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Obama: I'll 'Seize' Opportunity to Use Executive Powers

Image: Obama: I'll 'Seize' Opportunity to Use Executive Powers (Dennis Brack/UPI/Landov)

By Melanie Batley   |   Thursday, 07 Aug 2014 07:35 AM

President Barack Obama has defended his use of executive action despite intense criticism, and said he intends to seize every opportunity to use it going forward on a range of issues he believes congressional Republicans are obstructing.

During a wide-ranging press conference Wednesday, the president signaled he would take more action on issues such as tax reform and immigration, and vowed to "scour our authorities" seeking opportunities to act "wherever I have the legal authorities to make progress," The Hill reported.

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"The American people don't want me standing around twiddling my thumbs waiting for Congress to do something," he added.

The president did however acknowledge he does not have a "green light" to unilaterally act on his political agenda, and that the administration was "going to make sure every time we take one of these steps we are working within the confines of my executive power."

"I'm bound by the Constitution. I'm bound by separation of powers. There are some things we can't do," Obama said. "I don't have a green light. What I am consistently going to do is, wherever I have the legal authorities to make progress on behalf of middle-class Americans … I'm going to seize those opportunities."

Critics have blasted the president for executive overreach, in some cases insisting his actions qualify as impeachable offenses and a violation of his oath of office to faithfully execute the laws of Congress.

Congressional Republicans are suing the president for abuse of office, and the lawsuit specifically focuses on his use of executive action to overturn elements of the Affordable Care Act legislation. GOP lawmakers have also criticized the president for actions he has taken on immigration law.

But criticism has also extended beyond the Beltway.

Former Superior Court Judge Andrew Napolitano, for example, said on Fox and Friends Thursday that a number of the president's executive orders have trampled constitutional liberties and constituted impeachable offenses. He also warned that future executive actions on immigration could "divide the nation."

In an opinion piece recently, Napolitano said, "President Obama has taken the concept of discretion and so distorted it, and has taken the obligation of faithful enforcement and so rejected it, that his job as chief law enforcer has become one of incompetent madness or chief lawbreaker," he wrote.

National Review
correspondent John Fund also made the case that the president has violated his oath of office with offenses that qualify as the basis of impeachment.

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