President Barack Obama defended his use of executive power as a means to bypass gridlock in Congress during a press conference at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit on Wednesday.
“The American people don’t want me just standing around twiddling my thumbs and waiting for Congress to get something done,” Obama said.
The president repeatedly indicated he would prefer to work with Congress to find legislative solutions on a slew of issues including funding for federal infrastructure projects and the border crisis. However, in the face of what he described as “dysfunction” in Congress, Obama said he would “scour our authority to try to make progress” within the bounds of the law.
“I’m going to seize those opportunities and that’s what I think the American people expect me to do,” said Obama.
Obama was also specifically asked whether he would take executive action and bypass Congress to eliminate so-called corporate inversions, where companies merge with a foreign business in order to shift their tax base out of the country. The president, who has repeatedly spoken out against inversions, said he could not “solve the entire problem administratively,” but he said he was “examining” potential ways to address the issue.
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