President Barack Obama's agenda, particularly involving legislative proposals like his ambitious "Buffett Rule" tax plan, has been stunted by a polarized Congress now toiling in gridlock. Consequently, the White House is resorting to its purported "executive authority" -- specifically, by issuing a flurry of new executive orders.
To put it lightly, the president's view of Congress has been unpalatable, at least, since the Republicans captured the House of Representatives in the 2010 election. And Obama's solution? Bypass Congress altogether.
"We had been attempting to highlight the inability of Congress to do anything," asserted former White House chief of staff William M. Daley, referring to a strategy meeting carried out last fall. "The president expressed frustration, saying we have got to scour everything and push the envelope in finding things we can do on our own."
Indeed, the Obama administration is now launching its "We Can't Wait" campaign, a seemingly despotic ploy to work around Obama's congressional foes and enact a catalog of new executive-ordained policies.
On Monday, for example, Obama issued an executive order that would grant U.S. officials the authority to decree sanctions on foreign nationals who have used internet tracking and cellphone monitoring -- among other technologies -- to perform human-rights abuses.
Furthermore, the White House released another executive order earlier this month that would establish an oversight group consisting of 12 federal agencies charged with supporting "safe and responsible unconventional domestic natural gas development."
One more executive order -- entitled, "National Defense Resources Preparedness" -- quietly issued on March 16, granted unprecedented power to the president to control "critical resource and production sources," including energy production. In effect, this insatiable product of Obama's "We Can't Wait" campaign granted the president unbounded authority to seize control of all U.S. resources as long as his intention is "to promote the national defense" -- an obscure maxim that bolsters countless meanings.
All in all, the White House's agenda is clear. "I refuse to take 'no' for an answer," Obama professed in a speech carried out earlier this year. "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."
- Politics & Government
- President Barack Obama
- the White House