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Is Obama testing the limits of executive power?

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President Obama said Wednesday evening during a press conference that he will do whatever it takes to enact his agenda, even if that means working without Congress, but there are limits to what he can do.

The president’s comments came in response to a question from ABC News’ Jon Karl.

“The biggest problems that we’re facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all. And that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m president of the United States of America,” Karl said, referring to past remarks Obama had made about the 43rd president.

Karl continued, pressing Obama to explain his view of the usage of executive power and its limits.

“Does it bother you more to be accused of being an imperial president pushing those limits, or to be accused of being a do-nothing president who couldn’t get anything done because he faced a dysfunctional Congress?” the reporter asked.

“I think that I never have a green light. I’m bound by the Constitution,” the president said. “I’m bound by separation of powers. There’s some things we can’t do.”

In reference to areas where he has the authority to “make progress,” Obama added: “I’m going to seize those opportunities — and that’s what I think the American people expect me to do.”

“We’re going to make sure that every time we take one of these steps that we are working within the confines of my executive power,” he concluded, “but I promise you the American people don’t want me just standing around twiddling my thumbs and waiting for Congress to get something done.”

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T. Becket Adams

Commentary Writer
The Washington Examiner

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