Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Question About Obama's Executive Order, It's Not the Question You Think.

Yesterday President Barack Obama signed the National Defense Resources Preparedness executive order.
Before becoming alarmed, it is important to remember that past Presidents have signed similar executive orders.  Obama’s version is not that different.  While everyone is aghast and focusing on what is in the order, in my research I have uncovered something that raises an important question.
Before I get to that, here's the previous versions for comparison:
 
President Ronald Reagan signed executive order 12656 -- Assignment of Emergency Preparedness Responsibilities of November 18, 1988

President Bill Clinton’s executive order 12919 National Defense Industrial Resources Preparedness of June 3, 1994
President George W. Bush did not sign a national defense resources preparedness executive order because he signed the executive order creating the Department of Homeland Security which includes national defense resources preparedness and much more.  This is important to note and is what raised some flags to me as to Obama's intention behind the signing of his executive order.
At first glance, Obama's signing of this order does not seem to be anything other than an attempt to update a previous version of an executive order. 
However, here's the question I raise: Why update the National Defense Resources Preparedness order and not the Homeland Security order which includes National Defense Resources Preparedness?
It seems as though Obama is taking a step backward and is ignoring or attempting to circumvent the Homeland Security order.  What does this mean for Homeland Security and the safety of our Country?
It is an important question that needs to be raised.

Update: 3/20/12
Since I have seen a lot of concern over the sections about loans in the executive order, here is a side-by-side comparison of 3 of them.  Bush's Homeland Security order didn't include loans. 
Here is a side by side comarison of the Obama, Clinton and Reagan orders:

There really is no reason to be alarmed by the loan section.

President Barack Obama’s National Defense Resources Preparedness executive order.
President Bill Clinton’s executive order 12919 National Defense Industrial Resources Preparedness of June 3, 1994
President Ronald Reagan signed executive order 12656 -- Assignment of Emergency Preparedness Responsibilities of November 18, 1988
Sec. 301. Loan Guarantees. (a) To reduce current or projected shortfalls of resources, critical technology items, or materials essential for the national defense, the head of each agency engaged in procurement for the national defense, as defined in section 801(h) of this order, is authorized pursuant to section 301 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2091, to guarantee loans by private institutions.

801 (h) "Head of each agency engaged in procurement for the national defense" means the heads of the Departments of State, Justice, the Interior, and Homeland Security, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the General Services Administration, and all other agencies with authority delegated under section 201 of this order.

(b) Direct Loan Guarantees. To expedite or expand production and deliveries
or services under government contracts for the procurement of industrial
resources or critical technology items essential to the national defense, each
agency head is authorized to make direct loan guarantees from funds appropriated
to their agency for Title III.
Sec. 205. Federal Benefit, Insurance, and Loan Programs. The head of each Federal department and agency that administers a loan, insurance, or benefit program that relies upon the Federal Government payment system shall coordinate with the Secretary of the Treasury in developing plans for the continuation or restoration, to the extent feasible, of such programs in national security emergencies.
Sec. 302. Loans. To reduce current or projected shortfalls of resources, critical technology items, or materials essential for the national defense, the head of each agency engaged in procurement for the national defense is delegated the authority of the President under section 302 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2092, to make loans thereunder. Terms and conditions of loans under this authority shall be determined in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Director of OMB.

Sec. 302. Loans. (a) To expedite production and deliveries or services to
aid in carrying out government contracts for the procurement of industrial
resources or a critical technology item for the national defense, an agency
head is authorized, subject to the provisions of section 302 of the Act,
to submit to the Secretary of the Treasury or the President and Chairman
of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (in cases involving capacity
expansion, technological development, or production in foreign countries)
applications for loans.
(b) To expedite or expand production and deliveries or services under
government contracts for the procurement of industrial resources or critical
technology items essential to the national defense, each agency head may
make direct loans from funds appropriated to their agency for Title III.
(c) After receiving a loan application and determining that financial assistance
is not otherwise available on reasonable terms, the Secretary of the
Treasury or the President and Chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the
United States (in cases involving capacity expansion, technological development,
or production in foreign countries) may make loans, subject to provisions
of section 302 of the Act.
(5) In cooperation with the Secretary of the Treasury, develop plans for providing emergency assistance to the private sector through direct or participation loans for the financing of production facilities and equipment;
Sec. 305. Determinations and Findings. (a) Pursuant to budget authority provided by an appropriations act in advance for credit assistance under section 301 or 302 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2091, 2092, and consistent with the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990, as amended (FCRA), 2 U.S.C. 661 et seq., the head of each agency engaged in procurement for the national defense is delegated the authority to make the determinations set forth in sections 301(a)(2) and 302(b)(2) of the Act, in consultation with the Secretary making the required determination under section 202 of this order; provided, that such determinations shall be made after due consideration of the provisions of OMB Circular A 129 and the credit subsidy score for the relevant loan or loan guarantee as approved by OMB pursuant to FCRA.

(c) After receiving a loan application and determining that financial assistance
is not otherwise available on reasonable terms, the Secretary of the
Treasury or the President and Chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the
United States (in cases involving capacity expansion, technological development,
or production in foreign countries) may make loans, subject to provisions
of section 302 of the Act.

(d) Developing, in consultation with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and in cooperation with the Board of Directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, the National Credit Union Administration Board, the Farm Credit Administration Board and other financial institutions, plans for the continued or resumed operation and liquidity of banks, savings and loans, credit unions, and farm credit institutions, measures for the reestablishment of evidence of assets or liabilities, and provisions for currency withdrawals and deposit insurance;



(8) Develop plans for initiating tax changes, waiving regulations, and, in conjunction with the Secretary of Commerce or other guaranteeing agency, granting or guaranteeing loans for the expansion of industrial capacity, the development of technological processes, or the production or acquisition of essential materials;


Additional links:
Executive Order 11858--Foreign investment in the United States
Executive Order 12457 President's Commission on Industrial Competitiveness

1 comment:

  1. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post. I will try to get the hang of it!

    ReplyDelete