Obama examines Bush's executive orders

Nov. 12, 2008 at 6:55 AM
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CHICAGO, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Some of U.S. President George Bush's more divisive executives orders, such as stem cell research restrictions, could be axed when Barack Obama takes office.

John Podesta, Obama's transition co-chairman, said the transition team is reviewing hundreds of Bush's executive orders, CNN reported Wednesday.

Also under scrutiny are the so-called gag order on international aid organizations that either counsel or perform abortion, another concerning oil and gas drilling on federal lands and the closing of the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, military prison, Podesta said Tuesday.

Unlike laws that require congressional approval and can take months, presidents can use executive authority to order federal agencies to implement current policies.

While most executive orders could be changed on Day One, issues surrounding Guantanamo Bay may take longer, one adviser said. As a candidate, Obama said he wants to close the prison, but Denis McDonough, a senior adviser to the president-elect, said no decisions have been made about what to do with the prison's 255 inmates.

"There is no process in place to make that decision until his national security and legal teams are assembled," McDonough said.

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