Comment by - September 16, 2008 at 4:18 pmEarlier posts:
April 7, 2008It looks like the idea is back.
We Don't Need No Stinking Congress: Climate Change Executive Orders
Nov. 10, 2008
Climate Politics: [President-Elect] "Obama Positioned to Quickly Reverse Bush Actions"
From the Center for American Progress:
The Power of the President
Recommendations to Advance Progressive Change
Introduction and summary
The opportunityConcentrating on executive powers presents a real opportunity for the Obama administration to turn its focus away from a divided Congress and the unappetizing process of making legislative sausage. Instead, the administration can focus on the president’s ability to deliver results for the American people on the things that matter most to them:
- Job creation and economic competitiveness
- Educational excellence
- A clean energy future and energy independence
- Quality affordable health care
- Consumer protection
- The home foreclosure crisis
- Accountable government delivering results at lower cost
- Sustainable security for the nation
The public has made clear its disgust with Washington’s ways—the same sentiment that helped to bring President Obama to office. It would be a welcome relief from watching legislative maneuvering to see the work of a strong executive who is managing the business of the country through troubled times, doing more with less, each day working to create a stronger economy and a more effective government.
The Obama administration, of course, is already using the capacity of the presidency to drive change in the public and private sector. For example, it promoted the forma1tion of Skills for America’s Future, a new public-private initiative in support of the president’s goal of 5 million more community college graduates and certificates by 2020. At the recent White House Community College Summit, convened by Dr. Jill Biden, industry, labor unions, community colleges, and other training providers made commitments to help put this initiative into action.
Similarly, President Obama’s recent trip to India provided an opportunity for him to win agreements that will bring significant economic benefits to U.S. firms and American workers. Trade transactions were announced or showcased, exceeding $14.9 billion in total value with $9.5 billion in U.S. export content, supporting an estimated 53,670 U.S. jobs in the production of aircraft, energy generation equipment, advanced machinery, and telecommunications services, among others.
There is much more the president can do. The list below of ideas from the Center for American Progress’s policy experts offers just some of the many possible actions the administration can take using existing authority to move the country forward.
Specifically, in the energy and environmental arena, the president can:
- Reduce oil imports and make progress toward energy independence.
- Progress toward reducing greenhouse gas pollution by 17 percent by 2020.
- Conserve federal lands for future generations.
- Manage public lands to support a balanced energy strategy.
- Convene and engage hunters and anglers in the development of a fish and wildlife climate adaptation plan.
- Generate solar energy on U.S. Air Force hangar roofs.
- Direct an assessment, strategy, and new policy development to promote U.S. competitiveness.
- Launch the new consumer financial protection bureau with an aggressive agenda to protect and empower consumers.
- Increase the capacity of small businesses to expand hiring and purchases by accelerating the implementation of the Small Business Jobs Act.
- Promote automatic mediation to avoid foreclosure where possible and speed resolution.
- Create a web portal to empower housing counselors, reduce burdens on lenders, and speed up home mortgage modifications.
- Help stabilize home values and communities by turning “shadow REO” housing inventory into “scattered site” rental housing.
- Promote practices that support working families.
- Partner with the private sector in health care payment reform.
- Focus on health care prevention in implementing the Affordable Care Act.
- Streamline and simplify access to federal antipoverty programs.
- Replace costly, inhumane immigration detention policies with equally effective measures.
- Launch an “educational productivity” initiative to help school districts spend every dollar wisely to best prepare our children for the 21st century.
- Ensure students can compare financial aid offers from different postsecondary institutions.
- Improve the quality, standards, and productivity of postsecondary education.
- Scrutinize federal spending programs and tax expenditures to achieve greater returns on public investment.
- Build the next-generation Recovery.gov web site to track all public expenditures and performance in real time.
- Use new information technology for faster, more transparent freedom of information.
- Create a virtual U.S. statistical agency.
- Collect data on lesbian ,gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans in federal data surveys.
- Rebalance our Afghanistan strategy with greater emphasis on political and diplomatic progress.
- Promote domestic revenue generation in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
- Appoint a special envoy for the Horn of Africa and the southwest Arabian Peninsula region.
- Appoint a special commission to assess contracting practices in national security and foreign affairs.
- Use executive branch authority to mitigate the impact of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy if Congress does not repeal it.
- Redouble support for Palestinian state- and institution-building efforts.
- Pursue dual-track policy on Iran while sharpening focus on Iranian human rights issues.
- Reinvigorate the U.S.-Turkey strategic alliance. Develop a comprehensive policy on the Russia-Georgia conflict.
Statement from John D. Podesta
November 15, 2010In the aftermath of this month’s midterm congressional elections, pundits and politicians across the ideological spectrum are focusing on how difficult it will be for President Barack Obama to advance his policy priorities through Congress. Predictions of stalemate abound. And some debate whether the administration should tack to the left or to the center and compromise with or confront the new House leadership.
As a former White House chief of staff, I believe those to be the wrong preoccupations. President Obama’s ability to govern the country as chief executive presents an opportunity to demonstrate strength, resolve, and a capacity to get things done on a host of pressing challenges of importance to the public and our economy. Progress, not positioning, is what the public wants and deserves.
The U.S. Constitution and the laws of our nation grant the president significant authority to make and implement policy. These authorities can be used to ensure positive progress on many of the key issues facing the country through:
- Executive orders
- Agency management
- Convening and creating public-private partnerships
- Commanding the armed forces
The upshot: Congressional gridlock does not mean the federal government stands still. This administration has a similar opportunity to use available executive authorities while also working with Congress where possible. At the Center for American Progress, we look forward to our nation continuing to make progress.
Read the full report (pdf)
Download the executive summary (pdf)
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