Executive Branch

Obama Increasingly Uses Executive Powers to Bypass Congress; Latest Order Targets Human Rights Abuse


During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama had criticized then-President George W. Bush for using signing statements to ignore parts of legislation.

But Obama is also working to expand executive power at the expense of Congress, albeit in a different way, the New York Times reports. He has announced dozens of new policies asserting presidential powers, beginning in February 2011 when he told the Justice Department to stop defending the law that bars recognition of same-sex marriages.

Since then he has announced: environmental regulations to fight greenhouse gases, a refocused deportation policy, plans to ease student debts, four recess appointments, plans to create jobs for veterans, higher fuel economy standards, and a cut in refinancing fees for federally insured mortgages.

Today, Obama announced an executive order imposing sanctions on foreign nationals and companies that use cell phone tracking and other technologies to assist human rights abuses, the Washington Post reports. Sanctions include a visa ban and financial restrictions.

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