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Executive Action in 2014: The Phone and the Pen

In his latest State of the Union address President Obama made the comment that this year, if Congress was unwilling to act, he would utilize “the pen and the phone” to push legislation through. What the president is referring to here is of course his use of executive action to enact legislation that he feels is necessary for the American people.

Follow My Vote - Telephone and Notepad

President Obama argued in his State of the Union Address that executive action may be necessary in 2014 to ensure that this does not become a lame duck year, where Congress doesn’t pass much legislation during a time in this country when improving economic conditions  is desperately needed.

However, many argue that, by simply bypassing Congress to pass legislation that the president and his supporters feel is needed, defeats the entire purpose of having a separation of powers. In other words, by bypassing Congress, the president will be bypassing the representatives of the people that have been elected to make laws.

Obama insisted that his priorities must be passed in order to keep the U.S. economy on the track of improvement and meet the needs of the American people. He has issued 168 executive orders to date, which by standards of past presidents is fewest, yet his varied much more in scope than his predecessors.  His orders extend from delaying enforcement of his health care act, legislation created to limit carbon emissions, deferring deportation of younger illegal aliens, to orders for drone strikes.

Obama argues that Congress is refusing to act out of spite and he will bypass them where he has to pass legislation. When taking into account the amount of bills that Congress passed last year, 72 in total, it is evident that the 113th Congress had an ineffective 2013. But, should the president’s response to an ineffective Congress be to bypass them altogether?

WE at Follow My Vote believe that, in a democratic system of government where there is supposed to be a separation of powers, having a healthy debate and being willing to negotiate with those that think differently in an effort to compromise on outcomes the majority of people will support is the best way to keep the American people’s views relevant and our system of government protected.

Our government was intended to be for the people by the people, to serve our interests and protect our rights, which is why we must demand that The President of the United States and Congress debate, negotiate, and be willing to compromise in 2014, in order to protect the interests of “We the People” and preserve our democratic system of government.

Billy Sharp



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