Speed Reads

Playing politics

Obama: 'I never have a green light' to bypass Congress

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, President Obama emphasized the limitations the Constitution places on the power of his office:

"I never have a green light. I'm bound by the Constitution; I'm bound by the separation of powers. There's some things we can't do. Congress has the power of the purse, for example... 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." [NPR]

Obama's comments are surprising given his apparent endorsement of executive lawmaking from earlier this year:

"We are not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we are providing Americans the kind of help that they need. I've got a pen and I've got a phone. And I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward..." [Mediaite]