He says, "I wish the president had had the votes to hang tough on this important right, in part because of the precedent it sets for future executive agreements and the pall it casts over his fight for the legality of his recent executive orders on immigration, climate change and other matters."
Since the 1970s, Rattner argues Congress has "eroded the powers of the presidency." As we have discussed in class, he believes this began as a response to Nixon’s “Imperial Presidency.” As a result, “Congress ...restricted the president’s ability to withhold funds that had been appropriated.”
I think he is conflating president’s power in domestic policy with his ability to negotiate. While the president can enter into executive agreements, this does not correspond to his power to implement Congress's spending, though the Congress exerts a check on the president's ability to pursue treaties. He mistakes Obama’s deference to Congress as a shift in constitutional authority of the president--a political, not constitutional, effect. He then calls for the re-implementation of the president's line item veto and an end to lawsuits against executive orders.
Lastly, I thought this line was a nice way of saying the president should have the ability to manipulate congressional appropriations: “So let’s reinstate the president’s ability to implement routine reorganizations.”