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Obama plans to reverse Bush's policies on stem cell, drilling

world Updated: Nov 10, 2008 09:51 IST

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The US President-elect Barack Obama is planning to use his executive powers to reverse Bush administration policies on stem cell research and domestic drilling for oil and natural gas, a media report said on Monday.

'Newsweek' quoted John Podesta, Obama's transition chief, as saying that the President-elect is reviewing Bush's executive orders on those issues and others as he works to undo policies enacted during eight years of the Republican rule. Podesta said that Obama can use such orders to move quickly on his own.

"There's a lot that the president can do using his executive authority without waiting for congressional action, and I think we'll see the president do that," he said. "I think that he feels like he has a real mandate for change. We need to get off the course that the Bush administration has set."

Podesta was also quoted as saying that Obama is working to build a diverse Cabinet. That includes reaching out to Republicans and independents part of the broad coalition that supported Obama during his race to White House. Defence Secretary Robert Gates has been mentioned as a possible holdover.

"He's not even a Republican," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said. "Why wouldn't we want to keep him? He's never been a registered Republican."

Obama, 'Newsweek' noted, was elected on a promise of 'change', but the nature of the job makes it difficult for Presidents to do much that has an immediate impact on the lives of average people. Congress plans to take up a second economic aid plan before year's end an effort Obama supports. But it could be months or longer before taxpayers see the effect, the news magazine said.