Specializes in bypassing Congress to enact ‘progressive change’
A senior progressive strategist and former chief of staff for President Bill Clinton who specializes in the use of executive authority to bypass Congress is reportedly joining the White House.
The New York Times is reporting John Podesta, founder of the Center for American Progress, has agreed to serve as counselor to President Obama for a year.
Podesta last month announced the establishment of a new group, the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, that will work within his Center for American Progress. The new center bills itself as a research and grant-making organization founded to accelerate the closing of what it calls the income gap in the U.S. by fighting so-called income inequality.
The Times reported Podesta will help the White House on “matters related to the health care law, administration organization and executive actions,” with particular focus on so-called climate change issues, according to a person familiar with the plans.
Podesta is a long-time champion of the use of executive powers, including bypassing the legislative branch to enact progressive change.
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In November 2010, he co-authored a 48-page Center for American Progress paper titled “The Power of the President: Recommendations to Advance Progressive Change.”
“The U.S. Constitution and the laws of our nation grant the president significant authority to make and implement policy,” wrote Podesta in the paper’s introduction.
“These authorities can be used to ensure positive progress on many of the key issues facing the country through executive orders, rulemaking, agency management, convening and creating public-private partnerships, commanding the armed forces … diplomacy.”
Podesta stressed: “The ability of President Obama to accomplish important change through these powers should not be underestimated.”
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