Washington Post writers Ceci Connolly and R. Jeffrey Smith report that Obama advisers have compiled a list of at least 200 Bush actions and executive orders that will be quickly reversed. The many issues range from climate change to reproductive rights.
According to the Washington Post, over 48 advisers have been working secretly “in virtual silence” to identify what regulations and policy changes will be targeted for an Obama change “soon after his inauguration.”
The Obama team is now working with “liberal advocacy groups” to prioritize the most “onerous or ideologically offensive.”
They are looking at “overtly political” regulations that were imposed to put forth a Republican agenda. The list of executive orders to be reversed is expected to get longer.
No mention was made of any bi-partisan efforts from the Obama team.
Obama will confer with congressional leaders and his Cabinet nominees, before he makes any final decisions.
Obama has “signaled” that he intends to reverse the limit on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Obama will be able to lift these restrictions by executive order because they were never included in legislation. An executive order that he can sign has already been drafted by opponents of embryonic stem cell limits.
Obama is expected to lift a global gag rule barring international family planning groups that receive U.S. aid from counseling women about the availability of abortion.
While Obama said at a news conference last week that his top priority would be to stimulate the economy and create jobs, his advisers say that focus will not delay key shifts in social and regulatory policies, including some -- such as the embrace of new environmental safeguards -- that Obama has said will have long-term, beneficial impacts on the economy.
Obama will remove restrictions that “deny California the authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles.”
Obama favors “declaring carbon dioxide emissions” as endangering to human welfare.
Obama is expected embrace the advice for altering procedures for decision-making on climate issues as set out by the “liberal Center for American Progress”, which has a strong influence on Obama. It is recommended that Obama rapidly create a “National Energy Council to coordinate all policymaking related to global climate change.”
The center's influence with Obama is substantial: It was created by former Clinton White House official John D. Podesta, a co-chairman of the transition effort, and much of its staff has been swept into planning for Obama's first 100 days in office.
The center is also urging Obama to sign an executive order requiring that “greenhouse gas emissions be considered whenever the government considers the environmental impact of its actions” under the National Environmental Policy Act.
Obama may address the need for improved food and drug regulation.