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Obama says he'll bypass Congress, implement policies through executive actions

Pres. Obama on Tuesday stated that he will ignore the need for legislation and issue executive actions to implement his desired policies.

Pres. Obama during his first cabinet meeting of 2014 on Tuesday
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

“We’re not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help they need. I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone,” Obama said during his first cabinet meeting Tuesday.

“And I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward in helping to make sure our kids are getting the best education possible, making sure that our businesses are getting the kind of support and help they need to grow and advance, to make sure that people are getting the skills that they need to get those jobs that our businesses are creating.”

This comes a few days after the president announced a “year of action,” which he said would involve more executive actions in order to try to improve the economy.

“I’ll keep doing everything I can to create new jobs and new opportunities for American families — with Congress, on my own, and with everyone willing to play their part,” Obama said during his weekly radio address on Saturday.

Specifically, Obama said that he wants to extend unemployment benefits for 1.3 million Americans for whom they expired last month. The legislation to do this has stalled in Congress.

“This vital economic lifeline helps people support their families while they look for a new job,” Obama said. “Congress needs to finish the job right away. More than one million Americans across the country will feel a little hope right away.”

Obama has drawn criticism throughout his time in the White House for his use of executive actions, with many accusing him of acting like a dictator.

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