WSJ: Obama Expands His Executive Power

Friday, 30 Mar 2012 10:00 AM

By Martin Gould

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Despite campaign promises to refrain from using executive powers to bypass Congress, President Barack Obama is increasingly doing just that, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

From helping rebels in the Libyan revolution to granting states waivers from the No Child Left Behind education act, Obama is finding it easier to push his agenda without asking for approval from elected senators and representatives, the paper said.

And that is not sitting well with either Republicans or Democrats who are keen to defend their own turf against what they see as an overreaching executive.

“When he ran for president, Barack Obama promised to roll back President George W. Bush's use of executive power, a defining point of the Bush presidency,” Laura Meckler wrote in the Journal piece. “The pledge was part of a broader pitch about Mr. Obama's governing style, which he said would focus on solving problems in a pragmatic, cooperative way.

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“The allure of executive power, it turns out, is hard to resist,” Meckler added. “Most every chief executive has found ways to escape the shackles of the legislature and expand the power of the presidency. Three years into his first term, Mr. Obama has developed his own expansive view of going it alone, asserting new executive powers and challenging members of Congress in both parties.”

White House counsel Kathy Ruemmler told the Journal that Obama has developed a broadr view of executive power since his days as a U.S. senator. "Many issues that he deals with are just on him, where the Congress doesn't bear the burden in the same way," she said. "Until one experiences that first hand, it is difficult to appreciate fully how you need flexibility in a lot of circumstances."



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