Skip to comments.Obama Quickly Using Executive Powers
Posted on 11/11/2008 1:48:06 PM PST by IbJensen
Washington - President-elect Barack Obama plans to use his executive powers to make an immediate impact when he takes office, perhaps reversing Bush administration policies on stem cell research and domestic drilling for oil and natural gas.
John Podesta, Mr. Obama's transition chief, said yesterday Mr. Obama is reviewing President Bush's executive orders on those issues and others as he works to undo policies enacted during eight years of Republican rule. He said the president can use such orders to move quickly on his own.
"There's a lot that the president can do using his executive authority without waiting for congressional action, and I think we'll see the president do that," Mr. Podesta said. "I think that he feels like he has a real mandate for change. We need to get off the course that the Bush administration has set."
Mr. Podesta also said Mr. Obama is working to build a diverse Cabinet. That includes reaching out to Republicans and independents - part of the broad coalition that supported Mr. Obama during the race against Republican John McCain. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has been mentioned as a possible holdover.
"He's not even a Republican," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said. "Why wouldn't we want to keep him? He's never been a registered Republican."
Mr. Obama was elected on a promise of change, but the nature of the job makes it difficult for presidents to do much that has an immediate impact on the lives of average people. Congress plans to take up a second economic aid plan before year's end - an effort Mr. Obama supports, But it could be months or longer before taxpayers see the effect. Mr. Obama could use his executive powers to at least signal that Washington is changing.
"Obama's advantage of course is he'll have the House and the Senate working with him, and that makes it easier," said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond. "But even then, having an immediate impact is very difficult to do because the machinery of government doesn't move that quickly."
Presidents long have used executive orders to impose policy and set priorities. One of Bush's first acts was to reinstate full abortion restrictions on U.S. overseas aid. The restrictions were first ordered by President Reagan and the first President Bush followed suit. President Clinton lifted them soon after he occupied the Oval Office and it wouldn't be surprising if Mr. Obama did the same.
Executive orders "have the power of law and they can cover just about anything," Mr. Tobias said in a telephone interview.
Mr. Bush used his executive power to limit federal spending on embryonic stem cell research, a position championed by opponents of abortion rights who argue that destroying embryos is akin to killing a fetus. Mr. Obama has supported the research in an effort to find cures for diseases such as Alzheimer's. Many moderate Republicans also support the research, giving it the stamp of bipartisanship.
On drilling, the federal Bureau of Land Management is opening about 360,000 acres of public land in Utah to oil and gas drilling. Bush administration officials argue the drilling will not harm sensitive areas; environmentalists oppose it.
"They want to have oil and gas drilling in some of the most sensitive, fragile lands in Utah," Mr. Podesta said. "I think that's a mistake."
Two top House Republicans said there is a willingness to try to work with Mr. Obama to get things done. But they said to expect Republicans to serve as a check against the power held by Mr. Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress.
"It's going to be a cheerful opposition," said Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind. "We're going to carry those timeless principles of limited government, a strong defense, traditional values, to the American people."
Mr. Pence is expected to take over the No. 3 leadership post among House Republicans.
In other transition matters, Mr. Obama's new chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, would not say whether Mr, Obama would return to the Senate for votes during the postelection session this month. Mr. Obama's presence would be extraordinary, given his position as president-elect, especially if Congress takes up a much-anticipated economic stimulus plan.
"I think that the basic approach has been he's going to be here in Chicago, setting up his economic, not only his economic team, but the policies he wants to outline for the country as soon as he gets sworn in, so we hit the ground running," Mr. Emanuel said.
Also, Mr. Emanuel would not commit to a Democratic proposal to help the auto industry with some of the $700 billion approved by Congress to for the financial bailout.
Mr. Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a letter Saturday to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson that the administration should consider expanding the bailout to include car companies.
Mr. Podesta appeared on "Fox News Sunday," as did Mr Pence, and CNN's "Late Edition," where Mr. Reid also was interviewed. Mr. Emanuel spoke on ABC's "This Week" and CBS' "Face the Nation."
I wonder how much Obama’s starting to realize that by not running a campaign, he’s opened himself to every other liberal dictating what he’ll be doing in office. And all these ideas, no matter if they originated in the Obama campaign or not, will be seen by the liberal left wing as a betrayal if he doesn’t do it.
I wonder if next week they’ll be talking about an executive order about global warming, saving the polar bears, and listing the bald eagle as an ultra-protected species. While I don’t agree with Obama’s politics, I also don’t think he’ll be anywhere near the driver’s seat as president.
Remember how independents were for McCain-Palin over Drill Baby Drill, and Obama jumped on the drill bandwagon telling Dems they needed to pass bill to drill offshore...and everyone thought he would drill for oil in America...one more lie, and when he said it...some of us knew it would be undone, and many voted for him because that was only issue holding them back. Now they have been scammed.
I’m amazed by the way the MSM continue to act as if he’s ALREADY president. Note the headline; not “will quickly use” but “quickly using,” and this is but one of countless examples.
And he feels like he has a “real mandate?” 52%, Da Fuerher, 52%.
Bad grammer on the part of Mr. Ohlemacher - as President Elect obama isn’t using executive orders yet.
As for midnight orders, every President at least since President Reagan has tried hard to undo late orders from the previous president.
But those efforts usually fall short: President Bush43 could only unravel 3% of Clinton’s last-minute plans, and Clinton successfully killed only 9% of those pushed through by President Bush41 in 1993.
How is it sensitive? How is it fragile? Does any conservative in Washington have the balls to ask these questions?
Cool. Gas prices will return to $4 a gallon, and you can't blame the evil Bush because the gubmint will be controlled by Rats. The energy companies will move their HQ off-shore and completely stop all new oil projects. Then it'll be just like the 70s again! Long lines, odd and even days. Yeah!
("Do a little dance/make a little love/get down tonight. GET DOWN TONIGHT!")
I thought libtards hated the use of executive powers? Has their tune changed?
Typical of Stupid Harry...don't consider whether he's done a good job, just look at his political affiliation. What a numbskull...but then, what can you expect from a guy who has publicly stated that federal income taxes are voluntary.
elections have consequences. McCain was bad from the start and I got blasted numerous times for saying it....but wow I was right!!! (unfortunately)
Whatever this O-hole is going to do he better get it done before Nov. 2010. Congress is going to be looking extremely RED after the 2010 elections. One more thing Your Clueless, if you start this stroke of the pen UNDO you can be damn sure in Jan 2013 or after your impeachment you will be UNDONE IN SPADES.
“...can be damn sure in Jan 2013 or after your impeachment you will be UNDONE IN SPADES.”
Now that’s a very racist thing to say.
The only thing that will keep the oil prices from rising is the fact that the economy will sink into oblivion with Obama’s ‘fixes for the economy, which will drastically curtail consumption.
I take from this that Obama will further hasten the outsourcing of domestic energy and prop up the race-baiting and baby killing industry domestically.
Yeah, it is a good thing that McCain lost, right?
decidedly: without question and beyond doubt; "it was decidedly too expensive"; "she told him off in spades"; "by all odds they should win"
Maybe it's an age thing, but it was nice hearing from you anyway morron.