When President Obama meets with congressional Democrats Wednesday morning, one of the top items on the agenda is how much he can get done without congressional Democrats.
Or congressional Republicans.
Or congressional anything, according to a Politico article Wednesday that cited Democratic members of Congress familiar with the president’s thinking.
“He’s very ready to use his executive powers whenever possible,” said Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif. Chu was part of a White House meeting last week with the Congressional Asian Pacific Caucus.
With House Democrats reduced to playing defense – Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings throwing out spurious charges in the investigation of the IRS targeting tea party groups, for instance – and more debt battles looming with the House Republican majority, Obama’s in a familiar place for second-term presidents. (The last one to have a majority in both Houses of Congress was Franklin Roosevelt.)
So Obama is left with executive orders to accomplish administratively what he can’t through the legislative process. And, according to Politico, has members of his administration looking for places to make a stand where they don’t need congressional support – Attorney General Eric Holder’s lawsuit seeking to force Texas back into Justice Department oversight for electoral law changes, for example.
But Republicans are fighting back, Politico reported.
“The president won’t be able to ‘go around’ the U.S. Constitution, which requires him to work with the Congress that the American people elected,” Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said.
“He should not — and, I expect, cannot — impose job-killing policies like a national energy tax or more Washington red tape by fiat.”
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