President Obama recently an executive order. An executive order is a federal law that Congress never discusses. It is pure Executive action. There are over 13,500 of them. No one knows what is in all of them. They are written in bureaucratic code.
No President knows what he is signing, not even when he is a lawyer. He is handed a piece of paper from inside the bowels of the permanent regulatory bureaucracy, and he signs it.
Consider the latest order. It regulates international trade. It sets up a series of committees. These committees represent various federal bureaucracies. As to who these people are, the executive order does not say. As t where they will meet, or when, it does not say. As to which agencies will be dominant, it does not say.
Out of this hodge-podge will come regulations, enforceable by various bureaucrats.
The voters know nothing of this system. No President has enough time to monitor any of this. The system just cruises along. The senior bureaucrats get $100,000+ a year for skimming over reports from lower-level bureaucrats regarding these meetings.
This is how the federal government runs — not by Congress, and not by any President.
Most of these people are protected from dismissal by the Civil Service law.
To get a taste of what the President signed, here is the first section of the executive order. You will not understand it. No one is expected to understand it who is not a full-time employees of the bureaucracies involved, and only a handful of them will understand it.
Out of this will come rules and regulations that will make or break businesses.
What is really revealing is that this executive order is posted on the White House webpage. When Obama leaves office, this page will be taken down.
There is no executive order number listed anywhere on the page. So, it will become very difficult for anyone to trace it in the future.
This is how the system works. It is designed to work this way.
Coordination of International Regulatory Cooperation. (a) The Regulatory Working Group (Working Group) established by Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993 (Regulatory Planning and Review), which was reaffirmed by Executive Order 13563, shall, as appropriate:
(i) serve as a forum to discuss, coordinate, and develop a common understanding among agencies of U.S. Government positions and priorities with respect to:
(A) international regulatory cooperation activities that are reasonably anticipated to lead to significant regulatory actions;
(B) efforts across the Federal Government to support significant, cross-cutting international regulatory cooperation activities, such as the work of regulatory cooperation councils; and
(C) the promotion of good regulatory practices internationally, as well as the promotion of U.S. regulatory approaches, as appropriate; and
(ii) examine, among other things:
(A) appropriate strategies for engaging in the development of regulatory approaches through international regulatory cooperation, particularly in emerging technology areas, when consistent with section 1 of this order;
(B) best practices for international regulatory cooperation with respect to regulatory development, and, where appropriate, information exchange and other regulatory tools; and
(C) factors that agencies should take into account when determining whether and how to consider other regulatory approaches under section 3(d) of this order.
(b) As Chair of the Working Group, the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) shall convene the Working Group as necessary to discuss international regulatory cooperation issues as described above, and the Working Group shall include a representative from the Office of the United States Trade Representative and, as appropriate, representatives from other agencies and offices.
(c) The activities of the Working Group, consistent with law, shall not duplicate the efforts of existing interagency bodies and coordination mechanisms. The Working Group shall consult with existing interagency bodies when appropriate.
(d) To inform its discussions, and pursuant to section 4 of Executive Order 12866, the Working Group may commission analytical reports and studies by OIRA, the Administrative Conference of the United States, or any other relevant agency, and the Administrator of OIRA may solicit input, from time to time, from representatives of business, nongovernmental organizations, and the public.