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Old 02-11-2013, 08:26 AM  
Direckshun Direckshun is online now
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Impatient with Congress, Obama mulls more executive action in 2nd term.

Not a bad approach, if done in the right way.

For example, in his first term, he spent a couple years really pushing for the DREAM Act to pass. But since he could not even get a vote in the Senate, he executive order'd a smaller version of the DREAM Act to get the political ball rolling. And here we are, on the verge of comprehensive immigration reform in 2013.

I think similar actions on climate change, mortgages, homosexual rights, infrastructure, so on and so forth could yeild similar benefits. Politically, and for the better health of the country.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politi...e2a_story.html

Obama weighing executive actions on housing, gays and other issues
By Zachary A. Goldfarb
Feb 11, 2013 01:15 AM EST

President Obama is considering a series of new executive actions aimed at working around a recalcitrant Congress, including policies that could allow struggling homeowners to refinance their mortgages, provide new protections for gays and lesbians, make buildings more energy-efficient and toughen regulations for coal-fired power plants, according to people outside the White House involved in discussions on the issues.

One of the first orders is expected this week, when the Obama administration will call for the creation of new standards on what critical private-sector companies should do to protect their computer systems from hackers.

The moves underscore Obama’s increasingly aggressive use of executive authority, including 23 administrative actions on gun violence last month and previous orders that delayed deportations of young illegal immigrants and will lower student loan payments.

These and other potential actions suggest that Obama is likely to rely heavily on executive powers to set domestic policy in his second term. One White House official said that while the president does not see the actions as substitutes for more substantial legislation, he also wants to move forward on top priorities.

But the approach risks angering Republican lawmakers in Congress, who say they are leery of granting the executive branch too much power and have already clashed with Obama over the issue. In a ruling last month, a federal appeals court said Obama exceeded his constitutional powers in naming several people to the National Labor Relations Board while the Senate was on a break.

“It is a very dangerous road he’s going down contrary to the spirit of the Constitution,” Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said in a recent interview. “Just because Congress doesn’t act doesn’t mean the president has a right to act.”

The administration declined to provide details on timing of the possible actions; one White House official said the moves to boost housing, retrofit buildings, offer same-sex protections or issue new environmental rules were not imminent. Obama may touch on some of the actions in broad terms during his State of the Union address Tuesday, but he is unlikely to lay them out in detail.

One of the more significant moves under consideration is in housing. Obama is weighing whether to use his executive authority to give more of the country’s nearly 11 million struggling homeowners a chance to refinance at today’s ultra-low interest rates, according to the Treasury Department and others in talks with the administration on the issue.

Obama already has used his executive powers to make refinancing easier for people with loans backed by government-financed mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But the new plan could extend the opportunity to people who are underwater on their privately backed mortgages, which have not been eligible for the same relief.

The plan, if adopted, would likely be aimed at homeowners who have otherwise kept up with their mortgage payments but have been unable to refinance because the loan against their home exceeds its depressed value. Many Republicans in Congress have balked at the idea amid concerns over the cost to taxpayers.

Michael A. Stegman, a senior Treasury Department official, said late last month that the administration would “consider non-legislative means at our disposal to help responsible . . . homeowners access these low rates.” But he added, “the legislative route would be preferable.”

The White House is also reviewing whether the president should issue an executive order offering protections to gays and lesbians who work for government contractors. Obama decided against issuing such an order during the presidential campaign last year, disappointing many gay-rights activists.

But two people familiar with White House thinking said the president may reverse that decision and issue the order if Congress does not pass broader legislation offering protection for gays in the workplace.

In trying to slow climate change, Obama is considering acting through the Environmental Protection Agency to issue new rules governing carbon emissions by existing power plants, according to three people familiar with White House discussions. The move would face fierce corporate opposition but is among the top goals of environmentalists.

The executive order calling for new cybersecurity standards would apply to industries such as transportation that are regulated by executive branch agencies. It also would increase the amount of computer threat data that the government shares with companies.

Throughout his first term, Obama turned frequently to the use of executive powers in the national-security arena, pursuing a campaign to overturn Libya’s government and making use of drones to kill suspected terrorists overseas. Lawmakers of both parties have sparred with the administration this week over secretive anti-terrorism programs employing drone strikes and targeted killings.

Obama’s moves on domestic policies began more recently after he concluded that Republicans in Congress were unlikely to pass many of the major items on his agenda.

Under the slogan “We Can’t Wait,” Obama took actions beginning in late 2011 to boost the housing market, lower payments on student loans and delay deportation of young illegal immigrants. He also installed key officials in regulatory agencies without congressional approval, producing loud complaints from Republicans.

In the months ahead, some people close to the White House said Obama must weigh the prospect of making progress on his priorities with the risk that acting aggressively could hurt the chances for more substantial legislation on Capitol Hill.

“That has to be part of an analysis of what are his powers under the Constitution and statutes of the United States,” said John D. Podesta, a former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, who used executive actions in the face of a hostile Congress in his second term. “I think given where he wants to go and where Congress has blocked and stalled and Republicans are recalcitrant to do anything . . . he’s going to move.”

In the realm of economic policy, Obama may expand a program — the Better Buildings Initiative — which seeks to hire workers to rehab federal and private-sector buildings to make them more efficient. Officials say the cost of the program is offset by energy savings.

On climate change, EPA is due this spring to issue final carbon-emission regulations for new power plants, using powers under the Clean Air Act. But Obama is also considering moving beyond that effort toward regulating carbon emissions from existing power plants.

A more ambitious plan to develop a market-based system known as “cap and trade” to control carbon emissions died in his first term, and appears unlikely to resurface soon.

On social policy, Obama is reconsidering whether to issue an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. When he decided not to issue such an order last year, the White House said it would prefer to pass a law applying to gays and lesbians in the workplace.

But if Congress seems unlikely to act on the broader legislation — called the Employment Non-Discrimination Act — officials have signaled to people working on the issue outside the administration that the president would likely consider issuing an executive order, which can only affect government contractors.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:19 PM   #16
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LMFAO @BigRedDummy!!! If he says it, it must be true... in his own personal little Utopia...
A good example of what keeps this forum from getting new posters.
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I believe Hitler hated Jews and had a lot of them killed. I dont believe it was anywhere close to 6 million though. I'm not an anti-semite; I just think that number has been severely inflated and there is a lot of evidence that supports this belief.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:24 PM   #17
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Almost all of this is untrue.

1. Executive orders aren't legislation at all.

2. Some executive orders get reversed by the next new president (from the opposing party), but some last for a long time, e.g. the executive order against assassinations issued by Ronald Reagan lasted through 3 presidents until it was amended by GWBush. I don't have any statistics available, but I bet most of them are not reversed by the next guy.

3. A small minority of executive orders are challenged all the way to the SCOTUS. A really, really small minority.
Forget I used the word "legislation". Use any word that you would like for a executive order. When you focus on one word, or the definition of a word, your argument is on thin ice.

They are temporary unless the incoming President agrees with the executive order. The Reagan example is a perfect example. You think Clinton didn't know of its existence? By his not canceling the executive order, he approved of the executive order.

There are lawsuits agaisnt everything the government does, I'm skeptical that there are few lawsuits against executive orders.
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I believe Hitler hated Jews and had a lot of them killed. I dont believe it was anywhere close to 6 million though. I'm not an anti-semite; I just think that number has been severely inflated and there is a lot of evidence that supports this belief.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:14 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by BigRedChief View Post
Forget I used the word "legislation". Use any word that you would like for a executive order. When you focus on one word, or the definition of a word, your argument is on thin ice.
I agree that it was nit picking. I wouldn't have even mentioned it if the rest of the post wasn't so wrong. A list of three wrong things is more impressive than just two.

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They are temporary unless the incoming President agrees with the executive order. The Reagan example is a perfect example. You think Clinton didn't know of its existence? By his not canceling the executive order, he approved of the executive order.
Agree, although it's more accurate to say they're permanent as long as a successor doesn't change them.

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There are lawsuits agaisnt everything the government does, I'm skeptical that there are few lawsuits against executive orders.
Most executive orders aren't controversial or necessarily even partisan. We just hear about the ones that are. But even with the controversial ones, a lot of them are clearly within the scope of POTUS power and any lawsuit would fizzle long before it got to the SCOTUS.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:53 PM   #19
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A good example of what keeps this forum from getting new posters.
Really? It's not because you post off the cuff remarks with no basis in reality and try to pass them off as fact? It's because we are a bunch of mean poopyheads in DC? The rest of CP is kind, gentle,loving, and embraces those that make ridiculous assertions? It is our greatest hope that we may help each and every individual that graces these threads into a higher state of consciousness and understanding?
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:28 PM   #20
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:38 AM   #21
Direckshun Direckshun is online now
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This is pretty much exactly what I was talking about in the OP.

http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-va...r-on-wednesday

Sources: White House to issue cybersecurity order Wednesday
By Jennifer Martinez
02/11/13 05:00 PM ET

The White House is poised to release an executive order aimed at thwarting cyberattacks against critical infrastructure on Wednesday, two people familiar with the matter told The Hill.

The highly anticipated directive from President Obama is expected to be released at a briefing Wednesday morning at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where senior administration officials will provide an update about cybersecurity policy.

The executive order would establish a voluntary program in which companies operating critical infrastructure would elect to meet cybersecurity best practices and standards crafted, in part, by the government.

Observers are expecting the president to briefly mention the need for the country to improve its defenses against cyberattacks during his State of the Union address on Tuesday.

White House press secretary Jay Carney declined Monday to say whether the president would discuss cybersecurity during his Tuesday address to Congress, saying the president believes that it’s “a very important issue.”

“It represents a huge challenge for our country. He has called on Congress to take action. Unfortunately, Congress has thus far refused legislatively,” Carney said at a press briefing with reporters. “But I don’t have any previews to provide.”

During last year’s address, the president made a brief mention about the cybersecurity legislative blueprint that his administration put forward in May 2011.

The White House began crafting the executive order after Congress failed to pass cybersecurity legislation last year. Officials said the threat facing the United States was too great for the administration to ignore and that it needed to take action as Congress grappled with passing a bill.

During his second term, the president is expected to exert his executive power on issues such as climate change, and it appears that cybersecurity is also on that list.

Yet administration officials have also stressed that the executive order is not a substitute for cybersecurity legislation, which is needed to protect the country’s water plants, electric grid and other critical infrastructure from cyberattacks.

They note that an executive order cannot, unlike congressional legislation, grant new powers or authorities to federal agencies or departments.

“We need comprehensive cybersecurity legislation,” Andy Ozment, a senior director for cybersecurity at the White House, said at a conference in Washington last week. “We cannot do everything under our existing authorities.”

White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Michael Daniel, Commerce Department Deputy Secretary Rebecca Blank, Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Jane Lute and National Security Director Gen. Keith Alexander will be among the officials participating in Wednesday’s briefing, according to details obtained by The Hill.

A White House spokeswoman declined to comment on the timing of the executive order.

It has been revised several times over the past few months and would also encourage agencies to share intelligence about cyber threats with companies that operate critical infrastructure.

Over the past few months, the White House has engaged in outreach efforts to industry groups, think tanks, companies and advocacy groups to solicit feedback on what should and should not be included in the order.

A leaked copy of the draft order this fall revealed that the White House had incorporated some changes into the order that were an attempt to smooth over concerns that the high-tech industry had raised.

The White House began work on the executive order after the Senate failed to pass a sweeping cybersecurity bill by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). The bill included a measure aimed at improving information-sharing about cyber threats between government and industry.

However, it also had a more controversial provision that would encourage companies that operate critical infrastructure to adopt cybersecurity best practices and standards into their computer networks.
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