Presidential Power

obamaCQ Researcher

Has President Obama overstepped his authority?

President Obama’s recent moves to shape U.S. policy, ranging from taking executive action on immigration to beginning to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba, have stirred new controversy over the limits of presidential power. Congressional Republicans accuse him of usurping the Constitution, and Democrats defend his actions as legitimate responses for the partisan gridlock on Capitol Hill. Every president has stretched the constitutional boundaries separating the executive branch from the legislative and judicial, using executive orders, recess appointments, vetoes and other tools to accomplish policy goals. But the debate over executive power has become more heated in recent years, partly because congressional gridlock has made it harder for presidents to carry out their agendas through legislation. The U.S. fight against global terrorism since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has led some observers to question whether the Obama and George W. Bush administrations exceeded their authority in the interest of national security.

CQ Researcher, a publication of Sage Publishing, provides in-depth coverage of the most important issues of the day. The 10,000-word reports are written by experienced journalists, footnoted and professionally fact-checked. Full-length articles include an overview, historical background, chronology, pro/con feature, plus resources for additional research. Graphics, photos and short “sidebar” features round out the reports.

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Written by Christina L. Lyons, copyright 2015 CQ Press, an Imprint of SAGE Publications, Inc.