July 19, 2012

Encouraged by the traction gained by several of their proposals to “Make Congress Work!”, the No Labels organization has announced another set of proposals to “Make the Presidency Work!”

Says the organization, “Almost 40 years after Congress began the post-Watergate roll-back of the ‘Imperial Presidency,' America’s chief executive now arguably faces too many impediments to enacting his or her agenda.

“Some impediments are political—the rise of partisan polarization that makes it harder for a president to gain bipartisan support for legislation. Some of the impediments are institutional—obsolete rules and procedures that make it harder for presidents to act. And some are informal—White House norms and habits that diminish public trust.

“It all adds up to an office of the presidency that has become too insular, too political, and less effective.”

The proposals include the following:

Regular News Conferences For the President — Citizens should be able to hear from our president regularly in a candid, spin-free environment.

The President Pays For Fundraising Trips — Too often campaigns blur the line between political and official business to avoid paying the full cost of their travel. A clearer line must be drawn between a president’s official and political duties to keep campaigns honest and ensure that presidential privilege isn’t abused.

Fixing Presidential Appointments — 1. Reduce the number of appointees subject to Senate confirmation. 2. Identify a “slate that can’t wait” of critical nominees for expedited confirmation. 3. Up or down vote on presidential appointments.

Different Opinions but the Same Facts — Create an annual fiscal report to ensure all our leaders are debating the same numbers.

Regular Meetings Between the President and Congress — Regular communication would give leaders the opportunity to talk to one another and learn about each other's points of view. This would help foster the trust and openness that our leaders need to negotiate effective policy.

Line Item Veto With A Twist — The president could veto any specific provision in a bill. He must then send any proposed legislative elimination back to Congress for an expedited up or down vote. This way, the president can remove unwanted spending, while the required congressional approval serves as a check against executive power.

Expanded Presidential Power To Reorganize The Federal Government — Revive the authority given to every president from Franklin Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan. As it stands now, The president can send American troops into battle, but he cannot reorganize his own cabinet.


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