Jan 8, 2014

A Heavy Hand Looks to Get Heavier in ‘14



In a briefing with reporters yesterday that looked at the year ahead, White House officials said that President Obama will be “focusing on the implementation of laws from the earlier part of his tenure, including healthcare and regulatory reform.” (Jeff Mason, “Obama Officials Lower Expectations for 2014 Legislative Wins,” Reuters, 1/8/14)

The officials also said that “a lot of Obama’s goals for the new year would not be centered on passing laws. …  But other areas such as climate change policy – a big issue this year – could be advanced through executive action.” (Jeff Mason, “Obama Officials Lower Expectations for 2014 Legislative Wins,” Reuters, 1/8/14)

Of course, this is in line with their thinking to bring John Podesta on board for a one year stint which “reflects the President’s intent to exercise his executive authority on several key fronts.” (Eilperin & Tumulty, “Podesta, Schiliro to return to White House,” Washington Post, 12/10/13)

But as Paul Bedard from the Washington Examiner pointed out yesterday, it appears that the White House already has a pretty good handle on governing by executive action:

“The Obama administration made up for the lack of laws passed in Congress last year, issuing a whopping 3,659 rules regulations, crushing claims that Washington isn’t doing anything. Only 65 public laws were signed by President Obama in 2013, meaning that his government issued an average of 56 new regulations for every one, a record high ratio, according to the annual analysis by the Competitive Enterprise Institute.” (Paul Bedard, “New record: Feds issued 56 regs for every new law, 3,659 in Washington Examiner, 1/7/14)

So hold onto your hats in 2014. Fridays might be a little busy.