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Rescooped by Charles Dreyer from AP U.S. Government & Politics!

Due by 4/11-Obama going it alone, pressing ahead on reforms for federal contractors with executive orders

Due by 4/11-Obama going it alone, pressing ahead on reforms for federal contractors with executive orders | Government |
President pushing contractor changes with executive orders, moving without help from Congress

Via Kelly Grossman
Charles Dreyer's insight:

1. Obama has chosen to enact this executive order to reduce discrimination and decrease the wage gap while also bypassing Congress and their typical inaction.

2. The limit of this and other executive orders is that they only apply to federal employees and contractors instead of the economy as a whole. This leaves them more limited than laws passed by Congress, but it ensures the checks and balances remain.

3. Republicans are criticizing Obama by saying that he is putting an undue burden on businesses and increasing costs. He is also choosing not to cooperate with Congress and bypassing them pushing his executive powers too far.

4. Obama however has chosen not to address or push an executive order based on anti-gay discrimination in the workplace. This is being pushed by several gay rights organizations and interest groups, but Obama says it would be redundant to pass an order while also supporting a similar bill in the Senate.

5. Obama would be hesitant to address this issue via executive order because it would alienate the Republicans, who hold a majority in the House, and other citizens around the nation. This is a very controversial issue and could limit the President's influence within Congress to pass further legislation. Instead, the White House is supporting a Senate bill that would reduce anti-gay discrimination which would be a safer option in order to retain as much influence as it can.

Shelby Mench's curator insight, April 15, 2014 2:39 PM

1.)    Why has President Obama chosen to enact an executive order regarding pay of federal employees?

President Obama has chosen to enact an executive order regarding the pay of federal employees because he has not been able to get the support that he needs from Congress.

2.)    What are the limitations on Obama’s executive order and executive orders in general?

However there are certain limitations on Obama’s executive order and executive orders in general such as the fact that they can be put into a trial for legality and it can create a division with congress when Obama really needs them to back him!

3.)    What criticism is being levied against presidents’ use of executive orders? What is the criticism of this specific executive order?

There is criticism that is being levied against the president’s use of executive orders such as the point that Obama needs to put forward a better effort to work with congress and to step back and review the stress he is placing on other companies financially.

4.)    What policy area has the White House chosen not to address with executive orders?

There is the policy of gay rights which The White House has chosen not to address using executive orders.

5.)    Why might the Obama administration be hesitant to address this area?

The Obama administration might be hesitant to address the area because Obama does not want to lose any of the public’s support! He is hoping that the Senate will pass a bill and will be able to protect all Americans rather than just a few.

Courtney OConnor's curator insight, April 15, 2014 6:57 PM

I was absent Wednesday-Friday with no access to computer/ internet.


President Obama has chosen to enact an executive order due to complications compromising with Congress. This executive order would prevent contractors from retaliating against employees discussing their pay as well as require the Labor Department to require contractors to provide data regarding pay based on race and gender. His limitations are that his order may be challenged and deemed unlawful by Congress. There is criticism that President Obama may be stepping out of line by not agreeing with Congress about this decision, and that he's using his power too far. Also, Federal Contractors believe that releasing this data would call for an increase in lawsuits and the creation of a two tier system. The White House has not chosen to deal with the agenda that would protect gays and lesbians working for these Federal Contractors. He might be hesitant to address this issue due to the growing support of protection of gays and lesbians in Congress as it is and further provocation to Congress would be harmful for his administration.

Katie Nissen's curator insight, April 17, 2014 5:40 AM

President Barack Obama chosen to put in place an executive order so he can control more of the economy by keeping federal contractors from hurting employees who would like a raise. His executive order was denied by congress. The order might be considered unlawful. Republicans know that he is using his power to much and needs to be working with congress. People know that his executive order will give a burden to companies and hurt their inflow of money. The white house has not said anything about protecting gays and lesbians working from federal contractors. The white house’s goal is to spread protection to all Americans. 

Scooped by Charles Dreyer!

An education about the Electoral College

An education about the Electoral College | Government |
Mo Rocca, host of the film "Electoral Dysfunction" airing on PBS, helps us understand just what the Electoral College is, how it affects our choosing the president, and introduces us to one lawmaker's plan to abolish it.

Footage from "Electoral Dysfunction" courtesy of Trio Pictures.
Charles Dreyer's insight:


1. The constitutional basis for the Electoral College lies within Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 which states that each state may direct Electors into the Electoral College equal to the number of Representatives and Senators. The founders did this as a compromise between a majority election by the people and a majority election by Congress for the presidency.


2. A common strategy to get 270 electoral votes is to campaign heavily within the “swing” states, which are states that are balanced in political idealogy. The “safety” states are almost guaranteed to vote in favor of the candidate based on party affiliation. Therefore, a candidate will focus on the “swing” states and use the “safety” states as a safety net for votes. 


3. The President is chosen, in case of a tie, by the House of Representatives while the Vice President is chosen by the Senate.


4. The 2000 election energized critique of the Electoral College because Al Gore got the popular vote while George W. Bush got the Electoral vote. Bush ended up winning the election which angered many critics of the Electoral System. These critics believe that a people’s majority should be the only factor for election results in this modern era of U.S. politics.


5. No I’m not satisfied. The Electoral College had its place in American politics when access to voting and information was not easily available. However, today there is information readily accessible and the ability to vote has never been easier. This should therefore be a sign to phase out the Electoral System in favor of a more democratic system.

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Rescooped by Charles Dreyer from AP U.S. Government & Politics!

Senate Balks at Obama Pick for Surgeon General

Senate Balks at Obama Pick for Surgeon General | Government |
The White House is considering putting off a Senate vote on Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, who has come under criticism from the National Rifle Association, or withdrawing the nomination altogether.

Via Kelly Grossman
Charles Dreyer's insight:

1. The NRA is exerting its influence by notifying its millions of members to contact their local senators to urge them to block Dr. Murthy from nomination. The NRA's concern is that Dr. Murthy has expressed support for anti-gun legislation such as assault weapons ban, mandatory safety classes, and ammo limits.

2. The Senators are concerned because many will be up for midterm elections and going against the very influential NRA could cause a lost election. This is enough reason for quite a few Democratic Senators to vote against Dr. Murthy's nomination.

3. The White House and subsequently the President nominate the candidates for nomination to key positions. They also influence their own party in order to confirm the nomination, as well as influencing when the  vote will take place.

4. The White House might stall the vote until after the Midterm elections or allow Dr. Murthy to withdraw from the nomination. They have learned that they must take extra precautions when nominating a candidate that goes against some influential interest groups as well as the timing of the vote.

luke jester's curator insight, April 11, 2014 6:14 PM

1. They  sent out a "grass roots alert" to millions of people so they would tell their senators to not vote for the President's nominee . They don't like the fact that the nominee is extremely against guns.

2. democrats may lose control of the Senate because Senators are voting differently then they normally would because of the NRA .

3. The President chooses the positions of people.

4. they could hold Obama's vote for surgeon general or take out the nomination from the position. they need balance nominees in order to have support from both parties.

Jessica Markle's curator insight, April 11, 2014 9:28 PM

The NRA is influencing members of congress by personally emailing the voters and trying to rally members against the Surgeon General because they don't agree with his views on gun control and many other issues. The senators reelection is at stake and if they vote with gun control, they will lose the support of the NRA. From this incident, the White House should definitely learn to choose a more fitting person to represent, one that preferably agrees with the policies of the NRA.The white house learned to approach nominations differently in order to recieve better feedback

Lauren Sargent's curator insight, April 14, 2014 10:38 PM
The NRA is concerned about the appointment of nominee Murthy because he is actively against guns. They are going directly to citizens addressing them about the nominee and asking their opinion and going to senate, trying to get the nominee removed. The NRA are concerned that if the nominee is appointed, the gun-bans in the nation will go up, decreasing their value.The Senate is trying to maintain democratic leadership by listening to their constituents which, in states such as Alaska, Louisiana, and Arkansas, are opposed to gun-banning, which puts them against the nominee.The White House try to choose candidates who will help keep a mostly equal view on arguments and won’t anger any interest groups, such as the NRA, so there won’t be a lack of executive control or support.The White House should consider what is really good for the nation and what candidates are right for the job, rather than trying to please everyone. It is impossible, especially in politics, to please everyone, so they should try to think about what the candidate can offer to the executive process and what they can possibly change. The White House learned that they tend to overestimate democratic support and lean more toward their constituents than the rest of the nation.