By Chris Gacek
Last week I posted a blog on President Obama’s decision to aggressively use executive power to implement his agenda in areas where his legislative agenda seems unlikely to succeed. Today’s Washington Timeseditorializes on this topic (“Obama the Philosopher King: The O Force Uses Executive Power to Get around the Pesky Congress,” p. B2). In it, the paper’s editorial board notes among other things:
Exploiting executive power is nothing new for Mr. Obama. He has appointed more executive-branch policy “czars” than any of his predecessors…. But last fall, Mr. Obama pressured Democrats in the Senate to kill legislation that would have brought his czars under congressional oversight.
Mr. Obama claimed emergency powers to reshape two of the Big Three auto manufacturers. He has sought the authority to assume extraordinary powers to deal with cyber threats and purported climate change. He has used executive orders to pursue pet causes, such as EO 13502, which effectively banned nonunion labor from federal construction projects, and EO 13509, which established the Soviet-sounding Council on Automotive Communities and Workers. Even Mr. Obama’s liberal supporters have blanched at his claims of power regarding extraordinary rendition, surveillance, state secrets, signing statements and executive privilege.
So, we at FRC are not alone in noticing this alarming trend in the administration’s behavior. Stay tuned for further developments.