True to the law

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  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 3:50 p.m.

    President Obama is figuring that Congress and public opinion will be in such a turmoil, that he can get away with it.Coupled with the disingenuous part about keeping your current health insurance, it's all pretty cynical. But, America, you got what you wanted at the polls. We complain about dirty politics, but, we enable it.Including the media, in general.

  • E Sam Provo, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 1:09 p.m.

    This is by no means as clear as you suggest it is. Congress has sole legislative power; the President has executive power. So does a deadline absolutely have to be followed to the letter? Surely everyone understands that there may be circumstances when a reasonable delay becomes necessary.
    Let's suppose that Congress passed a bill requiring the construction of a new aircraft carrier. And let's further suppose that the shipyard building the ship were hit by a hurricane, delaying the project for a year or so. Would Congress need to be consulted? I would say no; I would say that the power to execute the bill includes reasonable allowances for exigencies and unforeseen circumstances, as long as the will of Congress is ultimately obeyed. That's all that's going on here.
    Also, 40 plus votes to rescind the ACA have consequences, clearly sending the message that the House of Representatives has no interest in governing responsibly; that their entire focus is on temper tantrums and symbolic votes. But that's another subject entirely.

  • McMurphy St George, Utah
    Feb. 15, 2014 11:08 a.m.

    Dear DN Editorial Writer. You say the President cannot do what he has done. Hello -- he has done it. And probably will get away with it.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 14, 2014 10:42 a.m.

    It is so funny that some people think nothing happened before the current president was elected.

    Some of you kids might actually want to read up on the executive orders and signing statements of previous presidents. (I know you won't, but you should.) it is especially funny that people actually claim that previous executive orders did not negate key parts of legislation.

    To be clear, if people think executive orders (and signing statements) should not be allowed that is an arguable stance, but to use that argument to just attack THIS president? Well that is a whole other thing, and it really shows a serious lack of understanding of history. What it shows is who the rabid partisans are.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Feb. 14, 2014 3:31 a.m.

    @The Real Maverick:

    "I don't think tha the right cares anymore." This administration has become the "Right" now. I think you meant the "New Right" (i.e. Democrats, the Gay Right, the ACLU, etc) as opposed to the "Old Right" (GOP, Tea-Party, etc.)

    My question is, if the congress has been exempted by ecxecutive order then why doesn't someone in congress, a staffer for a Republican congressman, for example, file a lawsuit that their right to participate in a health exchange, as mandated by the ACA is being violated?

    (I am not arguing that the absence of a lawsuit means therefore there is no problem, because I am not. But, if Republicans are upset, it is time to "put up" or not say anything more.)

  • David Centerville, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 9:27 p.m.

    Real Maverick,

    Why do you think Obamacare mandates are being delayed?

    It's so Democrats remain in power.

    This is pure politics all around.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 5:47 p.m.

    "Can we talk sensibly for a second?"

    Eric, I've been asking this for over 5 years now. I don't think the right cares anymore. It's all about getting back into power, no matter the cost. Honesty, integrity, offering realistic alternatives? Nah. It's all about fear and mud slinging, the best propaganda the Koch bros and Rupert Murdock can buy!

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 5:48 p.m.

    I don't get it. Republicans should view this self-imposed delay of a part of Obamacare with glee - this is your chance to get Orrin Hatch's whiz-bang idea out there! Go get 'em!

    But no, Republicans are upset again, Obama's acting unconstitutionally and this is all a giant outrage... why? Because in delaying the mandate, Obamacare might actually eventually be a success.

    Enrollments in *private* insurance companies, through the exchange, are picking up! This should be a celebration of the actual free market functioning as it should. But the ACA enrollment increases strikes fear into Republicans because maybe Obamacare may just survive, after all.

    Not only does politics make for strange bedfellows, it also causes people to disavow positions they once championed, like Republicans and their own healthcare reform proposals once proudly advocated as the alternative to HillaryCare.

    Obamacare is now a "complete federal takeover of healthcare", except that it isn't. What Britain has is a complete government takeover. ACA is a complicated set of market-based approaches to try and achieve some of the admirable parts of a single-payer system, but keep private insurance salesmen in business.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 5:36 p.m.


    Executive Order 13233 (like 12667 and 13489) filled in the blanks where the Presidential Records Act was silent. It didn't contradict the law.

    Obama is violating timelines written into the ACA.

    That's the difference.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Feb. 12, 2014 5:17 p.m.

    I agree that Obama doesn't have a legal right to do what he is doing. But, if he's acting illegally, what can be done about it? Are the Republicans helpless?

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 5:07 p.m.

    @ Louie
    You are correct. The public while not liking Obamacare and BO but they dislike the GOP and Congress even more. Every poll shows that. No doubt this election will be another mandate on the President but at the end of it, not much will change. Obamacare will still be in place and the public will dislike Congress. What's the definition of insanity?

  • E Sam Provo, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 4:33 p.m.

    Can we talk sensibly for a second? The Constitution does not distinguish between Congress' role, to legislate, and the President's role, to execute. Surely we'd agree that deadlines are the kinds of things where a certain amount of executive leeway is required.
    But let's be real. The House of Representatives would never have passed a bill altering the employer mandate. The only way the President could actually execute the law was to bypass Congress in regards to relatively unimportant deadlines. It's not like this Congress was going to help him out. 40 plus votes to repeal the ACA do have consequences. Once Congress demonstrated how irresponsibly it intended to behave, the President had to do what was needed to faithfully execute the law.

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 4:13 p.m.

    "The administration does not have the prerogative to continually delay particular provisions according to political calculations. To permit the president to change laws without legal process is to become a lawless nation." The Editorial Board is not serious, right? I doubt the courts will weigh in on an implementation issue such as this. Countless laws have passed but implementation schedules have been compromised many,many times over. Say what you think but the general public still prefers President Obama over the republicans in Congress in dealing with Health Issues. Read the polls

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Feb. 12, 2014 12:22 p.m.

    @JoeBlow - I am trying to remember a single time when a previous President issued an executive order to put in place a law that Congress had just refused to pass. Congress rejected the Dream Act, and then Pres. Obama issued an order that put many of its provisions into law.

    I can think of lots of occasions where the President opposed a law, but left it to Congress to fix the problem. For example, a new amendment was passed to undue the damage of the Prohibition amendment. If Pres. Obama had been President at the time, he would have just issued an Executive Order to make liquor legal again. Who needs Congress?

  • Kirk R Graves West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 10:38 a.m.


    You misunderstand the role of President and the purpose of the "Executive Order". The President of the United States is the head of the Executive branch of government. You could think of him as the CEO in a large corporation. As such, he needs the ability to run the day to day operations of the organization. The Executive Order is his method of accomplishing this. He can use these orders to tell the various departments of the organization how to operate smoothly. But he doesn't have the power to ignore the will of the Board of Directors (the voting citizens as represented by Congress).

    When he uses Executive Orders to delay or alter provisions of an existing law, he is doing the impossible. He has no power to do such a thing.
    In essence, he isn't really changing the law, he is just telling people to go ahead and break the law with impunity. The problem is, he doesn't have the power to tell citizens it is ok to break the law.

    To summarize, the number of Executive Orders is really not a problem. Its what the orders are doing that matters.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Feb. 12, 2014 10:17 a.m.

    Executive orders typically modify or "clarify" existing law.

    So, basically, a president get to define, with executive orders and signing statements, what that law actually means or how it is to be interpreted. You can play word games, but that is it in a nutshell

    You asked for an example. Executive Order 13233 (G HW Bush) changed the
    Presidential Recording and Materials Preservation Act of 1974 (passed by congress)

    The gymnastics that people must go through to make "the other guy" infinitely worse than "my guy"

    So, at the end of the day, is it the number of executive orders, or the scope or is it just the signer?

    Me thinks it is the latter.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Feb. 12, 2014 9:27 a.m.

    @ JoeBlow. Please name one law GWB legislated by executive order. What you fail to realize (or maybe you just don't want to) is that executive orders should not, must not change or eliminate laws passed by congress, period!

  • David Centerville, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 9:24 a.m.

    Actually I am beginning to appreciate the precedent that Obama is setting regarding his health care law. He unilaterally and imperially adjusts, changes, alters, delays, the law with no input from Congress.

    This precedent will allow the next Republican president to also unilaterally rescind, revoke, cancel, void, discontinue this law and replace it with something that will actually work without hurting our economy.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Feb. 12, 2014 9:12 a.m.

    "If GWB were the President today and tried to legislate and change existing laws"

    IF? Why would you say IF? He Did legislate. ALL executive orders and signing statements do just that. So GWB DID legislate with his pen. No difference.

    And yes, the left complained. And the right defended his actions.

    Why does this surprise you? This is the way it always works. Always. At least for partisans.

    So, unless you speak out any time a president "legislates" then you have no room to talk.



    You act as if the ACA was passed by executive order. Nope, when through the proper channels (as screwed up as they are)

    I am not defending Obamas defacto "line item veto". But you would be hard pressed to not see that in Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and on and on.

    It is not different. Why is that so hard for so many to comprehend?

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 8:47 a.m.

    President Obama and his administration has increasingly shown the same dictatorial traits produced and then unilaterally, as in, with no Republican votes, through Congress in the first place.

    Does anyone actually think they were the least concerned with what any dissenters actually thought or wanted back then?

    How then is anyone surprised that the same people, who rammed this through despite any and all opposition, are now flaunting legal convention in their desperate attempt to keep it hanging around our necks?

    Power, control, domination. Those are the terms under which this assault on freedom was conceived. The same is true for all the subsequent actions to help it survive.

    For the sake of our freedom, I hope their attempt fails.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Feb. 12, 2014 8:41 a.m.

    @JoeBlow: But, the questions is "Why is this different?" What makes Obamas executive orders a bigger transgression?

    That is a good question. The ACA is the biggest Act since the Civil Rights Act. What if Pres. Nixon had issued executive orders to postpone the Civil Rights Act, or to exclude Alabama from its enforcement, or to exclude Congress from its provisions?

    The Executive Branch does not have line item veto, but what Pres. Obama is doing is even worse. It really is re-writing law.

    I can't blame the House of Representatives for failing to impeach, because it is certain that the Senate would fail to remove Pres. Obama from office. We just have to wait until the next elections to see if the Republicans can regain the Senate.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Feb. 12, 2014 8:35 a.m.

    If GWB were the President today and tried to legislate and change existing laws with his pen and phone like Obama is doing, the headline in the news would be something like: "Constitution Crisis from the White House as Bush renders Congress Irrelevant".

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 12, 2014 8:15 a.m.

    Article 1, Section 1 of the Constitution: "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."

    Surely Mr. Obama knows what the word "all" means. Surely he understands that the Presidency is not part of the Senate or of the House of Representatives. Surely, Mr. Obama, a constitutional scholar, understand the very limited duties of the Executive Branch. If he does not understand his duty and the limits of his office, then it is the duty of Congress to remove him from office.

    Not only do we have a failed Presidency, but we also have a failed Congress. Both branches of government are co-equal. Obama pretends that he is the only authority in government. Congress is going along with his charade. Meanwhile, the citizens pull their security blanket over their heads and pretend that they have a king.

    Many foolish people will excuse both the President and Congress. Foolish people have always stood by while conniving politicians robbed them of their liberties.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Feb. 12, 2014 6:35 a.m.

    "The problem here is that the administration cannot do this without the assent of Congress."

    This is a reasonable point. I agree that presidents have gained power with signing statements and executive orders. And they have been doing it for years at similar or greater frequencies.

    But, the questions is "Why is this different?"
    What makes Obamas executive orders a bigger transgression?

    Why is Obama suddenly "lawless" when he does what other presidents do?

    The answer is easy. My guys executive orders are good ones. The other guys are horrible.
    Be honest. We are not against executive orders. We are against the other guys executive orders.

    I am for consistency. All those in favor of ending executive orders and signing statements, stand up and be counted.

    And you must remain standing, even when your guy does it.

    Fair enough?

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Feb. 12, 2014 6:10 a.m.

    This nothing more than damage control over Obamacare and trying to help distance Democrats up for re-election this November from the Obamacare mess. Will it work? Have you listened to the ridiculous spin the Demos are putting on the latest CBO report about Obamacare costing millions of jobs? If you believe that spin, you will believe ANYTHING!