July 2 2014
Using His Pen to Save the HHS Mandate?
Patrice J. Lee
President Obama has 30 short months left in office - punctuated by a congressional election. Our lame duck president is not just biding his time until the White House doors close behind him though. He’s using any opportunity to exercise the power of his pen to pass his agenda and is bent on looking for more ways.
Facing a defiant Congress, his frustration with opposition to his policy priorities was on full display this week as he blamed conservatives for everything that is going wrong for him. During a press conference yesterday, President Obama challenged Congress that if they don’t like his executive orders they should “sue him.” The President is making light of what many view as real abuse of executive power and it’s no laughing matter.
President Obama has solicited the help of his Cabinet to find more ways for him to flaunt the Constitution through executive action. First, he raised the minimum wage for federal contractors, then he's announced myriad changes to ObamaCare, and he's even unilaterally established carbon emission limits for plants.
The president wants to move forward alone on immigration and is considering using his pen to save his ObamaCare contraception mandate in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling.
The Hill reports:
President Obama is weighing executive actions after the Supreme Court ruled against ObamaCare’s contraception mandate.
The White House swiftly called on Congress to enact a legislative fix but realistically knows lawmakers aren’t about to act.
“As we assess the impact of this decision, we'll consider whether or not there is a range of other options that may be available that don't require legislative action,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.
Democrats signaled in the hours after the high court’s decision that they think the issue could boost their turnout in the fall by highlighting GOP opposition to abortion rights. That makes it even more likely that Obama will not fear taking executive steps.
… the president could issue an executive order requiring that all contractors who work for the federal government provide contraception coverage.
But that wouldn’t cover Hobby Lobby, the craft store chain at the center of Monday’s ruling, which wouldn't fall in that category because it doesn't have a government contract.
The White House is in recovery mode. Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that a series of the president’s appointments to the National Labor Relations Board were unconstitutional. The collapse of Iraq into sectarian violence exposes his ineptitude on foreign policy. Immigration reform continues to stall while millions flood our nation’s borders using desperate means to get their little ones over national lines. And gun control is all but a dead issue.
The president doesn’t have much time to salvage his record. As history reflects on his presidency, his only substantive accomplishment is ObamaCare. But the woeful rollout significantly eroded Americans' confidence in his ability to lead and the unintended consequences of his signature legislation –such as his broken promises that we could keep our doctor, our medications, and our plans- leaves the law more tarnished than before.
ObamaCare is all the president has left, so it’s not surprising that he will be obstinate in defending it to his last days.