Obama tries to go it alone on economy

But can the president boost the economy without Congress?

Stacey Vanek Smith:  President Obama's basically told Congress he doesn't need it. He filled top slots at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Labor Relations Board without Congressional approval yesterday. And now he's planning to use executive orders to push through parts of his jobs plan.

David Gura has more.

David Gura: President Obama said that, when Congress refuses to act, he has an obligation to do what he can without them. But that may be easier said than done.

Sarah Binder teaches political science at George Washington University. 

Sarah Binder: Without Congress’ help, it’s very difficult for the administration to make a dent on the economy.

Even through recess appointments. The president continues to use executive orders to push through parts of his jobs bill.  Today, the White House will announce a new summer jobs program. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis told reporters these executive orders work.

Hilda Solis: We can’t afford to not move on very important issues that affect working class people, and particularly working Americans right now that are struggling.

But Binder says that, while each initiative may have a narrow impact:

Binder: It’s hard to see a large-scale economic benefit in terms of turning the economy around.

Their primary purpose, she says, is political.

In Washington, I'm David Gura for Marketplace.

About the author

David Gura is a senior reporter for Marketplace, based in the Washington, D.C. bureau.


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