Over the years executive branch power has grown in size and scope, and President Barack Obama appears bent on expanding his office’s power even more as his time in the White House winds down.

His mentality has been what he can’t accomplish through Congress he’ll do by executive order or by rule. His administration’s rule making has been particularly onerous. A friend of mine called this scenario “tyranny by rule” and that seems to be an apt description considering some of the latest rules by his administration are chipping away at our liberty.

We’ve already covered President Obama’s bathroom edict for schools receiving Title IX monies at Caffeinated Thoughts. Here in Iowa, gender identity was added to Iowa’s Civil Rights Act by Governor Chet Culver and a Democrat-led Legislature. Schools have already been providing reasonable accommodation for students who identify as transgender. In most schools this meant private facilities were offered. Under the Obama edict schools are now required to allow students to choose what restroom, locker room and sex-segregated activity they want and to offer a private facility is considered discriminatory.

As I’ve written earlier this is clearly unconstitutional as there is no such protections for transgendered students in the Constitution or the Civil Rights Act. The President can’t go beyond the law, but this president has time and time and time again.

Another rule that was overshadowed by the outrage over the bathroom edict is almost as bad. Again using the power of the pursestrings President Obama attempts to bend others to his will.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a new rule last Friday in relation to Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, that requires all hospitals to perform abortions and sex change operations or face losing their federal funding, which includes Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.

Again there are no such protections, and this rule did not make any religious exemptions. Considering any religious institution has had to take this administration to court in order to get any kind of accommodation it is unlikely that the administration will give any type of latitude.

So the long and short of it is this – the administration is ordering even faith-based institutions to provide abortions and sex change operations or face the loss of Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.

The loss of federal money doesn’t just hurt those institutions, but it hurts patients as well and reduces the health care providers that are offered.  Something to consider is that 62 percent of all hospitals are non-profits and many of those have faith affiliations. The loss of an ability to receive Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements could force many institutions to close.

This is putting lives at risk for the sake of his radical political agenda.

On Wednesday the U.S. Labor Department had to get into the act. They raised the threshold in the Fair Labor Standards Act for salaried worker exemptions to $47,500 a year.  So any salaried employee making less than this now qualifies for time-and-a-half overtime pay if they clock more than 40 hours a week. This is regardless of what their job responsibilities are.

What this essentially does it turns lower-earning salaried employees into hourly workers. This will take flexibility away from these employees as many had control over when and where they worked.

Worker lose control over their schedules, and this likely won’t even result in pay increases as employers typically offset the overtime with lower base pay or lower hours.

This is a one-size-fits-all approach that is simply nonsense. The National Retail Federation called this rule change a “career killer.”

So President Obama wants to allow boys in girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms at school, force hospitals to provide abortions, and intervene in lower-earning employee schedules. Doing all of this by rule, and not through Congress of course.

  1. In fairness, the change to overtime laws was not a violation of the law. The Labor Department is expressly permitted by the Fair Labor Standards Act to set the threshold below which most salaried workers qualify for overtime. So while the decision may be wrong-headed, driven by politics and ideology, it is not the same kind of usurpation of authority as the equation of self-identified gender with biological sex, or the demand for all hospitals to kill unborn children.

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