Obama ruling by decree
Remember when the Constitution applied, and a president wanting to implement a new program would have to persuade Congress to pass a law and appropriate money? President Obama, facing a GOP House, has chosen to use executive orders and is getting away with it. And he is openly proclaiming his intent to do more of it.
Nicholas Ballasy in the Daily Caller:
President Barack Obama told an audience in Nevada on Monday that he will be regularly announcing "executive actions" his administration will take to "heal the economy" without the "dysfunctional" Congress.
"I'm here to say to all of you and to say to the people of Nevada and the people of Las Vegas, we can't wait for an increasingly dysfunctional Congress to do its job. Where they won't act, I will," Obama said.
"I've told my administration to keep looking every single day for actions we can take without Congress, steps that can save consumers money, make government more efficient and responsive, and help heal the economy. And we're going to be announcing these executive actions on a regular basis," the president said.
Obama then explained the home mortgage refinancing plan that his administration announced on Monday.
Neill Munro in the Daily Caller explains the program:
President Barack Obama is expanding his use of federal regulations by prodding the financial sector to sell low-interest mortgages to millions of cash-strapped homeowners "independent of how deeply underwater they are," said Shaun Donovan, Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Monday morning.
Emily Miller in the Washington Times explains further:
First up, he signed an executive directive expanding the power of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored twins responsible for kicking off the Great Recession. Later in the week, he will announce measures to change the terms of paying off student-loan debt.
"This president has the authority to take actions like this, and the ones he's taken on No Child Left Behind, on payments to businesses doing work with the federal government," explained White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.
It is up to Congress to guard the separation of powers and its prerogatives.
Speaker John A. Boehner's spokesman Michael Steel said, "Rather than try to ignore the constitutional separation of powers by focusing only on executive orders, a better approach would be for the president to work with Republicans on solid, sustainable pro-growth policies that get our economy moving again and create jobs."
I am not certain this is quite strong enough. But to be fair, rule by executive order has had its appeal for Obama's recent predecessors, too, and his total number of executive orders is not out of line with recent presidents. But he seems to be taking this approach much further, to the point of bullying the nation's banking system into making uneconomic loans, and leaving taxpayers on the hook for the inevitable consequences.