Wednesday, November 09, 2016

'Even lame ducks have wings'

On Jan. 17, 2001, outgoing President Bill Clinton convened his last signing ceremony in the historic White House East Room. With just three days left in his term, he designated seven new national monuments, including California's Carrizo Plain, Arizona's Sonoran Desert and Montana's Pompeys Pillar, featuring the signature of Capt. William Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition. It was Clinton's last ceremony in the East Room, but it wasn't his last move on monuments. Two days later, on Jan. 19, he designated two historic fortresses on New York City's Governors Island as national monuments. Hillary Clinton, then-first lady and a newly elected senator from New York, was among those pushing the president to make the designation. "Even lame ducks have wings," Clinton's Interior secretary, Bruce Babbitt, told The New York Times in 2000, after the designation of several other national monuments. Tomorrow, President Obama will start his lame-duck stint, with 72 days left before he leaves the Oval Office. Like Bill Clinton and other past presidents, he's expected to use the time — and his executive power — to cement his legacy on a host of issues, including energy and the environment. "He will do everything he can between now and then," said Don Barry, who served as the Interior Department's assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks during the Clinton administration. From monument designations to last-minute rules (often dubbed "midnight regulations"), efforts to push through nominees, and pardons and commutations, there's plenty Obama can still do. How aggressive the administration will be during its final days could depend largely on the outcome of today's election. Obama and his allies may be less likely to push through environmental regulations and take other controversial actions if Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton defeats Republican nominee Donald Trump. A Trump victory, on the other hand, could spur the administration to be more active...more

And we now know they have been spurred.

No comments: