Biden reaches for his pen — and undermines separation of powers

Faced with a Congress that would not endorse his expansive regulatory agenda, President Obama famously remarked, “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone.” Almost 10 years later, governing by executive fiat continues.

The latest round of policymaking by pen and phone came when President Biden designated 53,804 acres of land in north-central Colorado as the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument. That designation will have significant consequences, because the entire area is now withdrawn from a host of future resource extraction and other productive land use activities.

This is not the first attempt to reserve the area. It was one of the central objectives of the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act. Yet the CORE Act failed several times to secure the necessary votes in the Senate to become law. 

A casual observer might wonder how Biden could unilaterally set aside tens of thousands of acres of land with the stroke of a pen, even after Congress made clear that it will not endorse such a policy. The answer lies in presidential abuse of power under the Antiquities Act.

Congress passed the Antiquities Act in 1906 with a narrow focus in mind: to protect Native American archeological sites from looting and destruction. To accomplish this goal, the law permits the president to designate landmarks, structures and objects of historic or scientific interest situated on lands owned or controlled by the federal government as “national monuments.” It also permits the president to reserve surrounding public lands. But such lands must be confined to the smallest area compatible with the protection of the object. Presidents typically designate monuments under the act through “presidential proclamations,” which do not require public notice or an opportunity for the public to comment on the designations.   

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Biden Expected To Sign Executive Order To Fight Republican ‘Bullying’ of LGBTQ Minors

On Wednesday, President Biden is expected to sign an executive order at a White House event aimed at “advancing LGBTQI+ equality.” He is also expected to blast Republicans for allegedly “bullying” LGBT minors.

Per a senior administration official to Fox News: “[Biden will] forcefully condemn the discriminatory attacks on LGBTQI+ children and families that are seeing all across the country.”

“He will talk about how these bills are worsening the mental health crisis that LGBTQ youth are facing, putting them at greater risk of suicide,” he added. “President Biden always stands up to bullies, and that’s what these extreme MAGA laws and policies do. They bully kids.”

Of course, it’s not clear what “discriminatory attacks” the President is referring to. Nor is it understood what “extreme MAGA laws and policies” are responsible for this alleged attack on LGBT children and the high suicide rate amongst the community.

The expected executive order will also call on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to ensure minors can receive gender transition surgeries. It will also “crackdown on conversion therapy”, calling on HHS to clarify that federally funded programs cannot endorse the practice.

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Biden Promises Executive Action on Climate Change as Energy Costs Spike

President Joe Biden reassured donors Monday that he would use his executive powers to act on climate change, even as energy prices are at record highs.

“The climate crisis is the existential threat. That’s not hyperbole; it’s a fact,” Biden said after taking the podium at a Democratic National Committee Fundraiser in Washington, DC.

Biden promised to take “aggressive” executive actions on climate regulations even if the Supreme Court overruled him. He acknowledged that progress on the issue of climate change was difficult to achieve in Congress, hinting that donors could help him pressure lawmakers.

“There’s a long way to go, but we’re running into some obstacles that I’m going to need your help on in terms of individuals, as well as circumstances,” he said.

Biden expressed his desire to keep the predicted rise in global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, warning of a dark future for the planet if he failed.

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White House Confirms Biden Will Sign Gun Control Executive Orders

White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed Friday that President Joe Biden intends to sign executive orders instituting increased gun control.

“Yes,” Psaki flatly stated in response to a question on the subject during Friday’s press briefing. “I can’t give you an exact time frame in part, because they have to go through a review process, which is something that we do from here.”

“I will note that when we, when the president was the vice president in the Obama-Biden administration, he helped put in place twenty three executive actions to combat gun violence,” she continued. “It’s one of the levers that we can use that any federal government, any president, can use to help address the prevalence of gun violence and address community safety around the country.”

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Biden Wars Against Biological Sex And Due Process With Two New Executive Orders

Days after corporate media outlets said Joe Biden is “rolling back the culture war,” the president continued his war on biological sex and due process on Monday with the introduction of two executive orders that seek to dismantle Trump-era protections in the name of “advancing gender equity and equality” and promoting it as “a matter of human rights, justice, and fairness.”

Biden’s first order mandates the creation of a gender policy council, disguising issues such as promoting access to abortions and pushing gender- and race-driven agendas as a way to “advance gender equity and equality, with sensitivity to the experiences of those who suffer discrimination based on multiple factors, including membership in an underserved community.”

“We are very inclusive in our definition of gender,” council co-chair Jennifer Klein said in a White House briefing Monday. “We intend to address all sorts of discrimination and fight for equal rights for people, whether that’s LGBTQ+ people, women, girls, men.”

In addition to a commitment to fight “systemic bias and discrimination, including sexual harassment,” the council also plans to address women in the workforce, economic disparities including wage gaps, and “the caregiving needs of American families,” specifically examining “policies to advance equity for Black, indigenous and Latina women and girls of color.”

“It is, therefore, the policy of my Administration to establish and pursue a comprehensive approach to ensure that the Federal Government is working to advance equal rights and opportunities, regardless of gender or gender identity, in advancing domestic and foreign policy — including by promoting workplace diversity, fairness, and inclusion across the Federal workforce and military,” the order states.

In his second order, Biden instructs the Department of Education to review the Trump administration and former education secretary Betsy DeVos’s due process expansions on college campuses, which gave students accused of sexual misconduct a chance to receive a fair trial, investigation, and evaluation. The president hopes to reinstate at least some Obama-era policies that overhaul Title IX and potentially withhold or cut funding from schools that don’t comply with broader sexual harassment definitions and lowered evidence standards for victims, as he previously promised on the campaign trail.

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Biden Makes History As First ‘Absentee President’

Transparency and accountability now seem to be a thing of the past for the White House. Since taking office, Joe Biden has signed a record number of executive orders, proclamations and directives, but hasn’t held one formal press conference to answer for them.

In January, Biden promised to address a joint session of Congress “next month” in February, which he may not realize already passed. Biden also claimed he would hold a press conference, but that too has not happened or even been scheduled. This is quickly earning Biden the reputation of an “absentee president,” and we’re not just talking about the ballots.

This week, Biden set a 100-year record by not holding a solo press conference, something that usually happens within an administration’s first 33-days. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said there are still no plans to do so, just as there are no plans to even schedule Biden’s address to a joint session of Congress. This is something that traditionally happens in the month of February.

As what now seems customary for the Biden White House, the speech has been pushed off and made conditional. Psaki said it is contingent on certain legislation being passed in Congress.

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