The President Won't Be Needing You
by Amy Payne, Heritage Foundation, January 29, 2014
President Obama says this is a “year of action”—and last night he made it very clear whose action he was talking about.
After noting recently that he has a pen and a phone and can use those to make changes without the help of Congress, Obama charged forward with promises of taking executive action wherever lawmakers fail to meet his demands.
“This President has acted like the playground bully who when he can’t have everything he wants, he decides to take his ball and go home,” Heritage President Jim DeMint said yesterday. “This is not the way our government is supposed to work.”
Indeed—Heritage’s legal experts have long questioned the legality of the President’s lone ranger style. And early analysis of this year’s State of the Union proposals indicates the executive branch will continue to run amok.
One of the most hyped features of the speech was Obama’s declaration that he will order a higher minimum wage for people working on federal contracts. These aren’t federal employees, but employees of companies that have contracts to do work for the federal government.
Heritage legal fellow Andrew Kloster said this isn’t something the President is supposed to be doing.
“Any contractor who is adversely affected by this action would have a good case to take to court,” Kloster said. “If it stands, though, this would be yet another unlawful unilateral action concocted by the Obama Administration.”
Why does Obama insist on bypassing Congress—the people Americans elected to make the laws?
President Obama and his apologists insist that ruling through executive action is the only option because we live in an exceptionally partisan age. Tell that to Ronald Reagan who worked with a Congress led by liberal Democrats, or Bill Clinton, who found ways to work with a Congress that had impeached him.
In addition to Obama’s new executive plans, America is still reeling from all the “action” he’s been driving the past few years. Heritage expert Diane Katz explained:
Hundreds of other costly edicts are in the pipeline, including dozens more Obamacare dictates and equally onerous Dodd-Frank rules. This President, after all, has consistently exploited executive orders and regulations to control manufacturing, finance, health care, and a slew of what most of us once thought were personal lifestyle choices. Indeed, this President’s accelerated rate of regulatory expansion appears unequaled, with more than $70 billion in new annual regulatory costs added in the first term alone.
Many regulatory changes appear quietly and stealthily in government notices—but Obama’s State of the Union shows that he plans to wield his pen proudly this year.
Read the Morning Bell and more en español every day at Heritage Libertad.