Titus defends Obama’s use of presidential authority

Former U.S. Rep. Dina Titus, who is running for the House, on Wednesday defended President Barack Obama for taking executive actions to get around Congress on everything from immigration to welfare policy.

Still Titus, a political scientist, said Obama’s expanding use of his presidential authority is part of a dangerous trend in which the three branches of government – the executive, legislative and judicial – are crossing constitutional lines. The Democrat noted the courts have been deciding tax and other policies on the state and national levels, too.

“More and more of those checks and balances have been lost,” Titus said in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s editorial board. “I think some of the president’s actions have been out of frustration because you can’t get anything out of the Congress.”

Asked whether Obama is setting a dangerous precedent by making more frequent end runs around Congress, Titus said unilateral action by the president is disturbing, but she blamed growing partisanship.

“Well, I think it is dangerous, but I don’t think that you can just pin it all on what this president has done,” Titus said. “It’s a much bigger systematic problem than what this president’s done.”

Two years ago, Titus barely lost re-election in a swing district to U.S. Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., when Republicans were on the rise and Obama was unpopular because of the dismal economy. This year, Titus is running to replace U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., who is seeking the Senate in a race against U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev.

After redistricting, Berkley’s redrawn 1st Congressional District remains a safe bet for Titus with the Democratic Party holding a two-to-one voter registration edge over Republicans. That puts Titus’ GOP opponent, little-known naval officer Chris Edwards, at a great disadvantage and all but assures her of victory on Nov. 6.

Titus said she is taking nothing for granted, however. She has opened an office in a heavily Hispanic area of the district to reach out to Latino voters. Her diverse urban district also includes Chinatown in the southwest valley.

Titus said she supported Obama’s executive decision last month to order his administration not to deport millions of people who were brought to this country illegally by their relatives when they were young. Instead, he ordered a new program to offer young adult illegal immigrants who grew up here two-year work permits.

Obama said he took the action because Congress wouldn’t pass the DREAM Act, which would provide a path to U.S. citizenship for young undocumented immigrants raised in the United States. To qualify for citizenship under the act, the youthful applicants would have to attend college or join the U.S. military.

Titus voted for the DREAM Act when she was in the House and said she would vote for it again.

“They are as American as anybody,” Titus said of the young immigrants, adding more needs to be done with an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the country. “I think you have to have broad immigration reform. You can’t just keep putting your head in the sand and act like this program doesn’t exist.”

As Obama runs for re-election, he has been taking more executive actions that appeal to voting blocs he needs – such as Hispanics and the young – or to accomplish parts of his agenda that Congress rejects.

The Obama administration has dubbed it a “We Can’t Wait” strategy to blow by congressional opposition.

Obama recently has announced initiatives that could help 1.6 million college students repay their federal loans, 1 million homeowners meet their mortgage payments and 8,000 veterans find jobs.

The Obama administration earlier this month announced it would give states more latitude in running federal welfare-to-work programs. Republicans complained, calling it a power grab and saying the move undercuts the 1996 overhaul of welfare policy that required aide recipients to work for the money.

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney slammed Obama, accusing him of wanting to “strip” the law.

Titus said the Obama administration may be trying to give states more flexibility just as states are allowed the chance to opt out of education programs such as No Child Left Behind.

“When those welfare reforms were put in place under (President Bill) Clinton, they seemed to work well at the time,” Titus said, adding giving states flexibility should please Republicans who believe in states’ rights.

Titus said lawmakers at the national and state level do seem to be losing power. She joked that the Nevada Legislature lost or gave away much of its authority during the last session. A state Supreme Court decision decided the budget. And a court-appointed committee determined redistricting, the once-a-decade process of redrawing electoral district lines that can determine the political fate of the state for the next 10 years.

“So now, I don’t even know why they go up there,” Titus said of Carson City, where lawmakers meet in session every two years and where she served for two decades, including as Senate minority leader.

On the national level, the U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld Obama’s signature health care law, calling it a tax because people who don’t buy insurance will be fined. Titus voted for the health care law, an unpopular vote for an unpopular law that may have cost her re-election in 2010. She stands by her vote and embraces the law still.

The high court threw out one part of the law, however: the requirement that states expand Medicaid, the health care system for the poor. GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval is considering whether to opt into the expansion. The federal government will mostly pay for it at first, but later added Medicaid recipients might become a state financial burden.

Titus said she thinks most governors will opt in because leaving people uninsured will cost the states more in indigent health care bills. The state’s general fund and property taxes go to pick up the indigent tab.

“I think the states are going to opt in,” Titus said, predicting the insurance lobby will turn up the pressure on them. “Our governor is being very cautious. I think it would be foolish not to opt in.”

Contact Laura Myers at lmyers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2919. Follow @lmyerslvrj on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
News
Amazon's Alexa Recorded and Shared a Couple’s Conversation
Amazon's Alexa Recorded and Shared a Couple’s Conversation News station KIRO 7 reported a Portland couple’s conversation was recorded and sent to one of their contacts via their Amazon Echo device. They found out when the husband’s employee called him saying, via KIRO 7 The voice-activated assistant is used by more than 60 million U.S. consumers, according to Bloomberg. But what will happen if these devices become digital spies within our homes? Daniel Kahn Gillmor, Daniel Kahn Gillmor, to Bloomberg Daniel Kahn Gillmor, to Bloomberg Amazon Inc. issued a statement that the incident in Portland is an “extremely rare occurrence,” and the company did not state whether it was a bug or due to hacking.
Neighbor talks about 15-year-old alleged shooter
Nolan Turner, 15, who lives across the street from the 15-year-old who allegedly shot and killed his father and shot his mother talks about growing up with the teen. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas teen kills dad, wounds mom before she shoots him
A 15-year-old boy shot his father to death and wounded his mother in a west valley home Thursday morning before being wounded when she got a gun and returned fire, according to Las Vegas police. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officers were called just after 10:45 a.m. Thursday on the 9900 block of Barrier Reef Drive, near West Sahara Avenue and South Hualapai Way. In a briefing near the scene, police said the teenager shot his dad in the head, killing him, then shot his mom, who got another gun and returned fire. They said the boy jumped a wall and ran away, but was arrested about a quarter-mile away. Both the teen and his mom were hospitalized and are expected to survive, police said. Police did not immediately identify the family members but said the man was in his early 50s and the woman was in her late 40s. K.M. Cannon/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
Las Vegas Native Troy Brown Jr. Preparing for NBA
Former Centennial High School player Troy Brown Jr., now 18 and one of the most accomplished high school basketball players in the history of Las Vegas, is back in his hometown preparing to play in the NBA. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Closing arguments at David Copperfield civil trial
Attorneys for British tourist Gavin Cox and MGM Resorts make their closing arguments in the David Copperfield civil trial at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV Surgeon Performs Successful Rare Pancreas Surgery
Las Vegas resident Mary Duda underwent a pancreatoduodenectomy, or Whipple procedure, for her pancreatic cancer. While the grandmother of 19 recovered, her doctors say she's one of the lucky ones. Pancreatic surgery can be risky and has a high morbidity rate. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Las Vegas police explorer sentenced to 25 years to life in prison
Former Las Vegas police explorer Joshua Honea sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for sexual assault of a minor, but was allowed to remain free on bail pending appeal. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights Fans Line Up to Grab Their Conference Champions Gear
Golden Knights fans lined up at City National Arena Monday to snap up Conference Champions gear and other memorabilia the day after the Golden Knights won the Stanley Cup Conference Finals. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas-Review Journal)
Las Vegas shooting survivor has surprise reunion
Oct. 1 mass shooting survivors Taylor Stovall and Parker Gabel meet for the first time since Gabel helped the injured Stovall to an ambulance the night of the shooting. Stovall, then 17, was shot in the arm. They met Friday at the Tropicana.
Hawaii volcano presser
Talmadge Magno of Hawaii Civil Defense gives an update on the Kilauea volcano
Same-Sex Weddings on the Rise in Las Vegas
Allie and Tara Shima finally tied the knot. They've been together for five years and have both been married before. This time, they wanted something simple, quick and cheap, but it still had to feel special. The couple chose Las Vegas. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Courtyard Homeless Resource Center begins building in Las Vegas
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and Ward 3 Councilman Bob Coffin kicked off the demolition of buildings where the Courtyard Homeless Resource Center will be built. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
"Yanny" or "Laurel" hearing test has gone viral
'Yanny' or 'Laurel?' This Hearing Test Has Gone Viral This hearing test has gone viral on social media with some hearing "Yanny" while others swear hearing "Laurel." The voice is actually saying "Laurel," but the pitch was changed, causing some to hear "Yanny."
LVMPD Briefs on Year's Sixth Officer-Involved Shooting
Las Vegas police have identified the officer who shot a shovel-wielding woman on Saturday as 23-year-old Ondre Wills.
Police release body camera footage of shovel-wielding woman
Las Vegas police identified the woman they said threatened neighbors with a skillet Saturday night. Officer Ondre Wills, 23, shot at Sommer Richards, 34, multiple times on Big Sur Drive, near Nellis Boulevard and Desert Inn Road. Police responded to the area after receiving reports that the woman was armed with a shovel. Police said the woman chased neighbors and a security guard. Wills got between Richards and the others and repeatedly told her to drop the shovel. The woman instead turned and moved toward a person who was standing nearby before the officer fired shots. Police said she bit another officer as he attempted to render aid. Richards remains in serious but stable condition.
College of Southern Nevada Graduates 2017-18 Class
The College of Southern Nevada's graduation ceremony was held at the Thomas & Mack Center Monday. The 2017-18 class was the institution's largest in history. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Metro looking for suspect in bank robbery.
On Jan. 22, a man robbed a bank in the 8700 block of West Sahara Avenue.
Former Gov. Mike Huckabee at opening of U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, at opening ceremony of U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, speaks about the violence in Gaza. (Debra J. Saunders/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Supreme Court strikes down law banning sports betting outside Nevada
The Supreme Court has overturned a federal ban on sports gambling. States other than Nevada will be allowed to provide bookmaking and betting at casinos and race tracks. Justice Samuel Alito said Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, “each State is free to act on its own.” The vote was 6-3. One research firm estimates that 32 states will likely offer sports betting within five years.
Westcare Clinic Crucial to Las Vegan's Addiction Recovery
Christian Hunt, 21, was sent to Westcare in September after he ended up on drugs and in the hospital. If it weren't for the nonprofit's Community Triage Center, Hunt said he would still be using drugs. Instead, he's been sober for six months, and stopped using methamphetamines seven months ago. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Foundation Provides Full Rides for Clark County Students
Somewhere along the banks of the Ohio River in Owensboro, Kentucky, a group of students from Sin City are pursuing a higher education. Feature on the 38 Clark County students that the Rogers Foundation has given full rides to for Kentucky Wesleyan College. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Flames engulf house in Henderson
Clark County firefighters battled a house fire early Friday morning in Henderson. The house, located near Volunteer Boulevard and Executive Airport Drive, was fully engulfed in flames about 2 a.m. Shifting winds sent massive plumes of smoke across the southern Las Vegas Valley sky. As of 3 a.m. , the cause of the fire was not known and no injuries were reported.
Harvey Weinstein’s Estranged Wife Speaks Out for First Time
Harvey Weinstein’s Estranged Wife Speaks Out for First Time Georgina Chapman was profiled for 'Vogue’s' June issue, speaking on her estranged husband for the first time since he was accused of sexual assault in October. Georgina Chapman, to Vogue Georgina Chapman, to Vogue Chapman, who has two children with Weinstein, also said she has been seeing a therapist and that has helped her move forward. Georgina Chapman, to Vogue Georgina Chapman, to Vogue Read the full profile on Chapman in Vogue’s June issue or online at Vogue.com.
Bark-Andre Furry the dog is a Vegas Golden Knights hockey fan
The furriest fan of the NHL's Vegas Golden Knights is growing into a social media sensation. Bark-Andre Furry the Jack Russell terrier has thousands of followers on Twitter and Instagram. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Suspect Sought In Robbery Attempt
Attorney Gloria Allred on case against Benjamin Sparks
Attorney Gloria Allred is representing the victim in a "sex slave" case against GOP political consultant Benjamin Sparks.
2018 Las Vegas Review-Journal High School Journalism Awards winners
Some winners of the 2018 Las Vegas Review-Journal High School Journalism Awards receive their awards.
Weather Balloon Collects Key Data
Meteorologist Chelsea Kryston discusses the Las Vegas National Weather Service's balloon carrying a radiosonde that collects temperature, humidity and pressure readings.
'Avengers: Infinity War' to Cross $1 Billion Mark
'Avengers: Infinity War' to Cross $1 Billion Mark And it will have done so faster than any other film in history. The Anthony and Joe Russo directed film has only been in theaters for eight days since its Apr. 27 release, and it’s already raked in $905.1 million at the worldwide box office, including $338.4 million in North America. It will reach the milestone faster than ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’ which took 12 days to cross over the $1 billion threshold. ‘Infinity War’ is the 34th film to cross $1 billion at the global box office, not accounting for inflation.
Henderson Residents Fighting Their HOA
Sun City Anthem residents Tim Stebbins and Bob Frank were arrested by the Henderson Police Department for filing a false report of a crime after they claimed their HOA was hiding surplus assessments in a secret slush fund. Nearly a decade later, Frank is still trying to clear his name. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like