Adam J. White joins Brian Anderson to discuss the “administrative state,” often described as the fourth branch of the federal government. Under the Obama administration, bureaucratic agencies were aggressively utilized to bypass congressional hostility to the progressive agenda.

In 2014, President Obama declared his “pen and phone” strategy: if the Republican-controlled Congress was unwilling to act on his priorities, he would sign executive orders directing federal agencies to enforce new rules or ignore existing ones. Environmental regulations, immigration reform, and Internet neutrality were just a few areas where the Obama administration directed agencies to make substantial policy changes.

Adam White is an attorney, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, and a contributing editor of City Journal. His story “Break the Bureaucracy” appeared in the Winter 2017 Issue.

City Journal is a magazine of urban affairs, published by the Manhattan Institute.

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