Tags: Barack Obama | obama | executive | action | pen | phone

Obama's Year of Executive Action Not So Active

By    |   Sunday, 12 Oct 2014 08:16 PM

President Barack Obama promised 2014 would be the "Year of Action" in which he used his pen and phone to make executive orders and persuade private enterprise to get moving on policies that Congress had stymied.

But things haven't gone as planned, Politico reports.

The website analyzed more than 60 executive actions the president has announced since January and found little success.

His plan to raise the minimum wage for federal contractors and protect gay workers won't take full effect until 2019 as new contract are signed.

And a new retirement savings plan and a program to help with student loan debt are not yet ready to be implemented. Even then, Politico notes, there are already other plans for people having trouble paying off their student loans.

"It's a tangled mess [the administration has] created for themselves and for borrowers, too," Jason Delisle, director of the Federal Education Budget Project at the liberal New America Foundation, told Politico. "They did it so they could take credit for it."

With a Republican House vowing to stall his initiatives, Obama had hoped he could make several small moves throughout the year to boost his party's midterm hopes in November. But with the Islamic State (ISIS), Ukrain,e and the Ebola virus grabbing headlines, his small-scale efforts have achieved little notice.

The White House has held eight "Year of Action" conferences, but each is targeted at a particular constituency, and they have failed to gain ground together.

And Obama's move to stop American companies from moving their headquarters overseas to avoid U.S. taxes failed to get Congressional help. Instead, he issued new rules to discourage "corporate inversions," a move that his own Treasury secretary, Jack Lew, said would make little difference.

"He is working with what he’s got, which is a pretty bad hand," Paul C. Light, a New York University professor told Politico. "If you say it is the 'year of action,' it is really better to say it's the 'year of the best-we-can-do action.'"

Republicans have said Obama's executive actions are not legal and are merely an attempt to make an end-run around Congress. And liberal constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley has repeatedly warned that Obama's moves could spark a "constitutional crisis," weakening the power of the legislative and judicial branches.

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President Barack Obama promised 2014 would be the "Year of Action" in which he used his pen and phone to make executive orders and persuade private enterprise to get moving on policies that Congress had stymied. But things haven't gone as planned, Politico reports.
obama, executive, action, pen, phone
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2014-16-12
Sunday, 12 Oct 2014 08:16 PM
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