Letters to editor

Too many executive orders?

By From page A8 | July 13, 2014

House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner says he wants to sue President Barack Obama over abuse of authority in his use of executive orders. OK, let’s take a look at how Obama’s executive orders stack up against those of past presidents. So far he’s issued 183. Compare that to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 3,522, Woodrow Wilson’s 1,803, Ronald Reagan’s 381, even George W. Bush’s 291, and Obama’s seem a bit restrained.

If it’s not the number, then it must be the content. So, again let’s take a look at the EOs of previous presidents.

How would Boehner react to an executive order like the one Andrew Jackson issued to remove all the federal funds from the nation’s federal bank and distribute them to “pet banks” in the states? Or how about Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War? Would he have gone along with Franklin D. Roosevelt’s executive order that created internment camps for Japanese-Americans, or Reagan’s to authorize NSA’s spying powers? How did he feel about Nixon’s freezing of wages and prices and its effects on the economy? What about Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, Truman’s desegregation of the military, Eisenhower’s desegregation of schools or Kennedy’s establishment of the Peace Corps?

Does Boehner consider these EOs an abuse of executive authority?

Despite the preponderance of seemingly overreaching executive orders, the Supreme Court has overturned only three: Truman’s seizing of the steel industry, Clinton’s not wanting federal pay to go to strike breakers and Obama’s not-really-recess judicial appointments.

So, does Boehner seriously believe that the president’s use of executive orders concerning the minimum wage, health care, carbon emissions, LGBT rights and “dreamers” is more egregious than internment camps, seizing the steel industry, diverting U.S. funds or denying defendant rights? Wouldn’t the speaker’s time be better spent trying to legislate than litigate?

Oh, wait, he can’t. Then he might break the record of the least-productive Congress in U.S. history.

Betty Catania


Letter to the Editor


Discussion | 27 comments

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  • TJ BairdJuly 13, 2014 - 6:25 am

    It is not the amount, but rather the attitude. The Executive Order is the President's right. The issue that concerns this writer is the lack of effort to work with Congress. And before everyone jumps on me for this comment, the House of Representatives has been a pain in the butt toward the President. The Senate the same toward the HR. Historically, it has been the role of one man to work with 535 and visa versa in order to make the country work. The operative word is "work". Unfortunately, this working together requires mutual respect. No President is not going to get everything, but our current Leader has stopped trying and is going it alone, which based on opinion polls is dangerous for himself and the country. EO's typically have a much diminished effect than laws that are passed through the legislative bodies, instead of the one's that are mandated by the Administrative branch of our government. For a man who was going to bring everyone together, in my lifetime, I have never seen everyone so far apart. The real power of the Presidency is to set the tone for a country.

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  • rlw895July 13, 2014 - 6:58 am

    He brought a lot of people together. The problem with translating that into legislation is our system of government, with its separation of powers and nondemocratic rule by the Senate and Supreme Court. In the House we also have nondemocratic rule due to gerrymandering. And that says nothing about how money further stymies democracy. In such a system a relative few can block progress. Criticism of Obama for not trying is not factual and is unfair. Criticism of him for giving up may be factual but is still unfair. Response to the VA scandal shows how Washington can still function when the will is present and there is little for Republicans to gain politically by inaction.

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  • mike kirchubelJuly 13, 2014 - 7:08 am

    TJ, so now the reason is his "attitude." why don't you just say that you think president Obama is acting a bit uppity. You rightwingers never cease to amaze me with your higher and higher bars for what you consider proper behavior for this man. Admit it, he will never be a "good one" (president) to you or your like minded ilk.

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  • TJ BairdJuly 13, 2014 - 7:22 am

    Mike, the word "uppity" is a word that I would never use. Is he arrogant, yes I believe that he is, but so is everyone else who has held that position. You may find this hard to believe, but I honestly want him to make it all work! For the sake of the people of this country. In a couple of years there will be a new President and I will have the same desire for Him/Her, as I have for each one during my adult years. The good of the country is always greater than any one person!

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  • mike kirchubelJuly 13, 2014 - 7:28 am

    Yes, we all want our government to work. I would focus on our Congress which, each year, breaks the previous record for not doing anything. Did you know that?

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  • TJ BairdJuly 13, 2014 - 3:47 pm

    Mike, just got back the keyboard. I would not be surprised at all that the House of Representatives and the Senate are breaking a record. I have said that for the last 6 years there are for 4 villages that are missing their idiots (I refer to the leaders of each party in both houses).

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  • DanielJuly 13, 2014 - 6:54 am

    After the one time attempt to do a bi-partisan bill with Boehner and Obama pulling the rug from under it, Obama has refused to pick up the phone nor request any long term meetings with the GOP to pass any bills. All he does is fund raise and bashes, not only have all his policies been damaging, his lack of leadership and his my-way-or-the-highway attitude is even more divisive and damaging.

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  • mike kirchubelJuly 13, 2014 - 7:15 am

    Danny boy, you really have a short attention span, don't you. Yeah, this is the first time that the repubs have stymied legislation and Obama is really, really impatient. Wow. With a comprehension level like that, it's no wonder you are a Foxophile. You are their target audience.

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  • mike kirchubelJuly 13, 2014 - 7:24 am

    Ms. Catania, what a wonderfully, well written letter. Thank you for caring about your country. As you can tell from some of the responses here, some people don't agree with facts. They have their own attitudes and facts don't mesh wellwith those loose gears. Take it as a compliment that you have actually caused them to read something informative. Their striking out is simply the only cognitive function left available to them. Again, thank you for your wondeeful letter.

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  • Larry WJuly 13, 2014 - 8:33 am

    Mike. Contrary to your assertion most of us do not get our news from Fox. I wonder which news agency is accurate in your eyes? But, I guess that it is accurate if it mirrors your preconceived ideas. I personally would like our president to work WITH the congress to balance the budget and close the border. We can not continue to live beyond our means like we currently are.

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  • rlw895July 13, 2014 - 3:38 pm

    If not FOX, where? AP is good.

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  • MikeJuly 13, 2014 - 4:32 pm

    NPR is good.

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  • rlw895July 13, 2014 - 6:55 pm


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  • mike kirchubelJuly 13, 2014 - 6:51 pm

    I agree that having a national debt is absurd and that our nation should have a national currency.... not to borrow money from banks. That should be first, then stop giving money to the wealthy and their corporation and stop starting wars and repair our own infrastructure. What should to watch for information? Try something not noted for their lies and propaganda.

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  • Larry WJuly 13, 2014 - 7:28 pm

    Mike. I prefer to read the news rather than watch the news. I do not it like associated press articles because I have no way of checking who wrote it. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and facts and truth are also similarly distorted by ones perspective. So, I do lots of reading and most but not all are from people that you do not agree with. Frankly it is not the rich that cost the country but the poor. I would much rather encourage good behavior and not reward bad behavior like we currently do. We need to simply live within our means but it will be hard to run against Santa Claus candidates that promise everything for free. One of my issues with the left is that they are generous with other peoples money and tight wads with their own. I support my own charities and do not want to force others to support my causes by taxation.

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  • rlw895July 14, 2014 - 12:57 am

    LR: News isn't something you agree with or not; it's either accurate or it isn't. You're probably reading opinion pieces, especially if it's so important to know the author.

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  • rlw895July 14, 2014 - 12:59 am

    LR: You really believe being poor (or rich) is a "behavior?"

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  • rlw895July 13, 2014 - 6:52 pm

    Any of the major newspapers that do their own reporting. I like the Washington Post.

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  • JagJuly 13, 2014 - 7:44 am

    I agree Betty, If Boehner is going to sue I wish it would be on one issue and not a general EO, but let’s see come January 2015 when Harry is out of the way and we have a free flowing congress sending bill after bill on all issues sitting on your president’s desk what happens, I think we will be counting veto`s then.

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  • DanielJuly 13, 2014 - 7:55 am

    The House has sent 350 bills to the Senate including migration and Dirty Harry has blocked everyone of of them from even coming to a vote without any protests from Obama whom is allegedly clamoring for House bills. If even one of the major biased lame streamers stop censoring this fact and it leaks out to the American public voters are going to before furious adding to their anger when they see their medical insurance bill in Nov.

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  • CD BrooksJuly 13, 2014 - 9:38 am

    Daniel, please cite the source and context of those "350 bills." Please cite source and context where our government is promising those kids a great life here. Obama "living lavishly?" He's the friggin president dude! Your credibility has always been shaky but now I think you've crashed entirely.

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  • CD BrooksJuly 13, 2014 - 10:47 am


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  • CD BrooksJuly 13, 2014 - 2:38 pm

    SO Daniel, bail much? Thanks for once again proving the value of your comments Credibility zero...

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  • CD BrooksJuly 13, 2014 - 8:10 am

    Well done Ms. Catania!

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  • 2realJuly 13, 2014 - 1:36 pm

    Obama sucks

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  • mike kirchubelJuly 13, 2014 - 1:44 pm

    2, i applauld your amazing growth. Now try using three words in a sentence.

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  • BJJuly 13, 2014 - 5:13 pm

    2real sucks assssss

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