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Democrats Drafting Lists of Bush Rules to Change

By Ceci Connolly
All the buzz on the political blogs is about cabinet secretaries and White House advisers. But Democratic Hill staffers know that playing the name game is only part of the transition season fun.

Lawmakers and top health aides on both the House and Senate sides have been preparing lists of what they consider to be the most onerous or offensive Bush administration executive orders, rules and regulations that a President Obama could rescind quickly.

The most obvious target is lifting federal restrictions on embryonic stem cell research.

On Obama's final campaign swing through Colorado, Rep. Diana DeGette (D) "reminded him that since President Bush's restrictions were done by executive order, he can simply reverse them by executive order," the congresswoman said an interview Thursday. "He was very receptive to that."

Democrats are also pushing to overturn a directive by Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt that would make it difficult -- some say impossible -- for states to expand the Children's Health Insurance Program.

In August, Leavitt issued an order that any state wishing to offer coverage to children in families earning more than 250 percent of the poverty level had to prove it was already covering 95 percent of the children at 200 percent of the poverty level (or about $42,000 for a family of four).

"You can't get 95 percent of Americans to do anything," joked Len Nichols, head of health policy at the New America Foundation.

Leavitt subsequently said the department wouldn't enforce the provision, but it has not been lifted.

Virtually every time the White House changes parties, the incoming administration changes direction on insurance coverage of reproductive services for federal workers. That change can be made administratively through the Office of Personnel Management, said Nichols.

By Web Politics Editor  |  November 6, 2008; 4:52 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Transition  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Is Up and Running
Next: Post-Election, Obama Coffee Club Tries to Manage Expectations


We need to pull out of Iraq, turn off the security cameras that spy on free-born Americans, end random bag searches, smash ineffective police blockades in Trinidad, punish corporations who move their jobs overseas, end warrantless wiretapping, sign the Kyoto accords, stop overzealous searches and seizures, fund a new U.S. Conference on Racism, cover every Federal building with solar panels and windfarms, de-fund the U.S. Department of Homeland Insecurity, allow as much shampoo and handcream as we want on airline flights, investigate war profiteers such as Blackwater and Halliburton, re-open Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House, and take down every single Jersey barrier and concrete planter near Federal buildings to tear down the paranoic wall erected by the government against its people.


Posted by: bs2004 | November 7, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

throw out the permanently-heightened color coded alert system or reset it to green until there is an imminent disaster/threat. why do we even have green & blue if it never dips below yellow!?!?

also immediately and permanently outlaw torture as defined by our NATO and UN allies.

strengthen FISA protections. there's not a single instance of warrants impeding intelligence gathering.

Posted by: Vizier6 | November 7, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

"Every thing went well during the bush administration. Don't change anything.
Proud bush supporter"

ASTONISHING. you doubled the national debt! where were you on tuesday when your fellow Americans rejected him (and you)?

Posted by: Vizier6 | November 7, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I hope President Elect Obama doesn't start with Stem Cells. That is a social issue that needs consideration.

Energy and Economy need to be priorities so he can get his teeth into key issues that affect all.

One or two years can be those thorny social problems.

But if he does want to do Stem Cells do it with non-embryo cells.

Posted by: jrubin1 | November 7, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

2012 election has already begun for some candidates, Seems supporters are not waiting

Posted by: pastor123 | November 7, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

2012 election has already begun for some candidates, Seems supporters are not waiting

Posted by: pastor123 | November 7, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Equal civil rights for all.

Posted by: owl1 | November 7, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

No more signing statements
No more spying on citizens without a judge approved warrant.
Transparency in government (good has nothing to hide)
No more fear mongering
No more meddling in science

Posted by: ricinro85212 | November 7, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: susanwilk | November 7, 2008 3:39 AM | Report abuse

Every thing went well during the bush administration. Don't change anything.

Proud bush supporter

Posted by: r4147824 | November 6, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

All I ask of our new President is that He end this war quickly and bring all of our Troops home where they belong. I pray that the Almighty guides Him and takes care of Him.

Posted by: MRICHIBAN | November 6, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse


Ensuring the civil liberties of all Americans, weeding out prejudice, and reversing policies and practices that violate the U.S. Constitution must be a top priority of the new administration.

The free ride for the forces of hate and extremism, hiding behind bureaucratic programs originally constructed to "keep America safe," must come to a quick end.

One of the first executive orders of the new administration should be sensitivity training for all federal personnel, and a mandatory refresher course on the meaning of the U.S. Constitution.

All federal departments should be screened for policies and ongoing operations that are violating the constitutionally guaranteed civil rights and liberties of American citizens.

All laws and executive orders implemented over the past eight years should be subject to immediate review to determine whether their provisions comport with spirit and letter of the Constitution.

Also, it might be a good idea on Day One for the Obama administration to commission an independent, trusted entity to sweep all government offices, as well as private residences of key officials, for electronic surveillance devices.

BUT WILL THE ELECTION EVEN MATTER? Not as long as government-supported extrajudicial "vigilante injustice" squads are "gang stalking" American citizens, making a mockery of the rule of law:


Posted by: scrivener50 | November 6, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

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