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Presidential Power Grab: Obama Making Plans to Use Executive Power

Thank goodness we have a president that isn't going to perpetrate the worst of the previous administration. From the New York Times

WASHINGTON – With much of his legislative agenda stalled in Congress, President Obama and his team are preparing an array of actions using his executive power to advance energy, environmental, fiscal and other domestic policy priorities.

Mr. Obama has not given up hope of progress on Capitol Hill, aides said, and has scheduled a session with Republican leaders on health care later this month. But in the aftermath of a special election in Massachusetts that cost Democrats unilateral control of the Senate, the White House is getting ready to act on its own in the face of partisan gridlock heading into the midterm campaign.

“We are reviewing a list of presidential executive orders and directives to get the job done across a front of issues,” said Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff.

Any president has vast authority to influence policy even without legislation, through executive orders, agency rule-making and administrative fiat. And Mr. Obama’s success this week in pressuring the Senate to confirm 27 nominations by threatening to use his recess appointment power demonstrated that executive authority can also be leveraged to force action by Congress.

When Bush did this, it was described as an “imperial presidency,” an undemocratic power-grab and a direct violation of the constitutional separation of power. But somehow, the use of unilateral “executive power” by a Democrat is a vitally necessary part of “change we can believe in.”

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Gregory Gadow

Gregory Gadow