President Barack Obama, Supporters Push Policies and Appointments Before Trump Takes OverPosted: December 9, 2016
President Barack Obama is trying to put the people and policies in place that he wants to outlast his presidency in the final weeks before Donald Trump takes over. But his supporters want more, way more.
Since Election Day, President Barack Obama has appointed 56 people to boards, commissions and offices in the hopes that they remain in those posts for years to come.
He has reduced the prison sentences of 79 federal inmates. He has handed out the nation’s highest civilian honor to 21 people who he said personally made an impact on his life.
President Obama honored 21 recipients during his last Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony at the White House Tuesday. “Everybody on this stage has touched me in a very powerful, very personal way,” Obama said. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elouise Cobell, Ellen
And he has churned out rules, regulations and policies several times a week.
Obama is trying to put the people and policies in place that he wants to outlast his presidency in the final weeks before Donald Trump takes over. And his supporters want more, way more.
Every president tries to push through last-minute policies before their time in office comes to a close. But this year has a more frantic feel as special interest groups push Obama to do more, not just because the president-elect is of a different party but because few people know what he will do.
“People are, as you can imagine, they are getting quite desperate,” said Rena Steinzor, a member of the Center for Progressive Reform, a liberal advocacy group, who is pressing Obama to act. “Filling boards and doing whatever he can to establish protections that Trump would have to unwind is a good strategy.”
With six weeks remaining, their to-do list for Obama is long:
They want him to issue an executive order requiring federal contractors to disclose their political donations. They want him to pardon immigrants in the country illegally and direct federal employees to quickly process applications for immigrants who came into the United States illegally as children. And they want him to make good on his campaign pledge to close the prison for suspected terrorists at Guantánamo Bay.
Time is running out for President Obama to fulfill his promise to close Guantánamo. He now has less than 50 days to finish the job and close the door or he risks opening the floodgates for President-elect Trump. Amnesty International USA’s Security & Human Rights Program Senior Campaigner Elizabeth Beavers
No one disputes that Obama has the authority to do what he is doing, but Trump supporters don’t think he should be doing them anyway.
“There’s a few weeks left. The voters have spoken,” said Diane Katz, a senior research fellow in regulatory policy at the conservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation. “Someone who is more humble or respectful might say they made a choice a different than me and allow the new administration to do it.”
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest pushed back on that notion, saying Obama is president until Jan. 20 and that the administration is engaged in “a continuous and persistent effort to complete the work that’s already been started.”
In the last month since Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, Obama has:
▪ Appointed people to a slew of boards and commissions, including the American Battle Monuments Commission, United States Air Force Academy’s Board of Visitors, the Pacific Salmon Commission and National Council on Disability. Some are new appointments, some are renewals…(read more)
Source: McClatchy DC
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