A regulations watchdog predicted that President Joe Biden will try to use executive orders to implement his $2 trillion Build Back Better legislation.
Clyde Wayne Crews, of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, told the Washington Examiner that Biden appeared poised to expand federal regulations greatly, especially if he loses control of the House and Senate.
Former President Barack Obama called that approach ruling with a "pen and a phone" when he lost support on Capitol Hill, the Examiner said.
"Despite all the talk we have from Biden and many Democrats about protecting democracy, progressives see themselves as experts, and progressivism itself is rooted in the rule of experts," Crews told the Examiner.
"It looks like Biden's not getting his Build Back Better Act at the moment, but take it from me, they'll be using the occasion to say, 'Well, hell, we can do this just using the infrastructure legislation and other precedence and act without Congress,' bringing back the infamous pen and phone."
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said Sunday he will not support his party's Build Back Better legislation, dealing a potentially fatal blow to Biden's leading domestic initiative.
The Examiner said that executive orders do not have the weight of law, and a new president can repeal them.
Still, experts such as Crews have warned that it's more difficult to get rid of programs through executive orders than it was for Biden to stop former President Donald Trump's deregulations.
"Democracy is actually a barrier to their goals, so any thread they can use to institute policies from the Build Back Better program, which is primarily aimed at getting able-bodied adults hooked on government programs, they will do so," Crews told the Examiner.
"Just as you saw Biden and his press secretary claim that a 50-year-old law gave them the right to mandate vaccines, you will see them do similar grabs and reaches from Obamacare, from the Education Department and its programs, from Social Security and Medicare to advance elements of what they call Build Back Better and other progressive passions."
Crews also discussed how the Biden administration not only doesn't mention deregulation, it has removed the "Deregulatory" designation from past Trump report cards "in the government’s database."
"This act has broader implications for trusting progressive government with data, on everything from economic reporting to vaccine efficacy trials to climate realities to routine cost-benefit calculations," Crews told the Examiner.
"A Biden day-one directive even removed guidance document portals and directed the removal of rules agencies had issued to codify guidance disclosure procedures under Trump.
"There was no need other than malice to eliminate telling the public whether a rule was deregulatory or not so that we could keep better track of the administrative state."
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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