Obama to sign executive order aboard Air Force One

February 19, 2014

The bully pulpit is taking flight Wednesday.

The White House announced that President Obama will sign an executive order aboard Air Force One that is aimed at cutting processing times for small businesses' exports, his latest step toward using his power to boost the economy without help from Congress.

The order would mandate that federal agencies complete work on the International Trade Data System, which has been in development, by the end of 2016. That digital portal would allow businesses to submit forms and data, currently required by several agencies, through a "single window."

The new system is designed reduce processing times from days to minutes for businesses that export or import products, the White House said in a news release. Obama will sign the order as he travels to the North American leaders' summit in Toluca, Mexico.

Obama pledged during his State of the Union address to use his executive authority more aggressively in a bid to move his economic agenda forward in the face of congressional opposition on key issues. The executive order on Wednesday will mark the second he has signed in that effort since the prime-time address on Jan. 28; the first was a move to raise the minimum wage of federal contractors from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour on all new contracts.

(Obama also signed an order to change the name of the National Security Staff to the National Security Council.)

Republicans have accused Obama of circumventing the legislative process and dismissed some of his actions as small-scale programs that lack the impact of broader legislation that would require congressional approval.

David Nakamura covers the White House. He has previously covered sports, education and city government and reported from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Japan.
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