President Obama is reportedly considering using executive action to implement new domestic policies, "including policies that could allow struggling homeowners to refinance their mortgages, provide new protections for gays and lesbians, make buildings more energy-efficient and toughen regulations for coal-fired power plants," according to Washington Post sources.
One of the potential actions - which would create new standards for companies to protect their computer networks from hackers - could come this week.
From the Post:
The White House is also reviewing whether the president should issue an executive order offering protections to gays and lesbians who work for government contractors. Obama decided against issuing such an order during the presidential campaign last year, disappointing many gay-rights activists.
But two people familiar with White House thinking said the president may reverse that decision and issue the order if Congress does not pass broader legislation offering protection for gays in the workplace.
In trying to slow climate change, Obama is considering acting through the Environmental Protection Agency to issue new rules governing carbon emissions by existing power plants, according to three people familiar with White House discussions. The move would face fierce corporate opposition but is among the top goals of environmentalists.
The President recently used similar methods to implement 23 new executive actions on gun control, which he signed in the wake of the Newtown school shootings.