During the Question & Answer session following President Barack Obama’s remarks on his recent summit with African leaders, ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl asked the president about rumors of executive action regarding immigration reform.
Karl referenced then-Candidate Obama’s statements during the 2008 election when he criticized George W. Bush for ‘bringing more power into the executive branch, and not going through Congress at all’. At the time, Obama pledged to ‘reverse’ that pattern.
Karl asked Obama whether the ‘dysfunctional’ Congress’ inability to pass sufficient immigration reform legislation ‘given [him] the green light’ to ‘push the limits of Executive power’.
“There are some things we just can’t do [as president],” Obama replied, adding that he would ‘love’ to see a ‘large infrastructure proposal right now to put millions of people back to work’, but did not have the Constitutional ‘power of the purse’ that the Legislature has.
“Without the cooperation of Congress, I can still speed up the permitting process, for example” Obama said.