Republicans are on the lookout for President Obama to shift his policymaking focus away from Congress and toward new regulation.
If Democrats lose control of the House and, possibly, the Senate during Nov. 2's elections, the president might try to accomplish his policy goals through rulemaking and executive order, Rep. Mike Pence (Ind.), the third-ranking House Republican, asserted Thursday.
"I think they're going to shift from an aggressive liberal agenda on the floor of the Congress to an aggressive liberal agenda through regulatory agencies" and executive order, Pence said on the nationally-syndicated "Schnitt Show."
One of the major questions looming over the election has been how well — if at all — the president would work with congressional Republicans, if the GOP ends up winning control of the House or Senate for the next two years.
Both Obama and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have spoken about the need for "humility" if Republicans win control in recent, separate interviews with National Journal.
But the president has pummeled Republicans on the campaign trail and warned that an empowered GOP would try to thwart his agenda, while Republican leaders have made just as stark warnings about trying to stop key elements of the White House agenda.
Republicans have already raised concerns about the president's use of appointments, regulations and executive order to achieve some of the goals the GOP was able to stymie in Congress. Republicans are particularly fearful, for instance, that elements of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA, or "card check") might be sought through new regulation.
"I really do believe that this is an ideologically left president," Pence said, adding that he suspected Obama would have little interest in shifting toward the political center as President Clinton did after Republicans made major gains in 1994.