Progressive Lawmakers Ask Joe Biden To Do Their Jobs for Them With Executive Orders

A bipartisan group of Democrats in Congress is asking the Biden Administration to implement executive actions on many issues, from banning drilling for oil on federal land to fixing the Affordable Care Act problems and reforming the immigration system.

You might like to remind the person that Democrats are the majority in both houses.

It’s not worth the time and effort required to pass legislation. A president will do this in just a few strokes of the pen. This is the energy that emanates from the seven-page memo “Recommendations For Executive Action”, published by the Congressional Progressive Caucus (a group of approximately 100 left-leaning lawmakers).

These legislators should be mindful that executive actions may be undone easily by the next Republican president. Therefore, any policy wins made this way are fleeting and will serve only to grow the executive branch’s bloated power.

Progressives want the White House declare a “National Climate Emergency”, to give the president more control over the economic activities that are contributing to global warming. According to the memo from the progressives, Biden should unilaterally end subsidies for fossil fuels. It must also stop all federal loans and grants programs that support fossil fuel projects or infrastructure. The White House is asked to declare a National Climate Emergency to increase presidential authority over any aspect of the economy believed to be contributing to global warming. Production Act and Trade Expansion Act to encourage green energy and prohibit imported oil. 

It is notable that former President Donald Trump invoked both the Defense Production Act (and Trade Expansion Act) during his tenure to increase executive control over the domestic economy. Some were concerned that Trump’s political-motivated use of these laws would provide Democrats with a clear road map to follow when they regain the White House.

Peter Harrell (then a trade policy expert for Center for a New American Security, and now a member on the White House National Security Council), made the connection clear in a 2020 essay. Foreign Policy. He wrote that Trump had demonstrated an effective method to bypass the legislative process for those who support aggressive global emission curbs. He said that Trump’s use of the national security laws to impose sanctions and tariffs is a model for future Democratic Presidents to tackle climate change, even if Congress doesn’t act.

It’s how it goes every time. This is how it always goes. One party creates a precedent for executive powers, while the other party grabs them as fast as possible. Rinse, repeat.

A wish list of progressives for the Biden administration includes price controls on drugs such as insulin. naloxone, which is used to cancel all federal student debt and create a federal Office of Gun Violence Prevention: To impose further restrictions on Americans’ Second Amendment rights. 

This is not just expensive and unworkable big-government stuff. The entire section calls on the Biden administration for more refugees from El Salvador, Hong Kong, or Yemen. It also urges them to relax immigration laws. Others call for the issuance of executive orders that increase transparency within America’s government contracts and police departments.

However, the merits and disadvantages of all these proposals is irrelevant. Each member of Congress’ progressive caucus is, per definition, an a Member of CongressCan write and introduce legislation. These lawmakers should collaborate with colleagues to make changes to laws such as the Affordable Care Act, limit gas drilling and abolish student loans.

It is impossible for ideas to be approved by Congress through the executive branch. This is backward. The President is supposed to present his agendas to Congress in order to receive approval from the American people. This is the point of the State of the Union ponies and dogs show, which we endured last month.

David Boaz writes that Trump accused him of urging the executive to take over legislative power. Boaz points out that Trump was accused [former President Barack] Obama of taking “the easy way out” and promised to do away with executive orders—only to then issue 220 executive orders in four years compared to 276 issued by Obama over eight years. Biden has issued 85 executive orders, which is roughly the same as Trump’s single-term output.

It is not possible for small-r republican governments to function this way. It’s also no way for a progressive faction to achieve lasting policy wins, since any executive order can be simply undone by the next Republican president—many of those Trump executive orders were reversing Obama ones, ditto for Biden versus Trump.

It isn’t, however. Rolling Stone The magazine described it as “a plan to save the Democratic Party itself.” It’s nearly 100 out of only 435 people who are privileged enough as federal lawmakers stating loudly that they consider themselves obsolete. These progressives need to resign as members of Congress and become lobbyists to promote executive action. Let those who wish to serve the public good do their job.