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December 27, 2010

Year in Review: The Lawless Obama Administration

Over the weekend, actually on Christmas, the NYTimes published an article about the President's plans to go ahead with end-of-life advisory incentives even after Congress removed it from ObamaCare after massive public outcry. Ed says "better get used to this process" since it's how the President is going to get around the GOP House for the next two years.

In fact, the end run around Congress has been a regular feature of the Obama Presidency and it's been getting more frequent over time. He wanted Cap & Tax, Congress rejected it. Lo-and-behold the EPA, under Obama's direction, will do it anyway via regulation. He wanted Card Check and other pro-union laws; Congress rejected them and rejected his pro-union NLRB nominee, Craig Becker. Surprise! He recess-appointed Becker, who has been issuing pro-union regulatory decisions.

His executive fiat was also rejected this year by the courts. Both houses of Congress approved offshore drilling in a bill signed by Bush 43. Obama used the Interior Department to put a halt to it by regulation . . . until the courts found the regulations "arbitrary and capricious." That's legalese for "lawless." Both houses of Congress approved the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste project in a bill signed by President Reagan. The legislation specifically prohibited future presidents from halting the project. That didn't stop Obama's Interior Department from pulling the plug last year. The courts stepped in again and found that it was indeed arbitrary and capricious for Obama to contravene the directly expressed wishes of Congress.

Most recently we've seen the same process at work at the FCC. First Congress rejected net neutrality. Then the DC Circuit did. That didn't stop Obama's FCC from proposing new net neutrality rules this past month.

Obama uses his control over Executive Branch agencies to do what Congress or the courts have forbidden. It's worked, sometimes, for him over the past few years. But he's out of time now: the GOP-led House can defund many of these efforts, even if it can't put a stop to them completely.

Thing to Look Forward to in the New Year: Watch as the Left repositions itself to yell "Obstruction!" every time the House fails to pass more appropriations for Obama's lawless agency action.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 08:08 AM

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