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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Executive Orders of the 44th President

POTUS painted into a corner on immigration.
(Chattanooga Times Free Press, 2013)
With November fastly approaching, midterm season is already upon us. Republicans have to win a net of only six seats in order to take control of the Senate for the remainder of Obama's term, while the House will most likely remain under GOP control, or more accurately, under the control of the Tea Party wing of the GOP. Speaker Boehner seems to have no sway over his own House, so in the absence of leadership, hyper conservatives filled the vacuum.

Senate Democrats, at risk of losing re-election in moderate or conservative-leaning states this fall, are wary about President Obama using his executive powers to sidestep Congress and act alone on immigration reform. They are in fear of becoming low hanging fruit for the Fox factory. Despite the fact that the right leaning House voted to repeal DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), the likelihood of that repeal vote being taken up by the Senate is nill. In contrast, Obama is thinking of expanding his 2012 executive action that deferred deportation for young illegal immigrants by extending it to as many as 5 million more people currently living illegally in the United States.

It's sexy to vote. U.S. looking forward to midterms 2014
(Dailykos, 2012)

"This is an issue that I believe should be addressed legislatively and not through executive order," said Sen. Kay Hagan (D – NC), one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the Republicans' bid to take control of the Senate.

The President is scheduled to return from a family vacation at some point this weekend to engage in high-level White House talks, although White House officials say Barack does not intend to take action on the current influx of unaccompanied Central American youths crossing the southern U.S. border until after summer. Sen. Mark Pryor, (D-Ark), another vulnerable incumbent, said in a statement that he is also "frustrated with the partisanship in Washington. But that doesn't give the president carte blanche authority to sidestep Congress when he doesn't get his way."

On the other hand, immigration advocacy groups, in a letter to congressional Democrats on Friday, said immigrant families should not have to wait until after the November elections for relief. Immigration Reform advocates voiced concerns that leading Senate Democrats may be shifting their positions, after previously urging Obama to act, simply because of election politics. This particular coalition of organizations stated any attempts by Democrats to delay or dilute administrative changes "will be viewed as a betrayal of Latino and immigrant communities with serious and lasting consequences." So what’s a Senator to do?

Refugee kids in line to be processed at the Texas border.
(BET, 2014)

President Obama could eventually expand his work permits program and deferred deportation practice which would extend temporary amnesty to the 700,000 children brought illegally to the U.S. as kids, as well as parents of U.S. citizens. During a news conference this month, Obama was not specific on his immigration plans. He did say that in the absence of congressional action and in order to address the crisis involving unaccompanied youths, he had to shift resources on his own and exercise prosecutorial discretion. "I promise you the American people don't want me just standing around twiddling my thumbs and waiting for Congress to get something done," Obama said.

Republicans who have tagged Obama as an "imperial president" love the idea that he might sign a new Executive Order to help solve the crisis at the border. The prospect of the President making a unilateral move on a contentious issue such as immigration has Republican consultants salivating, and keeps the redder election offices hopeful.

Newly energized Latino voters would welcome any action from gridlocked Washington, and that might be the Democrats trump card. "Voters are so sick of the do-nothing Congress they don't mind if there's an imperial president," said Democratic pollster Celinda Lake. "They would just like someone to get something done about something." What's a President to do?

In our ongoing six part series discussing Obama’s use of Executive actions during his Presidency, we list here part four, the pdfs of Executive Orders of 2012.

Number of Obama's Exec Orders By Year

In 2009 he signed 39 Executive orders
In 2010 he signed 35 Executive orders
In 2011 he signed 34 Executive order
In 2012 he signed 39 Executive order
In 2013 he signed 20 Executive order
In 2014 he has signed 17 Executive orders

Executive Order 13597 Signed January 19, 2012
Establishing Visa and Foreign Visitor Processing Goals
and the Task Force on Travel and Competitiveness

Executive Order 13598 Signed January 27, 2012
Assignment of Functions Relating to Certain Promotion
and Appointment Actions in the Armed Forces

Executive Order 13599 Signed February 5, 2012
Blocking Property of the Government of Iran and
Iranian Financial Institutions

Executive Order 13600 Signed February 9, 2012
Establishing the President's Global Development Council

Executive Order 13601 Signed February 28, 2012
Establishment of the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center

Executive Order 13602 Signed March 15, 2012
Establishing a White House Council on Strong Cities,
Strong Communities

Executive Order 13603 Signed March 16, 2012
National Defense Resources Preparedness

Executive Order 13604 Signed March 22, 2012
Improving Performance of Federal Permitting and
Review of Infrastructure Projects

Executive Order 13605 Signed April 13, 2012
Supporting Safe and Responsible Development of
Unconventional Domestic Natural Gas Resources

Executive Order 13606 Signed April 22, 2012
Blocking the Property and Suspending Entry Into the
United States of Certain Persons With Respect to Grave
Human Rights Abuses by the Governments of Iran and
Syria via Information Technology

Executive Order 13607 Signed April 27, 2012
Establishing Principles of Excellence for Educational
Institutions Serving Service Members, Veterans, Spouses,
and Other Family Members

Executive Order 13608 Signed May 1, 2012
Prohibiting Certain Transactions With and
Suspending Entry Into the United States of
Foreign Sanctions Evaders With Respect to Iran and Syria

Executive Order 13609 Signed May 1, 2012
Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation

Executive Order 13610 Signed May 10, 2012
Identifying and Reducing Regulatory Burdens

Executive Order 13611 Signed May 16, 2012
Blocking Property of Persons Threatening the
Peace, Security, or Stability of Yemen

Executive Order 13612 Signed May 21, 2012
Providing an Order of Succession Within
the Department of Agriculture

Executive Order 13613 Signed May 21, 2012
Providing an Order of Succession Within
the Department of Commerce

Executive Order 13614 Signed May 21, 2012
Providing an Order of Succession Within
the Environmental Protection Agency

Executive Order 13615 Signed May 21, 2012
Providing an Order of Succession Within the Office of
Management and Budget

Executive Order 13616 Signed June 14, 2012
Accelerating Broadband Infrastructure Deployment

Executive Order 13617 Signed June 25, 2012
Blocking Property of the Government of the Russian
Federation Relating to the Disposition of Highly Enriched
Uranium Extracted From Nuclear Weapons

Executive Order 13618 Signed July 6, 2012
Assignment of National Security and Emergency
Preparedness Communications Functions

Executive Order 13619 Signed July 11, 2012
Blocking Property of Persons Threatening the
Peace, Security, or Stability of Burma

Executive Order 13620 Signed July 20, 2012
Taking Additional Steps to Address the
National Emergency With Respect to Somalia

Executive Order 13621 Signed July 26, 2012
White House Initiative on Educational
Excellence for African Americans

Executive Order 13622 Signed July 30, 2012
Authorizing Additional Sanctions With Respect to Iran

Executive Order 13623 Signed August 10, 2012
Preventing and Responding to Violence
Against Women and Girls Globally

Executive Order 13624 Signed August 30, 2012
Accelerating Investment in Industrial Energy Efficiency

Executive Order 13625 Signed August 31, 2012
Improving Access to Mental Health Services for
Veterans, Service Members, and Military Families

Executive Order 13626 Signed September 10, 2012
Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration

Executive Order 13627 Signed September 25, 2012
Strengthening Protections Against Trafficking in
Persons in Federal Contracts

Executive Order 13628 Signed October 9, 2012
Authorizing the Implementation of Certain Sanctions
Set Forth in the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human
Rights Act of 2012 and Additional Sanctions With Respect to Iran

Executive Order 13629 Signed October 26, 2012
Establishing the White House Homeland
Security Partnership Council

Executive Order 13630 Signed December 6, 2012
Establishment of an Interagency Task Force
on Commercial Advocacy

Executive Order 13631 Signed December 7, 2012
Reestablishment of Advisory Group

Executive Order 13632 Signed December 7, 2012
Establishing the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force

Executive Order 13633 Signed December 21, 2012
Closing of Executive Departments and Agencies of
the Federal Government on Monday, December 24, 2012

Executive Order 13634 Signed December 21, 2012
Reestablishment of Advisory Commission

Executive Order 13635 Signed December 27, 2012
Adjustments of Certain Rates of Pay

The loosening of regulatory burdens doesn't sound great. But when you research Executive Order 13612 it would appear that POTUS asks that federal agencies review their practices in search of waste and abuse.

Not thrilled about exploiting Natural Gas Resources in Executive Order 13605, but this policy geek is pro-environment, and Executive Order 13624 attempts to balance out the issues with a call to industry for energy efficiency.

After reviewing, and clicking, and reading, do you agree with the decision on the part of the President of the United States to sign these? Do you disagree? Is there anything worth suing over in here? Look under the hood and see if this dog can still hunt. 

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