Education Waivers Highlight Obama's Executive Agenda

By:  Jack Kenny
07/09/2012
       
Education Waivers Highlight Obama's Executive Agenda

Now that the Supreme Court has effectively rewritten the Affordable Care Act to find the mandate to purchase health insurance constitutional and President Obama has been implementing some of his legislative agenda with executive orders, members of Congress might wonder if they really are the nation's lawmakers.

During the hailstorm of legislation that passed through Congress in the first "Hundred Days" of the New Deal, humorist Will Rogers observed that Congress doesn't make laws anymore, "they just wave at the bills as they go by." Now that the Supreme Court has effectively rewritten the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) to find the mandate to purchase health insurance constitutional and President Obama has been implementing some of his legislative agenda with executive orders, members of Congress might wonder if they really are the nation's lawmakers.

Even though the high court invoked the doctrine of "dual sovereignty" to find ObamaCare's economic coercion of states to expand their Medicaid programs unconstitutional, the Obama administration has found other ways to encourage states to conform to White House policy. Earlier this year Rep. John Kline, the Minnesota Republican who chairs the House Committee on Education and the Work Force, accused the administration of granting states waivers from some of the requirements of the decade-old No Child Left Behind Act "in exchange for states adopting the policies he wants them to have."

The Department of Education on Friday announced waivers for Washington and Wisconsin, bringing to 26 the number of states where waivers have been granted. They are currently being considered for 10 other states. In making the announcement Friday, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan expressed the administration's frustration in attempting to get Congress to amend the law:

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Photo of President Obama: AP Images

 

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