Obama executive omissions leave some allies angry

Advocates for gay rights, immigration reform want president to go around Congress on their issues the way he has with others
Associated Press
Jan 30, 2014

For some White House allies, the long list of executive actions President Barack Obama announced in his State of the Union address was marred by a few glaring omissions.

Gay rights advocates are seething over Obama's refusal to grant employment discrimination protections to gays and lesbians working for federal contractors, safeguards they have been seeking for years. And some immigration overhaul supporters were disappointed that he did not act on his own to halt deportations, which have soared during his presidency and angered many Hispanics.

On both issues, White House officials say the place for action is in Congress, where successful legislation would be far more sweeping than the steps the president could take by himself. But work on an employment non-discrimination bill and an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws is stalled on Capitol Hill, leaving advocates perplexed as to why their calls for executive action did not fit into Obama's vow to act "whenever and wherever" Congress will not.

"In the absence of congressional action, an executive order that prohibits discrimination by contractors is a tailor-made solution to the president's expressed aims," said Fred Sainz, vice president of Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay advocacy organization. Sainz said his frustration with the White House's inaction on the issue was "growing by the day."

Ben Monterroso, executive director of the immigration organization Mi Familia Vota, said: "The president said he is going to use executive orders to act where Congress fails, and we expect him to do the same with immigration reform."

The criticism is particularly striking given that it is coming from two constituencies that have reliably supported the president. More than 70 percent of Hispanic voters backed Obama in the 2012 presidential election, and the gay community has consistently praised him for his unprecedented support.

For gay advocates, the frustration that followed the State of the Union was compounded by the fact that the president announced a minimum-wage executive order that in many ways mirrored the action they are seeking. The order raises the minimum hourly pay for new federal contractors from $7.25 to $10.10. Obama cast the move as an opportunity to make at least some progress on the issue while he pushes Congress to pass legislation extending the minimum to all workers.

Gay rights proponents have asked Obama to sign an executive order prohibiting discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. At the same time, they want Congress to pass the broader Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which has the backing of the White House. That measure passed the Senate last year but is stalled in the Republican-led House.

Heather Cronk, co-director of the organizations GetEqual, said Obama's declining to sign the executive order means he is "actively choosing to permit discrimination against LGBT workers."

Obama spokesman Jay Carney said the executive actions the president outlined in Tuesday night's address were not an exhaustive list of his plans for this year. But Carney also cautioned that he was not implying there would be any future action on the LGBT order.

While leading gay rights supporters were largely united in their reactions following the State of the Union, the view among immigration advocates was more fractured.

Some of those seeking an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws fear that unilateral action by the president would upend the fragile legislative maneuvering on Capitol Hill. A Senate-approved bill is languishing in the House, but GOP leaders are currently working on another set of immigration principles to secure the national border and extend legal status to many of the estimated 11 million people already in the U.S. illegally.

But other immigration backers say there is more that Obama can — and should — do immediately, regardless of what's happening on Capitol Hill. Their demands center in particular on deportations, which has hit about 400,000 annually during Obama's presidency, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

In 2012, Obama suspended deportations of some of the "Dreamers" — immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Advocates, as well as some Democratic lawmakers, want the president to expand that order to cover those children's parents and other immigrant groups.

Lorella Praeli, advocacy and policy director for the group United We Dream, welcomed Obama's renewed call in the State of the Union for passing comprehensive legislation, but she still singled out the president's resistance to take executive action to end more deportations.

"While he's willing to take action singlehandedly on other political issues, he so far refuses to stop deporting people who would be granted legal status and a chance for citizenship under legislation he champions," Praeli said in a statement.

The White House argues that not only would such unilateral action destabilize the debate on Capitol Hill but it also could be difficult to legally defend.

Comments

The Big Dog's back

Why are they on food stamps steve? Who's on food stamps steve? Do some research steve.

Steve P

Why are many on food stamps, maybe because of the left and their entitlement response to garner votes. Sorry once again sorry to confuse you with logic.

The Big Dog's back

So old white people voted for Obama to get food stamps? Really? White kids who receive most of the food stamps can't vote. So enlighten me.

dontknowmuch

Nice twist of the facts. We are paying $1.50 more per gallon for gas than we did on Bush's last day. Home heating fuel is up. It's not all rosy as you proclaim. I am paying more to fuel my car and my house than I did in 2008.

Darwin's choice

Another blowie.....

The Big Dog's back

durwood, is there something wrong with you? Seriously, seek help.

Steve P

piddle pup, never with facts only mindless rants.

The Big Dog's back

Actually that would be you steve. Mindless right wing rants that have no basis.

Steve P

When is the last time you had facts, you always depend on ill rational far left babble.

Darwin's choice

Back on the porch azz licker.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/a...

Remind you of anyone?? Obama is the text book case of failure.
Your cheerleading dog, and people are seeing through the crap!

CAST THE FIRST STONE

What rights should someone get just because they like having relations with someone who has the same x organs. when i go for a interview i dont say oh by the way im not gay. keep it in your own bedroom. I DONT CARE..Having to read this stuff everyday is taking up real news storys. stop it already register and reflector. have a gay page if you want but i dont want this preached to me everyday

thinkagain

I chose to be heterosexual when I realized what kind of sexual acts I was going to enjoy.

Show me a study that claims to have proven that homosexual orientation is biological in nature, and I will show you a flawed research design.

For as long as I can remember I have always liked to argue and eat ice cream. Was I born “that way”? The whole concept of free will goes right out the window if you believe all behavior is genetically mandated.

Secretly, you already know that people’s sexual desires are shaped by their social and cultural context.

SamAdams

Re: "I chose to be heterosexual when I realized what kind of sexual acts I was going to enjoy."

Late bloomer, were you? I had no idea what ANY kind of sex was when I decided David Cassidy was awfully cute and that I'd really like to be his girlfriend! (Don't ask what a little elementary school kiddie thought a 20 or 21 year-old man would find remotely interesting about her — but you had better believe that holding hands was as far as my imagination could go at the time!)

In other words, I had ZERO knowledge of sexual acts whether they were those I'd enjoy, or those I'd find repulsive. And yet I never DIDN'T like boys. It ain't a decision. How you LIVE with your sexuality is something everybody chooses. What your sexuality actually IS? Not so much.

deertracker

@thinkagain
How could you know what you would not enjoy if you had not engaged in those acts. You chose to be heterosexual because you prefer women. Technically the act itself is very similar. I do not like peanut butter. What does that really mean? It means I don't like peanut butter but until I tasted it I really did not know even though my siblings loved it. Sex work differently don't you think? Your sexual desire comment makes no sense. When I was a kid my neighbors were gay but I was not and was not influenced by their behavior

thinkagain

There is no proof that people are born Homosexual.

Fascinating! Both you and SamAdams, admitting that you believe that something exists, even though there isn’t any physical proof. Who knows, I might just make Christians out you yet.

Our sexual preferences develop, evolve, and grow with us the same way our personalities and likes/dislikes evolve and grow with us.

deertracker

I disagree. There's no proof the devil exists either. No proof immaculate conception happened either. Sexual preferences are not like personalities or develop depending on whether you like broccoli or not. You are born gay or you aren't!

Steve P

EXECUTIVE ORDERS ISSUED:

Teddy Roosevelt: 3
Others Prior To FDR: NONE
FDR: 11 in 16 years
Truman: 5 in 7 years
Ike: 2 in 8 years
JFK: 4 in 3 years
LBJ: 4 in 5 years
Nixon: 1 in 6 years
Ford: 3 in 2 years
Carter: 3 in 4 years
Reagan: 5 in 8 years
Bush 1: 3 in 4 years
Clinton: 15 in 8 years
Bush 2: 62 in 8 years
Obama: 923 in 3+ years!

Dr. Information

Choke on it coaster. Choke on it.

rbenn

the toaster just went kerploooie

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

What should be kept in perspective, too, is that the number of executive orders doesn't equate to what those orders do. While it's an indicator of activity (abusive or not and in this case I'd say more are abusive), the number doesn't necessarily translate to anything in particular. Someone isn't rich because he makes ten deposits of money a day at a bank. What if each of those deposits are a dollar, yet the "poor man" only makes one deposit a day of $1,000.

I can say though that all those trips to the bank (so to speak) are a waste of energy and has people wonder why this eccentric person is doing this habitual and unnecessary behavior.

Dr. Information

My question is, in 5 years what the heck has the 1st lady done. I can think of many great things first ladies have stood for in the past. What is Michelle's? Getting pissed off at a funeral ceremony and getting between her flirting husband and another woman?

Steve P

She leads all first ladies on lavish government funded vacations.

The Big Dog's back

More right wing nuttery from steve.

Steve P

piddle pup you confuse FACTS with you kool aid induced rants, time for your meds.

The Big Dog's back

steve, you haven't posted anything factual yet.

Steve P

Sorry piddle pup I can't bring it down to you intellectual level.

The Big Dog's back

You're incapable at any level.

deertracker

Totally incapable.

OMG.LOL.WT_

Steve P, Snopes says your numbers are bogus. Another source gives these numbers:

President Total Orders Order Number Range
George Washington 8 unnumbered
John Adams 1 unnumbered
Thomas Jefferson 4 unnumbered
James Madison 1 unnumbered
James Monroe 1 unnumbered
John Quincy Adams 3 unnumbered
Andrew Jackson 12 unnumbered
Martin van Buren 10 unnumbered
William Henry Harrison 0 unnumbered
John Tyler 17 unnumbered
James K. Polk 18 unnumbered
Zachary Taylor 5 unnumbered
Millard Fillmore 12 unnumbered
Franklin Pierce 35 unnumbered
James Buchanan 16 unnumbered
Abraham Lincoln 48 unnumbered
Andrew Johnson 79 unnumbered
Ulysses S. Grant 217 unnumbered
Rutherford B. Hayes 92 unnumbered
James Garfield 6 unnumbered
Chester Arthur 96 unnumbered
Grover Cleveland - I 113 unnumbered
Benjamin Harrison 143 unnumbered
Grover Cleveland - II 140 unnumbered
William McKinley 185 unnumbered
Theodore Roosevelt 1,081
William Howard Taft 724
Woodrow Wilson 1,803
Warren G. Harding 522
Calvin Coolidge 1,203
Herbert Hoover 968 5075 - 6070
Franklin D. Roosevelt 3,522 6071 - 9537
Harry S. Truman 907 9538 - 10431
Dwight D. Eisenhower 484 10432 - 10913
John F. Kennedy 214 10914 - 11127
Lyndon B. Johnson 325 11128 - 11451
Richard Nixon 346 11452 - 11797
Gerald R. Ford 169 11798 - 11966
Jimmy Carter 320 11967 - 12286
Ronald Reagan 381 12287 - 12667
George Bush 166 12668 - 12833
William J. Clinton 364 12834 - 13197
George W. Bush 291 13198 - 13488
Barack Obama 167 13489 - 13655...'

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

This article is tragic and shows how schizophrenic our President is. How he deigns which issues he chooses to modify on his own. This is no better than a line of peasants lining up before the king begging him for this or that for their small village. This also illustrates the dangers when you promise equality of outcomes at any cost.

His ego's writing checks our country can't cash and even his own base is irritated that he can't forego Constitutional procedure to forsake all other groups in the name of select expediency. The unacceptable history of government picking winners and losers is "coming home to roost" as I believe a mentor to the President once said.

But, I can't blame a president who just wants to help people no matter who he has to walk over. There is shame in the organizations who are seeking special exemption/protection/status above us mere masses of mortals and beseech a circumvention of our political system. Instead of trying to reach out to the hearts and minds of a populace and go through legitimate channels of lawmaking, campaigning, and outreach they instead want instant gratification by the imposition of their thoughts on other people.

The above is said with no malice toward the general movements that are upset with President Obama. But, just the fact that they think they get some special recognition (in exchange for voting blocs) and the IMPOSITION of their thoughts is insulting and sets back their message as much as other stereotypes hurt their attached populations.

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