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David Dayen: Biden Will Need to Use Executive Action for Democrats to Get Things Done in 2023

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With Republicans now controlling the House of Representatives and vowing to fight President Biden’s agenda, journalist David Dayen says Democrats will need to get comfortable using executive action, as a raft of major legislation passed in the previous Congress will need to be put into action by the administration. “The next year, the next two years, isn’t going to be about legislative action,” says Dayen, executive editor of The American Prospect. “But it can be a time of real governing changes as these big laws get implemented.”

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: David Dayen, I wanted to ask you a last question about the piece you wrote, “2023: A Year for Executive Action.” Talk about what you think needs to happen now.

DAVID DAYEN: Well, look, in the last 24 hours, as we’ve been looking at this farce happening on the House floor, as you mentioned in the headlines, the FDA approved the use of mifepristone to be purchased at pharmacies. There was an extraordinary ruling from the Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Department saying that U.S. Postal Service could ship mifepristone even to red states where abortion is banned. The banking regulators put out a warning to various banks saying that cryptocurrencies, if they are held in their portfolios, would represent a lack of safety and soundness in the banking system.

Governing happens other than in places like Capitol Hill. And the Biden administration and Congress passed major laws, like the infrastructure bill, which Biden is going to be speaking about today, like the Inflation Reduction Act, which has this extraordinary amount of funding for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, like the CHIPS and Science Act for semiconductor manufacturing. And all of those have to be implemented. And so, the next year, next two years, isn’t going to be about legislative action, obviously. The House can’t even figure out who to run it. But it can be a time of real governing changes as these big laws get implemented.

And whether or not they’re implemented in particular ways that benefit corporate interests or not is very critical. After the passage of the Dodd-Frank law, the financial reform, lobbyists said that this was halftime, and that in the second half they would go to the various regulatory agencies and try to mold the rules that have to be written out of that law to their particular interests. And we’re going to see that again. And it’s critical to cover this aspect of the story, this second half, to shed some light on the fact of what these lobbyists and corporate interests are doing to try to mold these various laws, and whether or not they’re going to meet the full potential that the Biden administration wants. So, to me, that is the story of the next year.

AMY GOODMAN: David Dayen, we want to thank you for being with us, executive editor of The American Prospect. We’ll link to your articles.

Next up, Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin remains in critical condition in a Cincinnati hospital two days after he suffered a cardiac arrest on the field Monday night. We’ll speak with former NFL player Donté Stallworth, who was at the game, saw Hamlin collapse, and longtime sports journalist William Rhoden, author of Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete. Stay with us.

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