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Obama turns to ‘executive orders’ to bypass Congress

Capitol Hill Blue White House Correspondent
October 26, 2011

(AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain)

President Barack Obama is turning to executive orders to do a political end run around Congress to try and jumpstart his stalled jobs program and promote other economic initiatives.

And political insiders say the moves are more political theater than economic reality.

“Any economic policy benefits are, at best, small but there are political bonuses for the president,” Don Halloway, a former Republican staff member of the House Budget Committee, tells Capitol Hill Blue.

White House Communications Director Dan Pfieffer confirmed that Obama will bypass Congress by issuing executive orders to launch economic initiatives.

“The President will use these tools on a consistent basis for months to come,” Pfieffer says.

But with a record 14 million Americans out of work, Obama’s strategy is risky at best.

At a meeting with Democratic congressional leaders recently, White House aides ran into skepticism and some hostility at the President’s plan to cut Congress out of the loop.

“Let’s say the meeting was less than friendly,” says  a Capitol Hill source.

According to one source, Democratic leader Steny Hoyer suggested that Obama is acting “more and more like a desperate George W. Bush.”

Republicans see Obama’s latest moves as good campaign fodder for the 2012 election.

“The president’s policies have a history of hurting, not helping, job creation,” says GOP operative Anne Riley.  “As long as he stays on his present course it just makes his re-election changes more difficult.”

Democratic strategist Jonathan Hartley agrees.

“This president has lost his focus,” Hartley says. “He’s floundering and wandering off in too many directions.”

13 Responses to Obama turns to ‘executive orders’ to bypass Congress

  1. griff

    October 26, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Hmmm…I won’t bother looking up Obama’s quotes from the 2008 campaign – again – when he pledged not to use signing statements and executive orders to circumvent our hallowed democratic institutions.

    Yeah, that was then, this is now.

    I also remember the Obamanoids revelling in the fact that His One-ness was a constitutional scholar and will undo all the unconstitutional power-grabbing legislation and executive decrees enacted by Bush and those eveil power-hungry Republicans.

    Well there is hope folks, seeing as He couldn’t even enforce his executive order to close Gitmo.

    The most powerful man in the world? Hell, He’s not even the most powerful man in the Oval Office.

  2. Almandine

    October 26, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Our RULER is on the job!

  3. woody188

    October 27, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    hyp·o·crite [hip-uh-krit]


    1. a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.

    2. a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, especially one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.

  4. Jon

    October 28, 2011 at 3:53 am

    When the party controlling half of Congress has basically sworn to block everything you try, an alternative might be in order.

    At least he’s not starting a war.


    • griff

      October 28, 2011 at 2:33 pm

      He’s not?

      • Jon

        October 28, 2011 at 5:19 pm

        That depends upon how you look at the term “War”. If by simply applying American military forces overseas, you’d be hard-pressed to find any President in the last forty years who didn’t. In that case, yes.

        If you mean invasion by U.S. troops and a prolonged occupation, I’d say no.

        If you have in mind rather fuzzier concepts like the “War on Poverty” (poverty is winning) the “War on Drugs” (likewise), or a “class war” (class lost), then I’m afraid any answer would be so mired in undefined and undefinable terms that it would be pointless.


        • Almandine

          October 28, 2011 at 8:23 pm

          I think bombing the shit out of other countries qualifies…

          • Jon

            November 1, 2011 at 11:43 pm

            Strictly technically, only Congress can declare war. The last time they did that was in late 1941.


            • Jon

              November 1, 2011 at 11:44 pm

              Strictly technically, “lawfully” declare war…


    • Julie

      October 28, 2011 at 3:18 pm

      You wanna know why they are blocking his legislation ? Because they are harming our free market , they are harming our country because they are socialist policies !

  5. Anne

    October 30, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    As far as I’m concerned, the GOP Congressmembers have no cause for complaint. He repeatedly tried to work with them, to the point of overcompromising at times. They have repeatedly stated their goal to make him a one-term president, and to that end their obstructionism has hurt countless Americans. His jobs bill even contains items they have previously been in favor of, but they oppose them just because he embraces them. As for the know-nothings whining about socialism, we have always had socialistic elements in our economy.

  6. Jon

    October 31, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Oddly enough, it seems that countries with a lot more socialist policies seem to do just fine. On just about every “quality of life” measurement they beat the USA.

    But socialism is bad, mmkay? Glenn Beck said so.


    • cab

      November 6, 2011 at 10:49 pm

      But, what rights do you give up in order to get that “quality of life”? Freedom of religion? Freedom of speech? Freedom of lawful assembly? The opportunity to advance beyond a certain educational or financial level? Freedom to have as many children as you would like? Freedom to live anywhere in the country you would like? An opportunity to have a voice in choosing your governing body? What are you willing to trade in order to have “free” health care, “affordable” housing and “free” education for all? That type of government isn’t “free”. You WILL give up something.