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Brookings Institution Press
Calling the Shots: The President, Executive Orders, and Public Policy

Calling the Shots: The President, Executive Orders, and Public Policy

by Daniel P. GittermanDaniel P. Gitterman
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Modern presidents are CEOs with broad powers over the federal government.

The United States Constitution lays out three hypothetically equal branches of government—the executive, the legislative, and the judicial—but over the years, the president, as head of the executive branch, has emerged as the usually dominant political and administrative force at the federal level. In fact, Daniel Gitterman tells us, the president is, effectively, the CEO of an enormous federal bureaucracy.

Using the unique legal authority delegated by thousands of laws, the ability to issue executive orders, and the capacity to shape how federal agencies write and enforce rules, the president calls the shots as to how the government is run on a daily basis. Modern presidents have, for example, used the power of the purchaser to require federal contractors to pay a minimum wage and to prohibit contracting with companies and contractors that knowingly employ unauthorized alien workers.

Presidents and their staffs use specific tools, including executive orders and memoranda to agency heads, as instruments of control and influence over the government and the private sector. For more than a century, they have used these tools without violating the separation of powers. Calling the Shots demonstrates how each of these executive powers is a powerful weapon of coercion and redistribution in the president's political and policymaking arsenal.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780815729020
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
Publication date: 02/14/2017
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Daniel Gitterman is Duncan MacRae ’09 and Rebecca Kyle MacRae Professor and Chair of Public Policy at UNC-Chapel Hill. He also serves as Director of the Honors Seminar on Public Policy and Global Affairs in DC.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

1 The President, Executive Orders and Memos, and Public Policy 1

2 The President and the Power of the Purchaser 23

3 Barack Obama and the Power of the Purchaser 39

4 The President and the Power of the Employer 53

5 The President and the Power of the Equal Opportunity Employer 73

6 Barack Obama and the Power of the Employer-in-Chief 93

7 The President and the Power of the Ethical Employer 105

8 The President and the Power of the Payer 119

9 Impact of the President's Executive Powers on Politics and Policy 135

Appendixes 147

Notes 169

References 255

Index 273

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