.

The focus, said Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, was “what we could do on our own to help the economy in areas Congress was failing to act,” so the list was not necessarily the highest priority actions, but instead steps that did not require legislation.

Republican lawmakers watched warily. One of Mr. Obama’s first “We Can’t Wait” announcements was the moving up of plans to ease terms on student loans. After Republican complaints that the executive branch had no authority to change the timing, it appeared to back off.

The sharpest legal criticism, however, came in January after Mr. Obama bypassed the Senate confirmation process to install four officials using his recess appointment powers, even though House Republicans had been forcing the Senate to hold “pro forma” sessions through its winter break to block such appointments.

Mr. Obama declared the sessions a sham, saying the Senate was really in the midst of a lengthy recess. His appointments are facing a legal challenge, and some liberals and many conservatives have warned that he set a dangerous precedent.

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Senate Democratic leader, who essentially invented the pro forma session tactic late in Mr. Bush’s presidency, has not objected, however. Senate aides said Mr. Reid had told the White House that he would not oppose such appointments based on a memorandum from his counsel, Serena Hoy. She concluded that the longer the tactic went unchallenged, the harder it would be for any president to make recess appointments — a significant shift in the historic balance of power between the branches.

The White House counsel, Kathryn Ruemmler, said the Obama administration’s legal team had begun examining the issue in early 2011 — including an internal Bush administration memo criticizing the notion that such sessions could block a president’s recess powers — and “seriously considered” making some appointments during Congress’s August break. But Mr. Obama decided to move ahead in January 2012, including installing Richard Cordray to head the new consumer financial protection bureau, after Senate Republicans blocked a confirmation vote.

“I refuse to take ‘no’ for an answer,” Mr. Obama declared, beneath a “We Can’t Wait” banner. “When Congress refuses to act and — as a result — hurts our economy and puts people at risk, I have an obligation as president to do what I can without them.”

The unilateralist strategy carries political risks. Mr. Obama cannot blame the Republicans when he adopts policies that liberals oppose, like when he overruled the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to strengthen antismog rules or decided not to sign an order banning discrimination by federal contractors based on sexual orientation.

The approach also exposes Mr. Obama to accusations that he is concentrating too much power in the White House. Earlier this year, Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, delivered a series of floor speeches accusing Mr. Obama of acting “more and more like a king that the Constitution was designed to replace” and imploring colleagues of both parties to push back against his “power grabs.”

But Democratic lawmakers have been largely quiet; many of them accuse Republicans of engaging in an unprecedented level of obstructionism and say that Mr. Obama has to do what he can to make the government work. The pattern adds to a bipartisan history in which lawmakers from presidents’ own parties have tended not to object to invocations of executive power.

For their part, Republicans appear to have largely acquiesced. Mr. Grassley said in an interview that his colleagues were reluctant to block even more bills and nominations in response to Mr. Obama’s “chutzpah,” lest they play into his effort to portray them as making Congress dysfunctional.

“Some of the most conservative people in our caucus would adamantly disagree with what Obama did on recess appointments, but they said it’s not a winner for us,” he said.

Mr. Obama’s new approach puts him in the company of his recent predecessors. Mr. Bush, for example, failed to persuade Congress to pass a bill allowing religiously affiliated groups to receive taxpayer grants — and then issued an executive order making the change.

President Bill Clinton increased White House involvement in agency rule making, using regulations and executive orders to show that he was getting things done despite opposition from a Republican Congress on matters like land conservation, gun control, tobacco advertising and treaties. (He was assisted by a White House lawyer, Elena Kagan, who later won tenure at Harvard based on scholarship analyzing such efforts and who is now on the Supreme Court.)

And both the Reagan and George Bush administrations increased their control over executive agencies to advance a deregulatory agenda, despite opposition from Democratic lawmakers, while also developing legal theories and tactics to increase executive power, like issuing signing statements more frequently.

The bipartisan history of executive aggrandizement in recent decades complicates Republican criticism. In February, two conservative advocacy groups — Crossroads GPS and the American Action Network — sponsored a symposium to discuss what they called “the unprecedented expansion of executive power during the past three years.” It reached an awkward moment during a talk with a former attorney general, Edwin Meese III, and a former White House counsel, C. Boyden Gray.

“It’s kind of ironic you have Boyden and me here because when we were with the executive branch, we were probably the principal proponents of executive power under President Reagan and then President George H. W. Bush,” Mr. Meese said, quickly adding that the presidential prerogatives they sought to protect, unlike Mr. Obama’s, were valid.

But Jack L. Goldsmith, a Harvard law professor who led the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel during the George W. Bush administration, said the Obama administration’s pattern reflects how presidents usually behave, especially during divided government, and appears aggressive only in comparison to Mr. Obama’s having been “really skittish for the first two years” about executive power.

“This is what presidents do,” Mr. Goldsmith said. “It’s taken Obama two years to get there, but this has happened throughout history. You can’t be in that office with all its enormous responsibilities — when things don’t happen, you get blamed for it — and not exercise all the powers that have accrued to it over time.”

Post Comment   Private Reply   Ignore Thread  


TopPage UpFull ThreadPage DownBottom/Latest

#1. To: All (#0)

Most people in this nation have always been happy when there is a dead locked Congress. It means that we won't get as big a screwing as when they are not at logger heads. But I see the Republicans are so gutless and have been so ready to allow the Executive branch to usurp their Constitutional authority when "their guy" is in office, that they have just handed all power over to the Executive now, regardless of what guy sits there.

The Dictator in Chief is large and in charge now folks. Enjoy your chains.

SJN  posted on  2012-04-23   12:10:48 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: SJN, *Ron Paul for President* (#1)

Perhaps the only way to deny Obama a full two terms is if the GOP gets a majority in congress in '12, and they impeach and remove him.

Not likely since they're on the same D&R team.


"We (government) need to do a lot less, a lot sooner" ~Ron Paul

Obama's watch stopped on 24 May 2008, but he's been too busy smoking crack to notice.

hondo68  posted on  2012-04-23   12:24:37 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: hondo68 (#2)

One can always hope and pray.

SJN  posted on  2012-04-23   12:41:28 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


TopPage UpFull ThreadPage DownBottom/Latest

[Home]  [Headlines]  [Latest Articles]  [Latest Comments]  [Post]  [Mail]  [Sign-in]  [Setup]  [Help]  [Register] 

Please report web page problems, questions and comments to webmaster@libertysflame.com