Obama vows to flex presidential powers

Seeking to energize his sluggish second term, President Barack Obama vowed Tuesday night in his State of the Union address to sidestep Congress "whenever and wherever" necessary to narrow economic disparities between rich and poor.
AP Wire
Jan 28, 2014

 

He unveiled an array of executive actions that included increasing the minimum wage for some federal contract workers and making it easier for millions of low-income Americans to save for retirement.

"America does not stand still and neither do I," Obama declared in his annual prime-time address before a joint session of Congress and millions of Americans watching on television.

Draped in presidential grandeur, Obama's prime-time address to a joint session of Congress and millions of Americans watching at home served as the opening salvo in a midterm election fight for control of Congress that will quickly consume Washington's attention. Democrats, seeking to cast Republicans as uncaring about the middle class, have urged Obama to focus on economic mobility and the gap between the wealthy and poor.

For Obama, the address was also aimed at convincing an increasingly skeptical public that he still wields power in Washington even if he can't crack through the divisions in Congress. Burned by a series of legislative failures in 2013, White House aides say they're now redefining success not by what Obama can jam through Congress but by what actions he can take on his own.

Indeed, Obama's proposals for action by lawmakers were slim and largely focused on old ideas that have gained little traction over the past year. He pressed Congress to revive a stalled immigration overhaul and pass an across-the-board increase in the federal minimum wage. His one new legislation proposal calls for expanding an income tax credit for workers without children.

Comments

Wolverine49457

Nancy Pelosi once described Bush as "King Bush” and yes he overreached and slipped past congress, Obama has done more and more often but nobody says a peep about our system of checks and balances being eroded nearly every time this guy opens his mouth.

castthefirststone

since his crowning(s)(2) he only opens his mouth to change feet. . . .

LessThanAmused

I'm serious dude......Whoever bought you the computer for Christmas should really get a talking to.......

TooMuch

You are cracking me up today!!

bigdeal

hmm GW Bush = 291 executive orders. Obama = 168 executive orders.
You people are ignorant. Pull your head out of your butt long enough to contemplate truth! You are on the internet, use it.

tetrahydra

Wait for it, wait for it.

rj18rad

HMMMMM! Yeah, but Obama still has two years left. He's going to at least double Bush's unless Congress uses their Constitutional powers to stop him.

Lanivan

I think it's time rj18rad pulled out the dusty old high school/college American History books. Executive orders are totally Constitutional, have have been done by nearly every president since time immemorial.

Grant=217
FDR=3,522
Coolidge=1,203
Reagan=381
Bush II=291
Obama=168

What IS criminal is the oath to an unelected citizen, Grover Norquist, made by nearly all Republicans in 2010, that superseded their sacred and Constitutional Oath of Office they took when they entered Congress.

And even MORE criminal is the fact that for the last five years, Republican congressmen/women have largely foresaken their jobs to create a broken Congress, one that is not fit to govern, and have continuously and callously put Party before Country, even after the worst recession in 80 years that catapulted millions of Americans out of jobs, their homes, and into poverty.

They have not passed any of Obama's Jobs Bills; they have wasted millions - perhaps hundreds of millions - on proposals that increase inequality by being highly favorable to corporate interests over the average US citizen; instead of jobs, the economy, and other serious issues, they have concentrated on restricting and eroding Americans Constitutional Rights - Women's Rights, Voter Suppression laws, Civil Rights, among others.

"Congress using their Constitutional powers to stop him"? Surely you jest!

rj18rad

Lani, I don't read "dusty old high school/college American History books". That's the problem with today's children and society. Learning "history" written by those with a leftist agenda. I'd just like to know the source you used to get those numbers. I'll believe it if it's a link to an official government record.
Why don't you open up that "dusty" document called the Constitution? It won't take much reading since it's right after the Preamble. ARTICLE I, Section 1.
I really don't see anything in the four sections of Article II about Executive orders. Can you indicate where in the Constitution that is?

Lanivan

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/d...

I did supply this link in another comment. Executive orders have been - well, executed - by every president since George Washington. As to the Constitution and executive orders, I will leave it up to you and Vlad to enlighten us, and explain how they were perfectly acceptable with every other president, but now are but a rush to socialism under President Obama - ("The Other").

"The history books were written by liberals"? sigh. You have my sincere condolences. This is truly one of the most depressing comments I've read in this forum, and there have been a lot of them. Please promise you will work on that paranoia.

Tri-cities realist

Lanny, you forgot Carter and Clinton, surely an oversight on your part (yeah right). Or was your "c" not working? Way to cherry pick the numbers, something you often criticize others for doing. Clinton had 364 just for the record.

Lanivan

Oh, dear. You apparently didn't click on my link in the comment directly above yours. See link; click on it; read where every president since GW (George Washington, not Bush) has used executive orders; Open mouth, insert typing fingers. Way to cherry pick your comments.

Tri-cities realist

What the... I clicked the link the first time. Where do you think I got the number for Clinton? Since you cited every 2 term president since Reagan, I thought it was odd you omitted Clinton. Care to explain that oversight? Or didn't it fit the agenda?

And then there are Carter and LBJ, the only 2 who issued over 300 per term since Truman. Hmm, to which party did they belong? An oversight on your part, yeah right.

And your welcome, I do try to cherry pick my comments rather than changing the subject by chasing a shiny object.

Vladtheimp

Not only does he have 2 years remaining, he has changed the law unconstitutionally without even bothering to issue Executive Orders- like changes to Obamacare, failure to enforce our Immigration Laws, failure to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act - it's hard to quantify how many laws he has broken or ignored by informal "executive actions" issued by his minions like Holder, Sebelius, and other faceless bureaucrats without having the cojones to pass formal Executive Orders. He probably won't reach the 319 Orders issued by the one President he most resembles, Jimmy Carter, in just 4 years. (Bill Clinton signed more EO's than George Bush, with 319).

I too love facts.

tetrahydra

Okay vlad since you love facts so much here is one for you to stick in your pipe and smoke. Ronald Reagan used 381 executive orders!

Lanivan

When you address Alberto Ganzales' trampling of civil liberties by using partisan political power to coerce law enforcement to prosecute perceived enemies and protect friends through the removal of nine justices, which damaged the credibility of the DOJ and raised doubts about it's integrity, is the day I take you seriously and you become persuasive.

Meanwhile, "failure to enforce our immigration laws"? Please provide facts. Deportation is at it's greatest under Obama than other presidents. More funding is going to border control than other presidents.

Until then, you are just manipulating us serfs for the Landowners, and trying your hardest to make our Christian, married, family man, for whom no personal scandal can be found (or non-personal, for that matter) into "The Other".

Vladtheimp

So much disinformation, so little time.

The hated Boosh fired 9 U.S. Attorneys (not justices, who are beyond the reach of the President). In actuality, he replaced all of Clinton's U.S. Attorneys, but on a staggered basis, which is appropriate because U.S. Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the President. Of course, the leftists and the media made this out to be a great scandal, ignoring the fact that Slick Willy Clinton fired all 93 U.S. Attorneys in one fell swoop when he was elected, as did Reagan, who fired 89 of the 93 U.S. Attorneys when he was elected. But, who cares about facts when the left and the media had an unswerving goal of DE-legitimizing and demeaning George Bush and turning him into the stupid, cowboy, "Other"? http://articles.latimes.com/2007...

If you want a real example of politicizing the Justice Department,look no further than Barack Hussein Obama: http://pjmedia.com/blog/every-si... (Please read the resumes of the new hires)

"President Barack Obama didn’t wait for Congress to rewrite the nation’s immigration laws to help millions who are in the United States illegally stay in the country.

He halted deportations of those who came to the United States when they were young, those who care for children and those who haven’t committed crimes. And he’s started allowing some relatives of U.S. service members living in the country illegally to stay as a way to alleviate additional stress on the military and reward veterans." http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/...

Vladtheimp

Strangely, Crickets . . . .

Lanivan

David Iglesias would have a very different take on the situation. He was not a Clinton appointee, but appointed by Bush in 2001, as were the other fired eight US attorneys.

"The dismissal of U.S. Attorneys controversy was initiated by the unprecedented[1] midterm dismissal of seven United States Attorneys on December 7, 2006, by the George W. Bush administration's Department of Justice. Congressional investigations focused on whether the Department of Justice and the White House were using the U.S. Attorney positions for political advantage. Allegations were that some of the attorneys were targeted for dismissal to impede investigations of Republican politicians or that some were targeted for their failure to initiate investigations that would damage Democratic politicians or hamper Democratic-leaning voters.[2][3] The U.S. attorneys were replaced with interim appointees, under provisions in the 2005 USA PATRIOT Act re-authorization".

In other words, Gonzales manipulated political power to prosecute enemies and protect friends. I find this particularly interesting:

"As the controversy emerged, U.S. Senators were concerned about a little-noticed provision in the re-authorization of the USA PATRIOT Act in 2006 that eliminated the 120-day term limit on interim appointments of U.S. Attorneys made by the United States Attorney General to fill vacancies. The law permitted the Attorney General to appoint interim U.S. Attorneys without a term limit in office, and avoid a confirming vote by the Senate. The change gave the Attorney General greater appointment powers than the President...."

Talk about disinformation! No wonder you were in a hurry......

bigdeal

Education is a fine thingy. Vlad = schooled.

Vladtheimp

Nothing on Clinton firing all of the U.S. Attorneys? Check

Nothing on the failure to enforce our Immigration Laws? Check

Lanivan

Clinton cleaned house of US Attorneys that were in place and appointed by previous presidents, inclusively. The Bush DOJ cherry-picked Bush's own appointees when it was apparent they were above partisan politics, and were not willing to investigate "enemies" without proper evidence of wrong-doing.

THIS is an example of an Imperial Presidency! And apparently Gonzales and his minions were the fall guys, resigning in disgrace, en masse.

As for the enforcing of our immigration laws, I'll let you be the one to substantiate your claim - I'm not buying into it.

Vladtheimp

Already substantiated - if you don't like the news link look it up yourself.

JustBehave

Use it yourself, look up those individual orders. Then compare the gravity of those orders. Then go to Websters online and find the definition of socialism.

bigdeal

yes, let me do YOUR homework for you. Get back to class, school is open today! No links? Surprise!

tetrahydra

Please elaborate on just what exactly Obama has done that is socialist?

Truth Be Told

Yes but all executive orders are not equal.
All presidents us EOs.
The problem with Obama is, he is going use EO's to push his agenda and by pass congress.
He is going to abuse his power and over step.
If Bush had done what Obama has done the libs would have screamed for impeachment.
Obama knows the only way he's going to push his agenda on a nation that clearly doesn't want it is by EO

Lanivan

Just to put things into perspective - this is what Bush did:

First president in U.S. history to enter office with a criminal record.

First year in office set the all-time record for most days on vacation by any president in U.S. history. In my first two years in office over 2 million Americans lost their job.

Cut unemployment benefits for more out of work Americans than any president in U.S. history.

Set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12-month period.

Appointed more convicted criminals to administration positions than any president in U.S. history.

Signed more laws and executive orders amending the Constitution than any president in U.S. history.

Presided over the biggest energy crises in U.S. history and refused to intervene when corruption was revealed.

Presided over the highest gasoline prices in U.S. history and refused to use the national reserves as past presidents have.

Cut healthcare benefits for war veterans.

Set the all-time record for most people worldwide to simultaneously take to the streets to protest me (15 million people), shattering the record for protest against any person in the history of mankind.

Dissolved more international treaties than any president in U.S. history.

My presidency was the most secretive and unaccountable of any in U.S. history.

First president in U.S. history to have all 50 states of the Union simultaneously go bankrupt.

Presided over the biggest corporate stock market fraud of any market in any country in the history of the world.

First president in U.S. history to order a U.S. attack and military occupation of a sovereign nation.

Created the largest government department bureaucracy in the history of the United States.

Set the all-time record for biggest annual budget spending increases, more than any president in U.S. history.

First president in U.S. history to have the United Nations remove the U.S. from the human rights commission.

Removed more checks and balances, and have the least amount of congressional oversight than any presidential administration in U.S. history.

Withdrew from the World Court of Law.

All-time U.S. (and world) record holder for most corporate campaign donations.

First U.S. president in history to have a majority of the people of Europe (71%) view my presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and stability.

Changed US policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded government contracts.

Set all-time record for number of administration appointees who violated U.S. law by not selling huge investments in corporations bidding for government contracts.

castthefirststone

our commander in chief, a pure "king", that's what we needed, a king just as in 1775, we are now in the 16th century, taxation without representation, our national ship without a rudder. . . .dam the 17 trillion debt, full spend ahead. . . .

rj18rad

I think the majority of America is asleep, and doesn't remember or KNOW why this country was founded in the first place.

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