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Should the president use executive orders to bypass Congress?

January 29, 2014

By Jeremy Quattlebaum, Student Voices staff writer

This week, with a still high unemployment rate and a fragile economy, President Obama asked in his State of the Union address that Congress join him in his “year of action” to address wage inequalities for women, strengthen the job market, streamline government bureaucracy, rebuild the nation’s infrastructure and recalibrate the tax code so that it is more equitable.

“What I offer tonight is a set of concrete, practical proposals to speed up growth, strengthen the middle class, and build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class,” Obama said. “Some require congressional action, and I’m eager to work with all of you. But America does not stand still, and neither will I.”

But relations between the president and Congress have always been tense, and it is unlikely that the lawmakers are going to jump at the president’s call to action. Should the president use executive actions to move his agenda forward if Congress does not act as he wishes?

Executive orders are legal directives from the president that establish policy, often in executive branch agencies. Executive orders have the same force as laws when Congress grants the executive branch discretionary authority in a particular field or when Congress creates an executive agency. The Supreme Court has ruled that executive orders cannot create laws, but they can be used to clarify vague language in existing laws.

For example, the Environmental Protection Agency was given discretionary authority to regulate air pollution, but it did not give the specific parameters on what amount is acceptable. That was left to the executive branch, which sets the limits. Congress can also set policy by passing laws, but since the EPA is an executive agency, the president has considerable influence.

The president’s executive authority does have quite a few limits. He can’t raise the national minimum wage, he can’t overhaul immigration policies or Social Security, and he can’t even make the smallest tweaks to his signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act.

Before the State of the Union, Obama indicated that he was willing to use executive orders to accomplish his agenda, even if that meant bypassing Congress. He said that he would use an executive order to increase the minimum wage paid by federal contractors. Although, compared with past administrations, he has signed a relatively low number of executive orders.

Many in Congress have cried foul, but President Obama’s supporters say that while the president would like to go work with Congress, lawmakers’ unwillingness to compromise or pass laws has left him with no other option.

“There is nothing like legislation,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s first chief of staff. “But given the challenges that are mounting, the country cannot afford Congress to go M.I.A.”

Others argue that the president is overstepping his constitutional limits and is acting without regard to the balance of power. “We’re going to watch very closely because there’s a Constitution that we all take an oath to, including him, and following that Constitution is the basis for our republic and we shouldn’t put that in jeopardy,” House Speaker John A. Boehner said before the State of the Union address.

Sen. Roy Blunt (R., Mo.) told PBS’s NewsHour that the president is exceeding his authority by sidestepping Congress. “That’s giving up on the Congress, but more importantly, it’s giving up on the Constitution,” Blunt said. “The president needs to lead us out of this, rather than to be the person who says, nothing can be done about this, so I'm just going to do what I can do by myself.”

Some past executive orders have achieved major change, including the Emancipation Proclamation and President Harry Truman’s order to desegregate the military.

What do you think?

Should the president use executive orders to get his initiatives enacted? Should the president try to work with Congress first? Is the president overreaching his authority by taking unilateral action? Join the discussion and let us know what you think!
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Comments
4/17/2014
Irving, TX
Josh A
Bradley/ Nimitz
Although it may seem that the president is doing good, the president should not use executive orders to get his initiative enacted because he might be losing more than what he gains in Washington. During his last term, Congress might not want to work as close as Obama would like them to and his plan might backfire. Instead, Obama should first try to work with Congress to ensure that both parties are in agreement with these delicate subjects. Even though it may take some time to do so, it might be worth it in the end. Moreover, trying to override Congress might make Obama seem like a tyrant.

3/23/2014
Folcroft, Pa
Roger
Msgr Bonner H S
As long as the executive order is not making law, which is the responsibility of the Congress and the Senate. And the Supreme Court seems to agree as they have only twice overturned an executive order in the over 13,400 issued since Pres. Washington issued his 8 orders. Only one president never issued any, William Henry Harrison, with Franklin Roosevelt issuing the most, at 3,522.

3/17/2014
Sidney/MT
Nicole Moore
Faulhaber/Sidey High School
The issue at hand is whether or not the president should be able to use executive orders to accomplish his political agenda. This should not be possible because of Article II of the Constitution which lays out what the president can do. It could be broadly interpreted to cover all necessary means or for homeland security for example. However in the cases of domestic issues, the president shouldn't be able to go against Congress. If the president can pass laws he wants, it defeats the purpose of the checks and balances system and could allow the president to act out of self-interest. I also agree with Colin in that the president shouldn't be able to bypass congress.

3/13/2014
Sidney/MT
Tori Hill
Faulhaber/Sidney High School
The issue in this article is whether or not the president is able to use executive actions to move his agenda forward if Congress does not act as he wishes. This ties in with Article II Section 3 of the US Constitution. As the article says, the president cannot raise the national minimum wage, and can't even tweak the Affordable Care Act on his own. Obama said that he would use executive order to increase the minimum wage, which according to this article should not be possible. Although, compared with past administrations, he has signed a relatively low number of executive orders. I think that some executive orders, such as Truman's order to desegregate the military, are necessary to get initiatives enacted. However, I do believe that the president should try to work with Congress first. I see that Colin does not agree with my point of view, but do you want to know what's funny? I believe it was our government class who voted Franklin Delano Roosevelt as our favorite president. And you know what president signed the most executive orders? FDR. Sometimes it is necessary for a president to take charge when others are refusing to compromise. After all, it was a refusal to compromise that shut our government down recently.

3/11/2014
Belleville, NY
Gregory
Miss Colby bellville henderson
Why should one person bypass centries of tradition and abuse the power given to him by the people? In my oppion not delivered as fact; I believe that the checks and balance put in motion by the framers of the constiution should still be up held. If we can not follow these simple rules put in place so many years ago what power does the constiution still have in the world today?

3/11/2014
Belleville/New York
Taylor
Miss Colby/Belleville Henderson
I believe that the president should not be allowed to use Executive orders to bypass congress. The president and congress should learn how to work together. By not working together it may cause future problems.

3/10/2014
Sidney/MT
Colin
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
The issue at hand is whether the president should be allowed to bypass Congress using his executive powers. Constitutionally the president should not be able to override Congress's jurisdiction but he can use veto power. President Obama offered to "set of concrete, practical proposals to speed up growth, strengthen the middle class, and build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class." The president is granted certain powers from the constitution but he should not be able to abuse these powers. Therefore I don't believe that the president should be able to use executive orders to bypass Congress.

3/7/2014
New York
Megan
Colby
The president using Executive orders to bypass congress should not be allowed. The President and the congress should should be working together to make our nation better. With the President make descions alone it will most likely cause problems within our nation.

3/7/2014
Belleville/New York
Jazmine
Miss Colby/Belleville Henderson
I do not believe that the persident should be able to use executive orders to get his initiatives enacted. There are checks and balances for a reason. Just because he is president does not mean that he is higher than any other branch of government. I beleve the president should have to work with Congress to get his initiatives enacted. All branches of government were made for a reason, they were supposed to all work together to form a better country.

3/7/2014
Belleville/NY
Jake
Miss Colby/Belleville Henderson
In my opinion, I do not think that the President should be able to use executive orders to bypass Congress because it is unconstitutional when the President abuses his authority. That is why we have the concept of Checks and Balances. I think that all three branches need to work together and abide by the rules like they are suppossed to. We would be better off as a nation.

3/7/2014
Belleville/NY
Abbey
Miss Colby/Belleville Henderson
The president should not be able to use executive orders to bypass Congress. If the president were to do this, it would completely defeat the purpose of the system of checks and balances that has worked so well to this day. Checks and balances has been a significant aspect of our government for a long time, and to go against that now is really just defeating the purpose of what we have gone along with all of this time.

3/7/2014
Belleville/ New York
Bre
Colby/BHCS
In my opinion, I think that all laws that are made should be made with the consent of Congress. President Obama is not using his power to help the people, and usually if something doesn't go his way, he keeps pushing until he gets what he wants. The President should try harder to make an agreement with Congress, even if it means changing his plan up a little bit.

3/7/2014
Belleville, New York
Chelsea
Miss Colby/ Belleville Henderson
the whole point of checks and balances is to make sure one person does not have too much power. if Congress and Obama cannot agree on something, they work it out untill they do. Obama should not be able to pass anything that could cause dramatic change without agreement of the legislative branch or it could cause consequences that will take years to redo. check and balance is always the way to go and the president using executive orders go's over the boundary.

3/7/2014
Belleville/ NY
skyllar
Mrs. Colby/ BHCS
The Persident shouldnt us executive orders to bypass congress. The execcutives should be able to over power the legislative.

3/7/2014
NY
Tiffani
BHCS
That kind of defeats the purpose of checks and balances. you have yer specific job/duties for a reason. the President should defininately NOT use Executive orders to bypass Congress; in my opinion, a greater conflict would be created from such an act

3/7/2014
Belleville, NY
Ashley
Colby Belleville Henderson
I don't believe the President should bypass Congress by using executive orders. What will happen next if Congress allows him to bypass them? Will he delcare war without Congress' approval? Will he be the one who makes laws? The checks and blances we have are in place for a reason: it's so no one gets too powerful. Allowing President Obama to bypass Congress depletes the check and balances system we have put in place. It's a mistake, and we shouldn't allow this. The President is given certain powers by our Consititution, and as Predsident he should acknowledge and abide by these limintations. Instead of trying to bypass Congress, maybe our president should try reaching out to the other side and make compromises so our "change" that was promised to us can start happening.

3/7/2014
NY
Jamez
BHCS
Its okay in my opinion that he can do this. There should be a limit as to how much he can do though. This is defeating the purpose of checks and balances though which isn't right so its in the air as to what should be aloud to me.

3/7/2014
NY
Christine
Ms. Colby/BHCS
In my personal opinion I don't think that the president should be allowed to use executive orders to bypass congress. There is a system of checks and balances used in the United States government and I feel that this would be throwing it off. Also if congress denies the president of something there is obviously a good reason behind that or else they wouldn't have denied the request in the first place. If the president is continued the privilage of overriding decisions made by congress this country could find itself in a heap of trouble.

3/7/2014
Belleville/NY
Tristan Jacob
Colby/Belleville Henderson
I feel that the use of executive orders, in the case the president is attempting to use them, is unconstitutional. There are checks and balances for a reason and he seems to be pushing it to the side, as if it is unimportant. As opposed to bypassing congress, President Obama should instead attempt to negotiate with them, not act as if they're unnecessary.

3/7/2014
ny
thurmanb
bellevill henderson
no becouse the system of checks and ballences were made to keep all branches of government in line so when 1 over powers another its like saying i dont need you

3/7/2014
Belleville New York
Milinda
Colby/Belleville Henderson Central School
I don't think the president should use executive orders to bypass Congress because this defeats the whole purposes of checks and balances. Each branch of our goverment is suppose to work with eachother and balance things out. Everything is suppose to have control in the goverment especially following the rules of the executive branch not overpowering the other branches.

3/7/2014
belleville ny
Megan Perry
colby
Altohugh the President means well I don't think he should use excutive orders to bypass Congress. Congress is supossed to represent the people so if he by passed congress that would be like asking for our input and not listening and doing what ever he wants to do.

3/7/2014
Miss. Colby Belleville Henderson
Daniel
Belleville New York
I agree that the president should be able to use executive orders to bypass congress, this would speed the process up a lot. Although this plays a big roll in checks in balances since it gives the president more power, the other two branches should still be able to go back and look at what the president did and correct it if it is an unconstitutional thing to do.

3/7/2014
belleville, ny
emily
colby/bhcs
i don't think that the president should bypass congress by using executive orders. if the president did do this it would be going against checks and balance, which is a huge impact on our government.

3/7/2014
New York
Alan
Belleville Henderson
I believe the President should not be allowed to use executive order to bypass Congress. Even though we are considered as a country at war, he should not make decisions that have an impact the people at home. If the President is able to do this, the purpose of Checks and Balances is completely lost. We wrote the Constitution of the United States for a reason, and if we do not follow it, we will turn into a country full of turmoil. We must give all branches of government equal footing and discard executive order.

3/7/2014
Belleville/NY
Kristin
Colby/Belleville Henderson
Personally, I don't think that the president should use executive orders to bypass Congress. This would go against the whole point of checks and balances - which is used for a reason. I understand that some people want this because it will help move things along, but we have Congress for a reason and I think this will upset the checks and balances sysytem - which is a big part of our government.

3/7/2014
Belleville New York
Quinn
Ms. Colby/Belleville Henderson Central School
I am definitely okay with the fact the president could use executive power to bypass congress while always being monitored because some things that show up on the presidents desk could be out of control.

3/7/2014
Belleville/ New York
Katy
Colby
President Obama shouldn't be able to use executive orders to bypass congress. The executive branch should not be able to overpower the legislative branch, which would happen if Obama used executive orders to bypass Congress

3/7/2014
Belleville, NY
Hannah
Miss Colby
The president shouldn't be able to use executive order to bypass Congress. Our government has 3 branches that check and balance each other. This stops each branch from overpowering the other. If the president was allowed to bypass Congress, it would overpower it. The government should just follow the Constitution,, which has standards and regulations of what each branch of government should be able to do. Therefore, the president shouldn't be able to bypass Congress.

2/28/2014
Irving/Texas
William
Bradley/Nimitz
The president should be able to use executive orders to bypass congress. However, the are limits to the use of executive orders and he should stay within those limits at all times. Should the president overstep those bounds, it would give him an almost tyrannical power. One persons wishes would become law.

2/14/2014
Benson, Az
Hana
Sorenson/ Benson
I feel as if the Executive branch is trying to overpower the Legislative, which isn't right. There's a reason why our government is set up the way it is. If he could use 'executive orders to bypass Congress' then it's hindering that balance that the American government has.

2/13/2014
Sidney, MT
Jess
Mr. Faulhaber
I believe the President cannot do this. It goes against the checks and balances of the different branches of government. It is totaly unconsitutional.

2/13/2014
Helena MT
Chris
Mr. Fauhlaber
No the president should not bypass congress it completely bypasses the system established by our forefathers established in our consitution. Therefore the he will not being fullfilling his presidential oath, and that in my mind is grounds for impeachment..

2/12/2014
Benson AZ
Morgan
Mr. Sorenson Benson High School
I think it is idiotic for him to ask of such things. he is trying to make certain laws to over power congress in his own sense of reform. the order has to be in place and in balance.

2/12/2014
Irving, TX
Josh A
Bradley/ Nimitz
The Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches were created for a reason: to have checks and balances in our government. Our founding father created these the branches so that there would be no tyrant. By Obama indicating that he is willing to use executive orders to accomplish his agenda kind of says that he does not need Congress, and thus may cause tension between both the executive and legislative branches. This could also cause mistrust between both parties while Obama is still president. So, rather than trying to surpass Congress, Obama should ask himself, "Do I know where we are on all of these things, how much is still needed to be done, and how can we all work together to resolve this?" If the answer is no, then he is not providing the leadership of the president.

2/11/2014
Irving/ TX
Kayla
Helen Bradley/ Nimitz High School
I believe the president should use executive orders to get his initiatives enacted. He is trying to actually accomplish what he says he will do, but Congress won't back him up on his decisions. I do believe the president should first try to come up with a compromise with Congress and try to take their opinion into consideration. If they will not agree with his decisions at all then he could try to take action himself. The president is overreaching his authority because presidents have always had specific duties, but if Congress won't approve of any of his proposals even if they would benefit our country then he is doing it for the right reasons. At the end of the day our government has to do what is best for our country.

2/10/2014
Irving/Teaxs
Joanielee
Bradley/Nimitz High School
Whether or not the president should use executive orders is like whether or not a girl will tell her friends a secret: If it’s about a friend she’ll tell everyone around except that friend unless it’s dire. If the need is great enough then congress will approve of it even if they are not directly asked. Similarly, if the issue is not endangering the country’s safety then there is probably time to consider all the options and opinions of Congress and the people. For example, George Bush, in reaction to 9/11, declared “war on terrorism.” He did get congressional approval because he, as president, “does not have the authority to declare war…[and] Judiciary cannot intervene unless there is a fully developed conflict between the President and Congress or if Congress gave the President "absolute discretion" to declare war,” according to U.S. law(Doe v. Bush). If there was no law against this would it not have been right to declare war? No. He would have been protecting America like a mother protects her child. It’s been said that there are exceptions to every rule; this could have been one of them. Congress delayed this process a bit. Other things, like domestic affairs, such as the Health Care Act, can use some special speculation and careful inspection. In short, everything is circumstantial.

2/10/2014
Irving/Texas
Meredith
Helen Bradley/Nimitz
Our government is set up that every part of the government have equal power. The president shouldn't have more power then congress, and congress shouldn't have more power then the president. Congress passes or vetoes the president's laws, and that's how it should be. That way the people are voting on the presidents decisions and not just random citizens, the most intelligent Americans are in Congress. Every decision the president wants to make needs to be passed through congress. Point, blank, period.

2/10/2014
Benson/AZ
John
Mr Sorenson/Benson High School
No, the president making choices without consent of congress is a dictatorship and not OK in the United States of AMerica!!!! Congress passes or vetoes the president's laws, and that's how it needs to be.!

2/10/2014
Irving/Texas
Shiva
Bradley/Nimitz
I believe that the president should not be using executive orders to simply bypass Congress to pursue his own agenda. This would upset the balance of power which is there to prevent something exactly like this from happening. If the president used it sparingly I believe that would be satisfactory, as long as he does not abuse it to the point of constantly using it to overpower congress.

2/10/2014
Irving/Texas
Rajith I.
Bradley/Nimitz
With deadlock in Congress the President is finding it hard to get major accomplishments done that will deliver on his 2008 and 2012 campaign promises. The 'change we can believe in' has not fully materialized . With the House having a majority of Republicans, the President has found it hard to compromise. This has led to frustration. Although the President has not been a prolific user of executive orders. It is the use of the executive orders, in general, that is troubling. Many presidents have overstepped their bounds in the use of executive orders by the tenuous interpretation of Article II Section 3, from FDR's executive order to put Japanese Americans in concentration camps to Nixon's misconstrued executive order overreach of price, rent, wage and salary controls. If the premise of the executive order is a legitimate interpretation of the Constitution, the executive branch has grown ever more powerful in the 20th and 21st century from the flexing of this tool. With the expansion of executive power, the Office of the President is on the slippery slope of becoming the present day court of King George III. With the transformational change that President Obama promised, with the hope of uniting a country that he projected, it seems disingenuous for him to take a backdoor to getting some of his to do list done. If the President wanted to be a once in a generation leader, he needs to compromise and work with the people's chosen representatives. The President destroys his image by trying to use his pen and phone rather than thoughtful bipartisanship.

2/8/2014
Irving/ Texas
Victoria E.
Bradley/ Nimitz HS
People argue that if the president were to use executive order on something it would only be if he really needed to; if it were very important. But if the issue was so important then shouldn't Congress, the representatives of the people, have a say in it? Who is to say that whatever the President wants to pass will always be "for the people"? Also, if the President is having trouble getting items on his agenda passed in Congress shouldn't that be a sign that they don't want it to be implemented and maybe there needs to be some compromise worked out? It seems to me that saying you're going to use Executive Orders to get what you want passed because that meanie Congress won't go along with it is a somewhat child-like approach to politics. Yes some executive orders in the past, such as the Emancipation Proclamation, have had huge positive effects but that doesn't mean all of them have or will in the future. The creation of Congress and separation of powers were included in the Constitution for a reason, we all need to remember that.

2/7/2014
Irving/Texas
Pablo M
Bradley/Nimitz
The government was created to benefit the people. It seems that congress and the democratic government just contradict each other. It seems like they're having a war without a conclusion. Both usually never agree with each other. Obama thinks bypassing congress will bring us better opportunities but he forgets that branches are separate but equal. However we know both want what they think is best for this country they should come to an agreement. There's no need to use executive orders to bypass congress.

2/7/2014
Benson/AZ
Jessica
Sorenson/Benson
I don't think the President should use executive orders to get his initiatives enacted and I do believe the President should try to work with congress first. I also do think the President is overreaching his authority by taking unilateral action when he should make a compromise with Congress.

2/7/2014
Benson/Arizona
Katie B
Sorensen/Benson
Just by the question "to move his agenda forward if Congress does not act as he wishes?" screams no to me. You cannot just manipulate laws and powers if they do not go "as he wishes". If the President cannot convince some of our top men and women in Congress, then should the law really be passed? He might think that is the best law ever, and I agree that Congress is so slow to innovate, but I still don't believe we should have one person who can just make laws as he wishes. He also says this is a year of action, but when would using executive orders stop? What if it became so easy that instead of even trying to go to Congress, presidents would just use executive orders? The reason James Madison proposed the three branches of government is so they could keep each branch in balance. If we start letting the executive branch override the Legislative branch, we essentially only have two branches. The president should be limited on how many executive orders he can use, and he should always try and convince Congress first.

2/7/2014
Benson/AZ
Mollie
Sorensen/Benson High School
I do believe that the president should try to work with Congress first. All legality aside, I believe that it is a bad example to set if the president gives up on compromise and just does everything his way. I realize that the Congress can be uncooperative (with the president and with one another, as demonstrated with the government shutdown), but I am of the opinion that, as the leader of our nation, it is part of the president’s duties to call Congress to action and to help them compromise. It would be very sad, I believe, if the highest authorities in our nation cannot work as team. In order to honestly analyze the appropriateness of his actions, however, I would have to research more upon the precedent set by past administrations (I find it curious that “compared with past administrations, he has signed a relatively low number of executive orders.”)

2/6/2014
Irving/Texas
Jose L
Bradley/Nimitz
There has been lots of pressure on the Obama administration since the president’s claims on all the reforms he promised. Putting ourselves in his shoes it is understandable for him not wanting to look bad to the public. There is much pressure on him from the country and himself to achieve what he said he would. With this type of pressure and also congress being uncooperative then the president is down to his last resources to carry out his plans for this country. By all means can he use his executive powers to make things happen. We shouldn't be too concerned on technicalities if the people in need of these changes are tended to. The should always be “for the people”.

2/6/2014
Irving/Texas
Lacie
Bradley/Nimitz
President Obama should not use executive orders to get his initiatives enacted because it is abuse of power. Sure, he was elected president of the United States and is the president for many significant reasons, but he does not hold all the power. The reason this country became the country it is today is because of a Revolution that started with the citizens of the colonies wanting freedom from Great Britain and wanting to get away from a tyranny government. If the president had all the power, then this might as well be a dictatorship. The president must coincide with congress on many different issues. Of course, the president and congress rarely ever see eye to eye, it is their job to put differences aside, quit being so stubborn, and come to agreements that will ultimately be good for all of the U.S. citizens involved.

2/5/2014
Irving/Texas
Monica F.
Bradley/Nimitz
Think about all of the past presidents who used executive orders to help this country; because of this, I believe that Obama isn't, “overreaching his authority,” by doing so, himself. However, I feel that before he uses these orders to achieve his goals, he should further attempt to alleviate whatever issues he has with Congress. If they can’t get past their differences, then I think that he should make an executive decision, but only after making sure that it is what our country really needs.

2/5/2014
Irving/Texas
Tracy
Bradley/Nimitz
It is nice to know that Obama is determined to make this a year of action. Although, the President and congress have had disagreements before, it is only for the best interest of the country that they work together. There is no need to be unreasonable and they should be able to come to a compromise regarding the projects Obama has in mind. If both can not come to an agreement and if Obama still feels strongly about wage inequalities, the job market and such then he should be able to move forward. Who knows what the President's executive orders could achieve?

2/5/2014
Irving/Texas
Eva
Bradley/Nimitz
The democratic government was set up to be of benefit to the people, and was set up for the people. People in congress not wanting to accept better ways to improve the economy for the "people's" sake could be ironic, considering what the government was established for. If it takes Obama bypassing congress for us to have better opportunities than so be it. Checks and balances were made so that no branch would have greater power involving decisions. However if the decision is for the benefit of the people than then the president and congress should come to an agreement where no system is violated.

2/5/2014
Irving/ Texas
Dania Vanessa
Bradley/ Nimitz
In President Obama’s last term, Congress did put up a fight with several of his policies like his Medical Care, Immigration Reform, etc. It is most likely that Congress will once again put up a fight with his new proposals. As history has shown us, Congress and the President do not always see eye to eye but does that mean that Americans have to suffer for it? President Obama should most definitely try to work with Congress, one branch of the government should not have more power than the other two. It does not matter if the two do not get along or what not, their main focus should be the country and its people for who they hold their titles/offices for. It is time that the government stops focusing on their problems and starts hearing its people and not let something like a government shutdown happen. The President is overreaching his authority by taking unilateral action, since some of the policies he is talking about overstep his boundaries. If people all over the United States have to work alongside people that they might not agree with and still get their work done, then why can't all branches of the government do the same?

2/5/2014
Irving,Tx
Ty'Mira
Ms.Bradley/Nimitz High
President Barack Obama should not use executive orders to get his initiatives to enact because not all people want to, or feel they do not support it. I believe he should at least try to work with someone, for example, congress to get over all of the obstacles and smooth out the situation. I believe Obama is not overreaching his authority with unilateral action.

2/5/2014
Irving/TX
Anh
Bradley/Nimitz
Although it is courageous for the president to speak of acting without the Congress's consent but it may back fire against him in the future. Many people may look past his righteousness and see him abusing his powers just to push a few laws. I understand why he may want to us his executive orders to initiate what he has promise but he also has to have to congress on his side for it all to really work out. The president most definitely should try to work it out with congress as many times as possible before he has to take the final step of overlooking congress's decision to enforce his. Although, I agree to some degree of Sen. Blunt "That's giving up on the Congress," but not too the extreme of giving up on the constitution. It may seem as though Obama, using his own power as president, may not be trusting Congress but it may also be that Congress isn't compromising either forcing Obama to overreach and take action on his own. Both parties need to work it out through thorough discussion and quick decision. I know what Obama is doing and what he's trying to accomplish as the president but without congress there will be no real push for these laws to be enacted.

2/5/2014
Irving/Texas
Indya
Bradley/Nimitz
Not to say President Obama isn't a man of his word, but I don't believe he will not actually use executive orders to bypass Congress. President Obama made a very bold statement which is letting Congress know that he means business. Bypassing congress is the last step Obama will take to get things done, and before that will happen he and the congress will most certainty work together to find a better solution. I strongly disagree with Senator Roy Blunt's statement that President Obama is giving up on both the congress or the constitution. No president is in position to simply give up on congress and the constitution. Obama’s every decision greatly involves both the Congress and the Constitution, there is no way he could give up on them. President Obama knows exactly what he is doing. He said that he would do it himself to let congress know that he is serious about the things he is trying to accomplish.

2/5/2014
Irving/TX
Berenizes
Bradley/Nimitz
The system of checks and balances was established for a reason and no president has the power to bypass that. In order to have everything work for the good of the people no one branch can just ignore another. I understand that President Obama is eager to implement some changes, but he can’t raise the minimum wage, set immigration policies, and work on social security benefits all by himself. Congress is needed in order to make that happen. Congress is there to give a second opinion and perfect all laws set in America. When it comes down to it the legislative branch and executive branch should be working together instead of sidestepping each other. In order to get to the other side of the river both branches need to row together or else they will just go in circles.

2/5/2014
Irving/Texas
James
Bradley/Nimitz
Obviously it would be best if the president and congress could work together to create policies that help the nation. But, since that doesn't seem to be the case and congress is being uncooperative then the president is left with no choice but to bypass our stagnant congress and take matters into his own hands. There is absolutely nothing wrong with executive orders they're legal and have been proven to solve difficult problems in our nation. As long as the president is making these changes legally and for the better of the nation than, he isn't overreaching any part of his authority.

2/5/2014
Irving/TX
Janet
Bradley/Nimitz
I think the president should try to work it out with Congress first, but if Congress still refuses to acknowledge the prepositions that Obama brings up, then it is up to him to try to take matters into his own hands, whether it may be using executive orders to enact his initiatives. If the president believes that what he's pushing for is vital for America as a whole, then he should go for it. However, if parts of his preposition are found to be unecessary or have a possibility of being detrimental, then he shouldn't even consider trying to bypass Congress.

2/5/2014
Irving/Texas
Isabel
Bradley/Nimitz
Though President Obama sees fit to use his executive orders to get his initiative enacted, he needs to have the consent of the Congress first. In his speech he invites Congress to help him for support and legitimacy, but he also scales back and says that he would act alone if he had to. I think he might just be threatening to use his executive powers to bypass Congress because he believes that Congress is too stubborn to help him pass his laws. The president is not overstepping his boundaries by using the executive order because he is simply exercising a right he is entitled to by the constitution. Now of course he can't pass law after law all on his own. That would be like a student writing an essay and turning it in without revising and editing. He desperately needs Congress to cooperate and to be willing to compromise with him in order to get something done in this "year of action."

2/5/2014
Irving/Texas
Pam
Bradley/Nimitz
Many times before has President Obama tried to get congress to take action and get things done but “lawmakers’ unwillingness to compromise or pass laws has left him no other option.” If it takes an executive order to make things happen, then yes, the president should use that power, but only after taking the correct steps of trying again to work with congress on his proposals. If still nothing is accomplished should the president use executive order.

2/4/2014
Benson/AZ
Rachael
Mr. Sorenson/Benson High School
The United States was grounded on the principle of checks and balances through the three main branches of government. This was set so that no one branch had too much power. If we let the president use executive orders to bypass congress, we are therefore giving up this balance of power. Although the president’s intentions may seem valid and reassuring, we cannot trust only one man to make a decision that will affect the country as a whole. As an alternative route, I believe it is absolutely possible for the president to try to work through this issue with Congress and come to equal terms. In my opinion, bypassing congress would be overstepping constitutional limits because it would be contradicting to the values and ideas that our country is based on. If we let our president make decisions on his or her own, where will we find a limit to this? Without such limit, we only come closer to defining ourselves as a dictatorship instead. What purpose would a constitutional republic have if the beliefs of its constitution are not in effect?

2/4/2014
Irving/TX
Vivian
Bradley/Nimitz
Although the president does have authority to use executive orders when it comes to getting his initiatives enacted, he should not bypass Congress. With all the changes he wants to implement, President Obama should not initiate his plans without having confirmation with Congress. By ignoring Congress is simply ignoring the people. And as a democracy, President Obama should try to work with Congress first for debate and ratification. President Obama needs to limit his authority so that his orders are fair to the people as well as what he thinks would be fair to them. Blaming Congress for their non-cooperation seems to be his reason in acting alone for the sake of improving the economy.

2/4/2014
Benson/AZ
Sarah
Mr. Sorenson/Benson High School
I don't think the president should use executive orders to get his initiatives enacted. I believe that he should go through the proper steps and try to, at least, work with Congress. If you bypass Congress and that's okay, where does it stop? Sometimes it is necessary to bypass steps, but a compromise should, at least, be attempted. Bypassing Congress should be a last resort, not something the president goes to when Congress doesn't agree with what he's saying.

2/4/2014
Irving/Texas
Kelsea
Bradley/Nimitz HS
The Framers of America created and mandated the ideas of Congress and presidency. Congress is important when it comes to making decisions for our country, therefore I believe that Obama should not use executive orders to bypass Congress. Obama is frantic in his desire to make good happen for our nation and that may come back to bite him later. Obama should go through the process with Congress, get their ideas and work out the klnks in his plans with their help before making any big changes in economy. The tension between Congress and the president is everlasting, but Obama must have anticipated a standstill in his claims being turned into laws and changes for the nation. Raising minimum wage is preposterous because of inflation, and if any other of Obama’s ideas are alike in that proposal, Congress is right to refuse compliance. Obama should not step on any toes by bypassing Congress, especially if he plans to hold office for more years to come.

2/4/2014
AZ/Benson.
John
Mr. Sorneson/Benson High School
Yes, the president should use executive orders to get his initiatives enacted when all necessary and work with congress first. I think that by taking unilateral action congress can't be vocal about what they ned, so they need more balance of power in the wite house today!

2/3/2014
Irving/TX
Sarah V
Bradley/Nimitz
Before resorting to executive orders in order to pass laws, President Obama should attempt to compromise with Congress. Allowing the president to use executive order to bypass Congress violates the system of checks and balances. Though Congress and the President have had trouble agreeing on laws and issues, giving the President the power of executive order would exceed the limits of his power. In the next few years of Obama’s presidency, he and the Congress should try to work together with the best interest of the American public in mind.

2/3/2014
Vacaville/ California
Philip K
Hawkins/ Buckingham Charter
Moments after hearing the State of the Union, I had a good feeling inside toward where the future of our country is headed. The feeling soon wore off after I considered the fact that if President Obama didn't make a speech that was incredibly appealing to his audience he wouldn't be fulfilling his duties as a politician. Americans have happily consumed deceit for as long as the country has been established. What appears to be an insightful speech declaring a hopeful future for America is in actuality a collection of lies and empty promises. In regards to the President’s use of executive orders to bypass Congress, this is an acceptable option when it is necessary; but only if it is necessary and only within the boundaries of what the Constitution allows. History shows the effective use of the executive order. The Emancipation Proclamation could be considered the greatest action performed in the history of our government. With that said, the President and Congress should be able to reach compromise and if the government was operating proficiently, an executive order shouldn't even be an option. But the fact is, compromise is a far-fetched concept to both Congress and the President. So, if Obama feels it necessary to use an executive order: sure, go right ahead.

2/3/2014
Vacaville, California
Ashlee L.
Mr. Hawkins/ Buckingham Charter Magnet High School
We don’t know what happens behind the scenes, we can only assume from what we hear in the news and by speeches given. In President Obama’s State of the Union he was all about action; if he is all about action then what has he been doing these past couple years. It feels as if he is pushing really hard to do something progressive while he only has a few more months in office. However, in doing so he should not bypass the congress, these are the people that he should be working with rather than creating tension which could lead to further problems in our government. The thought that our nation and future relies on one man and his decisions is a scary thought, which is exactly why we have 435 voting members of congress, all in which have purposeful opinions and the best interest for our needs. It’s understandable that he wants to get his initiatives enacted but executive orders should be used in more serious cases not for his own good. He should not have waited until the last minute to squeeze his “plan of action in” and it is selfish to not try to work with congress first, after all we have our system of congress for a reason.

2/3/2014
Vacaville CA
Tommy H
Mr.Hawkins/Buckingham
The state of the union address made me more hopeful about the coming years. Personally I have been worrying about being able to find a job, being able to pay for school, and just being able to afford basic living expenses. It seemed like one of Obama’s focuses this year is going to be helping the working class and starting out young adults with raising minimum wage and job opportunities. I hope this is true, but more times than not presidential plans have gone less than smoothly. I hope this time things go according to plan. Obama should not use executive order. Although he is trying to do what he thinks is right, people don’t trust him. By going over congresses heads he is creating tension. US citizens are going to accuse him of taking too much control, making him a “ruler” instead of a representative of the citizens. It would not be to his best interest.

2/3/2014
Vacaville, CA
Jenina S.
Mr. Hawkins/Buckingham
In regards to Obama using executive order to bypass Congress, I feel as though he is just making false promises. Although the idea’s Barack Obama has to change our economy is well-thought-out and inspirational, how did his run as president go last election? The government has three branches; judicial, executive and legislature that work together. We should not have to threaten the executive branch to work with Congress. The president was never meant to have as much control as Obama is trying to receive. He is only looking at the options that he himself believes in. We, as American’s should have the final say in what happens to our own economy. The government needs to work with the citizens and not against them.

2/3/2014
Vacaville/CA
Iain
F
To take action with necessary cause is an indirect way to immediate goals. As admirable our presidents goals are, he is never going to reach his goals without immediate action. I feel that our president of our blessed country should not have to use or have reasons to use executive orders unless in times of dire need. But at our rate of decay in society today action needs to be made and very soon. If a rolling stone gathers no moss, then were at a mossy stand still. Albeit yes an executive order may seem extreme in our current stature if our government continues to stay apathetic about our current event then our high standing stature and moral eloquence will decay faster than one would imagine. I can understand if this whole talk may not make sense but my message should be clear in that action needs to be taken soon or we may not have another chance for a long time.

2/3/2014
Vacaville/CA
Joseph M
Mr.Hawkins/Buckingham
I believe the President means well and try’s to be very proactive at what he does. More importantly, I think the President should try to reason and work with the congress first. If Congress cooperate with the President and make the changes that are needed in America, the growth of the economy would not just grow it would flourish. But, if the Congress decides to be uncooperative, the president promises and dreams will just be another lie to American citizens, hindering the growth of America.

2/3/2014
Vacaville/CA
Jasmine C.
Mr. Hawkins/Buckingham
While President Obama was giving his State of the Union speech I felt that there was hope for me in the future. The whole point of the State of the Union address is for the president to address what will happen throughout the year. If the president can make decisions on different issues that go on within the Unites States as well as concerning the United States without going by Congress, then I think he should be allowed; but I do feel that he should try and work it out with Congress first. Just like the rest of us the president is human and he does make mistakes, just like congress is human. I feel that if he tries to work it out with congress, they can work together and they can help advise him on certain decisions that pertains to the well-being of the country. Say the president made a decision by himself, that affected many citizens of the US, and then it would look bad on his part. But who is to say that if congress also helped him with a decision that the same thing wouldn't happen. There is no way to know what could happen, but if he cannot work it out congress, I think the president should just go ahead and make decisions without the help of Congress.

2/3/2014
Vacaville California
Jasmine G
Mr. Hawkins/ Buckingham
In response to the articles and I felt both hope and some false promises. I believe that if Obama really wants to see change and Congress isn't really working with him, I believe he has the right to bypass them and continue with something in order to fulfill his false promises to us Americans. If the government doesn’t work together now, the futures for us freshly graduating, young adults won’t be promising. In order for us to move forward there does need to be changes made in order to make the future of America brighter and allow us to pursue happiness like we are guaranteed in the constitution. There will always be disagreements but the government needs to find a solution to work around situations like these in order to actually make a change.

2/3/2014
Vacaville/CA
Tobin H.
Mr. Hawkins/Buckingham
Obama is overstepping his boundaries as president. If he follows through with all his promises and achieves them, his power would have increased and made him more powerful than the other branches. Obama should try to work with Congress and try to come to conclusions diplomatically instead of “side-stepping” them. Congress is representative of the people and if Obama bypasses them then he theoretically bypasses the people making him a mini dictator. America is supposed to be for the people not what politicians’ think are best for the people. We elect the politicians to office to represent us, but we as Americans need to keep them in check and voice our opinions more.

2/3/2014
Vacaville/California
Julie C.
Mr. Hawkins/Buckingham Charter
I agree that congress has done little to get things done let alone negotiate, but we have our separate powers for a reason. I understand that Obama only wants to solve these pesky problems; however congress and the three branches represent the people of America and our opinions should not be overruled so easily. If the president ever jumped the gun and bypassed congress because of his own personal agenda our government would be no better than your average dictatorship, with little to no representation for the people. To completely ignore our three branches is to ignore our countries constitution which was put in place to keep us from becoming a dictatorship. As non negotiable congress can be, Obama should still at least try and work with congress to achieve his goals diplomatically. That way all of America would have a say in the decisions and the laws would be more widely accepted. Also, by working with congress and coming to complete negotiations Obama can do something even better than doing it on his own, have the two parties actually come to an agreement on something. Although we all want to see decisions made more quickly and efficiently, we also want to see our separate branches of government work together.

2/3/2014
Vacaville, CA
Janelle G
Mr. Hawkins / Buckingham Charter Magnet High School
I think that the president should be working with Congress because that way they know what he is trying to do and what way he is planning on taking the country. This way the congress knows and can help out the future presidents if they want to carry on what Obama is trying to do. I don’t think that Obama is overreaching his authority because it is in the Constitution and he has the right to, but I do think that us as Americans should have a say in what happens.

2/3/2014
Vacaville/ CA
Jeris Mickens
Mr. Hawkins/ Buckingham Charter Magnet High School
I believe the president should be able to use executive orders to get his initiatives enacted. I do believe he has this right. Often congress tries to stop Obama from getting the things done in the United States. But this power can be abused because when congress is not heard that means the people of the United States are not heard. SO if he overrules congress it could either be a good thing or a bad thing. Although most of the time the president has reason to why he creates laws but if he is not regulated by congress he might become too powerful.

2/3/2014
Vacaville/CA
Zach O.
Hawkins/Buckingham Charter Magnet High School
I think the President should use the “threat” as more of a call to action. I don’t think he should use his executive powers to get what he wants. As it was mentioned earlier, this would be a more of an authoritarian display of action. Unfortunately, Congress will stand in his way of doing anything, and it may be the only option to get his desired outcomes. The President should first try to work alongside the Congress, as completing his tasks would look much better if Congress was backing him up. A house that is divided cannot stand. Technically, he hasn’t taken any action yet that overreaches his authority, but that may be what it will lead to. If he did follow through while bashing heads with Congress, it would most certainly be overstepping his bounds. As a democracy, it is our responsibility to be democratic, and let everyone’s voices and opinions be heard. Congress should represent the people as a whole, and not just the opinion of the upper class/employers, although they are people too and shouldn’t be completely left out. It is in the hands of Congress and the President, and they need to work together to make this work smoothly.

2/3/2014
Vacaville
Caleb L
Mr. Hawkins/Buckingham
President Obama has had a lot of trouble trying to get stuff done during his presidency. Congress and him never got along. Because of this, Obama has decided that to get stuff done, he would have to bypass congress as a last resort. This has made a lot of people question if he is abusing his power and I would have to say that it is a very mixed bag. On one hand, he does mean well for the middle class, but at the same time, it seems a little scary that he is willing to do things without the permission of congress. Yes, Obama and congress don’t agree on everything, but if he is going to be doing things without Congress, that’s nearing the possibilities of kingship or possibly even a dictatorship because he wants to do things without congress. Congress keeps the president from having too much power and the fact that he is willing to bypass congress to get stuff done may grant him that power that he’s not supposed to have too much of and that is scary to me. If he is just going to be bypassing congress to get these set goals accomplished and that’s it, fair enough, but if that power get to his head and it turns into a borderline dictatorship, that’s when it goes to far because we do live in a democracy, not a dictatorship.

2/3/2014
Vacaville/CA
Joey M
mr. Hawkins/Buckingham
The president is supposed to do a lot for the American people and at the end of the day do what is right to make America a better place. The president wants to make as many American citizens happy as possible. The president should always try to cooperate with congress to get a law passed or get something done. The congress is 535 people for a reason. The reason there are that many people in the congress is to get a lot of peoples opinion about the issue at hand and they decide if it is right or wrong to pass these laws that the president wants. The president is going out of his boundary’s to give the people false hope and try to pass laws the congress does not agree with.

2/3/2014
Vacavcille/ CA
ashley B.
Mr. Hawkins/ buckingham
When I First heard the State of the Union speech given my President Obama I saw hope in our future and in his mind. President Obama wants to go about his year of action with an Executive order. I believe that if congress doesn’t want to corporate with the president, then an executive order is what he should do. In the constitution it states that the president can do an executive order, so how is that overstepping his boundaries?. From what I see, congress has not been doing anything to corporate with the president in any way, so why would they start now? It is too soon to give up hope on our president. This executive Order could be a major change for America positively or negatively. All major changes come with the risk of failure but how would we ever know it would fail if we don’t try? Throughout America’s life we have came across far more worse things that we have in fact overcome. In the article it states the example of the emancipation Proclamation, and Truman’s order to desegregate the military all being part of the executive order. Us as Americans have to have a little faith in our president and not sell him out too quickly for his year of action. I do believe that The President has a right to do an executive order, but I feel as though he should try to compromise with Congress first.

2/3/2014
Vacaville/California
Carissa W
Mr. Hawkins/Buckingham Charter
I believe the president does the have the right to use the executive order to get his initiative enacted. It is perfectly constitutional. He also has to threaten the Congress to get their attention. He isn't over stepping his boundaries by using the executive order because it is a right he has in the constitution. Congress should be more willing to work and compromise with the president. We need to settle our differences and not continue the constant back and forth. We the people have been patience and need change. Honestly, many are tired of waiting for Congress to act and have lost all hope. But there are many Americans that found hope in the president’s call of action. The president has tried to work with the Congress plenty of times, and the Congress doesn't want to budge. It is time for a transformation in this nation whether the Congress is in on that change or not. The president’s job is to make American better and do what is best for its people. He wants Congress’s approval and support, but in reality, if it’s best for the people, he doesn't need it. President Obama has roughly 3 years left as president, he is trying to make the each year count and be a successful president. Congress should just support him in this or get out the way.

2/3/2014
Vacaville/California
Caitlin T
Mr. Hawkins/Buckingham
In regards of the President should be able to use the Executive orders, I think that Obama made a lot of promises to us as the people but won’t follow through. He says he wants to give us hope and think that everything will be good in the future but in all honesty, what if it isn’t? What if everything goes downhill? What if the Government plus the Congress happen to not follow through with Obama’s wishes? In my opinion I think that Obama should’ve talked with Congress before he gave his “Powerful Speech”. If Congress doesn't work with Obama then he can take matters into his own hands and start changing legislation laws and policy because if he doesn't then there is going to be to much disagreement with both parties.

2/3/2014
Vacaville/CA
Tracy B
Mr. Hawkins/Buckingham
Listening to President Obama’s bold statements during his State of the Union address, was not shocking but disappointing. The promises that were made during his speech were packed with hope and ambition; unfortunately the President may have lost the hope of many American’s during his address. The thought of the President going around Congress in order to get quicker results is a little frightening. We have three branches of government that were created to work together in order to prevent any one branch from having too much power. It is understandable that President Obama would be frustrated with the cooperation of Congress, but going around them is not the solution. It is important for us, as citizens, to be able to see our government working together for the better of our country. There are going to be disagreements and disputes between the President and Congress, but that is a part of politics. The President should continue trying to work with Congress in order to preserve our system of checks and balances.

2/3/2014
Vacaville/Ca
BretT
Mr. Hawkins/Buckingham
Bret T Though I do support many of the president’s proposed actions I can’t quite say I agree with his threat of executive order to congress stating, “Some require congressional action, and I’m eager to work with all of you. But America does not stand still, and neither will I.” Though an executive order is constitutional, and I believe it has its place, namely in instances of urgency, I think the threat to congress of executive order sets a dangerous precedent. Firstly, we need to recognize that we are a republic; we elect congressional members to represent our views and ideologies, the president needs to accept this and work with the Republican Party, acknowledging that their representatives through their actions embody a facet of America’s political stance and viewpoint. If the president attempts to work over or past the Republican congress members then he is essentially, through a medium, ignoring or dismissing a sizeable fraction of Americans. Therefore, the president should always attempt to meet Congress half-way, which is why the “my way or the highway” stance is a little disheartening. If he does not then it completely breaks our political system in which we have only one man, subject to confirmation bias, deciding what is in the best interests of the American people and passing ephemeral legislation as opposed to the more lasting resolutions from Congress. In summation I do not believe we are at danger of creating some sort of autocracy as a result of executive orders, however, they should be used sparing for the dangerous precedent wanton utilization sets.

2/3/2014
Vacaville/California
Logan S
Mr. Hawkins/Buckingham charter Magnet High School
I personally think that the president using executive order is fine and sometimes a good idea. Congress is not going to always act quickly and sometimes the situation is too important to wait. Executive order could be viewed as a way to abuse your power as president. It should be remembered that the president has the most access to inside information and knows a lot of things that are not public information. There is a way to use executive order for the greater good regardless of who it affects. Before taking executive order, I think the president should always try to work with congress. If our government is not all on the same page then it might as well not exist. There has been times in history where presidents have taken executive order and it is not recognized but looking back it was a good idea. Maybe executive order should be limited to certain kinds of decision but ultimately I say that executive order is alright but the president should always consult congress.

2/3/2014
Vacaville/California
Connor S.
Mr. Hawkins/Buckingham
In response to the topic, should the president use executive orders to get his initiatives enacted or not, I believe that the president should not use executive orders to get his initiatives enacted because there is no immediate threat to our country. The president shouldn't force his ideas to be enacted when he still has three years to convince congress to work with him. To use an executive order would bypass congress, and make it seem as if congress and the people it represents don't matter, only the president and what he wants. I think that the president should try and work with congress before he does anything drastic like using an executive order to get his way. I believe that the president is overstepping his bounds when he promises things during his address that he cannot actually follow through with, even if he were to bypass congress with an executive order.

2/3/2014
Vacaville / CA
Morgan B.
Hawkins / Buckingham
Logically, it is no breach of law for President Obama to utilize Executive Order; it is constitutional and many presidents have used it in the past with less opposition. However, it is a breach of ethics to bypass Congress, therefore bypassing the opinion of the American people. While I understand President Obama’s goals and his frustration with Congress, I also understand Congress’s side of things. Many of Obama’s reforms may be a step in the wrong direction with major economic repercussions. I personally have no issue with the president using unilateral action as long as it is well-thought, generally unbiased, and has the best interests of all citizens in mind. Sometimes executive order is necessary to bypass a corrupt or biased Congress. Although, in this particular occasion, I do not agree with the reforms President Obama is trying to push through Congress. That being said, I also don’t agree with Congress’s stubborn temper-tantrum, and would like to see more action in all branches of the government. I believe a better way for President Obama to reach his goal of social reform is not throwing money and benefits to the lower classes, but providing opportunity. To do this, the budget should be focused on increasing educational opportunities as well as job opportunities, and making these opportunities available to all citizens of all classes. By doing this, we can create a more well-rounded society that both democrats and republicans can support. President Obama has the right idea, but the wrong action.

2/3/2014
Vacaville/CA
Joshua
Mr. Hawkins/Buckingham
In our constitution, our founding fathers created a balance of power; this was where all three branches of the government are equal and no is more powerful than the other. They created this for this very reason, that no branch would get to powerful and control the government. Here we can see that the president, executive branch, is trying to use his presidential powers to overstep congress to accomplish what he has planned. He needs to obey the constitution that he gave an oath to when he was inaugurate as the president to not overstep congress and do what he says he will do.

2/3/2014
Vacaville, California
Jordan H
Hawkins/Buckingham
While the President is completely allowed to override congress with his executive powers, under the Constitution; it is not the right thing to do for the people of the US. While the President does have good intentions, his decisions may lead him to abuse his power. Congress is composed of 535 people, who have a much more accurate representation of an average American mindset, than Obama. That’s why we have Congress; it’s a larger representation than the party of one in the Presidency. So, if Obama overrides congress, he’s essentially overriding our, the peoples’, say in the matter. & that is not the right thing to do for us, or for the country. That being said, we shouldn’t have much to worry about, because the Constitution has checks and balances to prevent any type of totalitarianism happening.

2/3/2014
Vacaville/CA
Lisa
Mr.Hawkins/BCMHS
Regarding Obama’s state of the Union I continued to see the childish view of solitary vision. Our congress was formed to have the diversity and views of both democrats and republicans, and as they worked as a team 150 years ago they should be able to today. I don’t think Obama should waste his time bypassing congress, but instead getting congress to work as a team. The American people are the deciders here and the president is meant to be an advocate for his people. Congress have not wrung them dry, however they can compromise a little more than they are. My other issue with this is that Obama can be promising or over offering something that he can’t produce in the time we have in a year. I do understand that he can go around the congress with certain laws but the checks and balances system is the one that gives the accuracy and authenticity to our country and its laws. As one of the other students said, “It is his job to make decisions that are best for all of America, but it’s also his job to serve us the people….” I believe using executive order should be okay in dyer situations, but however something that affects the whole American people and isn’t a state of emergency should not be an executive order. I believe that with these issues Obama would be abusing his power. However, I think it was a great tactic to get some fire under Congress. Congress shouldn't be just sitting still and there are obviously some issues of childish clicks and separations among them. In my opinion, Obama should have power, but not enough to override a congress set in place for protection of the people.

2/3/2014
Vacaville/CA
Cameron
Mr. Hawkins/Buckingham
Plain and simple, I don’t think he should use executive order to go around congress. He is trying to accomplish what he wants to get done. Congress represents the people and by bypassing Congress he is bypassing the people. Most of us can agree that Congress has been lacking more than it should be and not doing the best to represent the people. Instead of making all these promises, he should spend the next three years trying to reunite the government. Even though he constitutionally can use executive order, he is not doing the country a favor by sidestepping around congress.

2/3/2014
Vacaville/California
Andreas N
Mr. Hawkins/Buckingham
When I first heard the state of the union address I was filled with excitement for the upcoming years and the progress made in them. The president plans to do what he has to be done to stimulate progress, and that is important. Grid lock is never good. However, when one starts discussing executive orders, things get a little sketchy. Many say that this is over stepping his bounds and attempting to over ride the constitution. Compromise is important, and we all have to remember we are on the same side in the end. Working with congress should be a heavy priority for the president, except in one situation. If congress or the House of Representatives are no longer representing the will of the majority of the people, then they are not properly doing their jobs. If this is the case, and there is not much debate on the matter, then maybe it is the time for the president to take action into his own hands and enact the will of the people even if congress will not.

2/3/2014
Vacaville/ CA
nAt l.
d. Hawkins/ Buckingham charter
The president should not use executive orders to get what he wants even though it is totally constitutional. Using executive orders is not the right way to go because congress has a collective opinion; the president only has one opinion of what he should do that could possibly not be in public’s best interest. Obama has made many promises, who is to say that the promises he is making now will be kept. The congress was made for the reason of representing the people and I feel that it needs to be used.

2/2/2014
Irving/Texas
Erin D
Bradley/Nimitz
In regards to whether President Obama should use executive orders to bypass Congress, I feel it is too soon to give up hope. Although our recent government shutdown was a misfortune caused by the clashing opinions between the President and the Congress it’s just how the government is supposed to function. The Congress has 535 voting members for a reason, it has a more equal representation of the peoples desires than one single mind (the President). I am assuming President Obama was using executive orders as a threat to force Congress into action so I don’t feel like it’s something we should fret about. But in the case that he is serious, I feel he should try to work with the Congress to follow him with his plans, not jump the gun and bypass not only the Congress but the people’s representation. It is his job to make decisions that are best for all of America, but it’s also his job to serve us the people, which Congress is the best representation of our needs and wants.

2/2/2014
Irving/TX
Sarah L
Bradley/Nimitz High School
It is perfectly constitutional for the President to use executive orders; however, using these orders in order to bypass Congress is neither right nor healthy for our country. America should not be comfortable hearing the President threaten Congress with the traditional “my way or the highway” speech. We have always been taught that Government has three branches (Executive, Legislative, and Judicial) that work together to make America great. Instead of threatening, the Executive branch should attempt to work with Congress. I understand the President and Congress have always had tensions, but surely the two branches can negociate most issues. Honestly, we should not be too worried about the President “overreaching his authority” due to the fact the Constitution was constructed to prevent any president from becoming too powerful. Executive orders have limits of their own, which is stated in this Speak-Out: “He can’t raise the national minimum wage, he can’t overhaul immigration policies or Social Security, and he can’t even make the smallest tweaks to his signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act.” I say President Obama should not use executive orders and that the Legislative and Executive branch need to start working together again.

2/1/2014
Irving,Texas
Vanessa Garcia
Bradley/Nimitz High School
The president shouldn't be allowed to have his way as easily, we are a democracy and not a dictatorship. There should be limits to how much power the president REALLY has including technicalities. If there was a vote on a decision and the president felt the need to cross executive boundaries that would be a different thing, but he is doing what HE thinks is right. The president isn't keeping in mind opinions and is acting simply on what HE believes in. Along those terms the president and congress should also work together to come to a mutual decision. If our own government can't conclude on mutual terms then the people can not have faith in what runs our country.

1/31/2014
Irving/Texas
Jessi
Bradley/Nimitz
The threat to use executive orders seems to have been the president’s way to get the attention of Congress. They can reach a compromise, but there are so many changes that Congress has been presented with that they can hardly take it all in. What the entire country needs is tensions settled. Change will come, Mr. President, but patience is virtue. The country is on edge thinking about executive orders being carried out by one man, and it’s truly discomforting. Thinking about a leader carrying out any or all of these big decisions without reaching compromise from the group has the slightest scent of socialism. Ah! The big elephant in the room: How far is too far for authority in a democracy? Only Congress and the president can determine the answer to that question while the country observes, complains, and waits.

1/31/2014
Irving, Texas
Carmen
Bradley/Nimitz
In my opinion it is not ethical that Obama is trying to overstep the boundaries on executive orders. Presidency does not allot an unlimited amount of power in which you can bypass the voice of those that negate his orders. He can work closely with Congress but ultimately he does not have the final say. Checks and balances is in play and cannot be overturned. His executive orders are beneficial to some but how does it affect others, that is the real question. Our democracy has survived thus far, why start changing it. Although some executive orders resulted positively in our history this does not compare. Obama needs to use his resources to try and get Congress on board rather than making them irrelevant to his decisions. Personally I do not think these orders or "demands" will impact tremendously, we as a country have bigger fish to fry.

1/30/2014
Irving/Texas
Adam
Bradley/Nimitz
I agree with President Obama on bypassing Congress. In the past 5 years, the Obama administration and members of Congress have been going back and forth with each other. President Obama has had many helpful ideas in the past, but has not been passed because there are more Republicans in Congress. They just do not want to see President Obama succeed. Yes, I agree that President Obama should try and reach out to Congress at first. If Congress declines, and if the Obama administration think its a good idea, then they should have the ability to bypass Congress for the good of our nation.

1/30/2014
Irving/Texas
Michael
Bradley/Nimitz
For Obama to not work with Congress first would be very unethical and very ignorant. The whole point of the State of Union Address is to persuade Congress to execute the presidents wants! So of course I think the president should try to work with Congress first and I believe he will. Lastly I believe the president should not use executive orders to get his initiatives enacted, because it will help some and hurt many.Whereas, if he reached an compromise with Congress, then the whole of America will be greatly benefited with his initiatives enacted the right way!

1/30/2014
Irving/TX
Evila
Bradley/Nimitz
Obama has tried time after time to get new laws and reforms passed with no avail due to Congress’s constant bickering. In fact, it was Congress’s inability to compromise that prompted the government shutdown. If Congress is not willing to even consider the president's propositions the he should use executive orders to get his initiative enacted. However, Obama must first attempt to work with Congress. If Congress is not willing to compromise, then he must take the first step. Obama is a leader, and he must set a good example. If he also refuses to compromise then it will merely continue the vicious cycle, and nothing will be accomplished. Instead, the two branches will become further estranged, causing the system of checks and balances to become obsolete.

1/30/2014
Irving/Texas
Yesenia
Bradley/Nimitz
The president shouldn't have to go to the extremes of overriding congress to get his initiatives enacted. The president should first try to reason and work with congress to come up with a compromise that will help everyone in the long run and won't hurt anyone in power. The president is overreaching his authority just a little by saying that he would bypass congress if they didn't cooperate, but the president is just tired of standing at a plateau for so long, and since he is halfway through his last term he is willing to go towards more daring measures to improve the lives of Americans. His ideas are great but by threatening to bypass congress he is threatening our Democracy.

1/30/2014
Irving/Texas
Stefan
Bradley/Nimitz
Sometimes bureaucracy, politics, and heated rivalries between opposing parties only serve to bog down whatever action or intent Congress set out to agree on. I think Obama should try to work with Congress for a little longer. If they still remain deadlocked in neverending debate with neither side backing down then he should use the executive orders. Just because the Republicans feel that their political power is being threatened doesn’t mean that it’s unconstitutional. Executive Orders have been used by many Presidents in the past for good in the past such as President Truman’s decision to desegregate the armed forces and President Eisenhower’s decision to integrate public schools. However, they have also been used to make decisions that we retrospectively look at with shame and contempt. One example of this is President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Order 9066 which resulted in Japanese-Americans being rounded up and sent to concentration camps.The sort of power that the President is speaking of can be used to do great good but also great harm. The outcome depends on the person sitting in the Oval Office. It can be argued that the President sidestepping Congress is like a parent that leaves their troublesome family and lives on their own while their family tears itself apart. While there is a case to be made for not abandoning Congress, this particular Congress has proven itself divided enough to result in a government shutdown. This, of course, invokes the famous words of Abraham Lincoln, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” And Congress is a house that cannot be allowed to fall.

1/30/2014
Irving/Texas
Kimberly
Bradley/Nimitz
When I watched the State of the Union I thought of a little baby throwing a temper tantrum. The president was complaining about what others aren’t doing, and demanding that they need to follow everything that he says. The president should be asking congress to work together, and not threatening to impose an Executive order. The president has the right to in act an Executive order, but just because you have the right doesn’t mean you need to abuse the power. The president’s orders that he wanted to enforce are not necessarily needed at this time, for example, Women’s wages, and increased minimum wage. If he wants use his executive order he should use it on more pressing matters, like forcing congress to create a budget, or making them do something about the Obamacare website. The president is not overreacting to the problems in America, but I think he is reacting to the wrong problems.

1/30/2014
Irving/Texas
Caroline
Bradley/Nimitz
The President seems very determined to be the voice of the people even though that may sound nice it is how Sen. Roy Blunt mentioned ,“it is like giving up in Congress and on the Constitution”.If Congress behaves the same way he should use executive order to push some changes.Obama is planning on acting outside of his permitted power.He can’t raise the national minimum wage,any immigration policies or Social Security benefits.In the end he is transforming to one of the presidents he mentioned in his address to the union.He is aiming for change but how he achieves it is history.

1/30/2014
Irving/Texas
Milton
Bradley/Nimitz
The President should try to work with congress first. Furthermore, Obama should not use executive orders to get his initiatives enacted because he is overreaching his authority. There are other options that President Obama can take and unless using executive order is a must, he should not use it. Also, minimum wage, immigration are an issue that must be address but the majority must agree on the compromise before taking action.

1/30/2014
Irving/Texas
Han
Bradley/Nimitz
Executive orders should be allowed for the President to overrule Congress. However, there should be somewhat strict limits on what exactly he is allowed to do. For example, he should not be able to declare war or make an extremely drastic economic change solely by himself. The President should also have a considerably larger "vote" in the issue because he is arguably the most influential politician in America who got to where he is hopefully for his great decisions in the government. As said before, The President should have a bigger vote than the average Congressman but should not be able to declare decisions alone. The fact still stands, he is just a man, who is human and can make mistakes.

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