A recent New York Times article reports that the Obama administration is preparing to advance its agenda through “presidential executive orders and directives.” Here are a couple of interesting excerpts from that article:
Mr. Obama has not given up hope of progress on Capitol Hill, aides said, and has scheduled a session with Republican leaders on health care later this month. But in the aftermath of a special election in Massachusetts that cost Democrats unilateral control of the Senate, the White House is getting ready to act on its own in the face of partisan gridlock heading into the midterm campaign.
Already, Mr. Obama has had to reconcile his campaign-trail criticism of Mr. Bush for excessive use of so-called signing statements to bypass parts of legislation with his own use of such tactics. After a bipartisan furor in Congress last year, Mr. Obama stopped issuing such signing statements, but aides said last month that he still reserves the right to ignore sections of bills he considers unconstitutional if objections have been lodged previously by the executive branch.
So not only is the president seemingly intent on growing the size and power of the federal government in general, but he also appears to be moving to increase the specific power of the executive branch as well. There’s a reason the U.S. Constitution spends more words on defining the scope of Congress than it does the Presidency.