Fed up with Congress and its inability to do anything at all about anything at all, President Obama is planning to use that thing called executive power, which, until now, he didn’t seem to know about. With the election of Scott Brown likely to render Congress even more ineffective than before, Obama is starting to assert his power through “executive orders, agency rule-making and administrative fiat,” according to the Times.
“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.
Already the administration has pressured the Senate into confirming some Obama nominees by threatening to use recess appointment power. Up next are issues like “don’t ask, don’t tell,” which Obama plans to “soften enforcement of” as Congress endlessly argues over repealing the law. And rather than wait for the Senate to figure out cap and trade, the EPA is considering regulating heat-trapping gasses itself.
The Obama administration also seems to have learned an important 21st century lesson – self-promotion is key. So it’s now “drawing more attention to the sorts of actions taken regularly by cabinet departments without much fanfare.” It’s the executive branch version of a status update.
Obama Making Plans to Use Executive Power [NYT]