Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois told House Democrats that as president he would order his attorney general to scour White House executive orders and expunge any that “trample on liberty,” several lawmakers said.
Presidents issue such orders to direct operations of executive branch agencies, such as the Justice Department and the CIA. President Bush used an executive order last year to breathe new life into the CIA’s controversial terrorism-interrogation program that allowed coercive questioning of suspects.
Obama “talked about how his attorney general is to review every executive order and immediately eliminate those that trample on liberty,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.).
“He indicated there would be a review in his administration,” said Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.), the majority whip.
Bush increasingly has relied on executive orders to dictate policies without seeking congressional approval.