Rand Paul: Obama’s executive actions pledge an arrogant overreach

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Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Sunday that President Obama’s pledge to use executive actions to move his agenda forward in 2014 was an arrogant abuse of power.

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“It sounds vaguely like a threat,” Paul said on CNN’s "State of the Union." “I think it also has a certain amount of arrogance in the sense that one of the fundamental principles of our country were the checks and balances — it wasn’t supposed to be easy to pass legislation. You had to debate and convince people, and so there’s a lot of things the president is not allowed to do.”

Obama grabbed headlines earlier this month when he said he would use his “pen” and “phone” to accomplish his legislative goals in areas where Congress fails to act. The president has dubbed 2014 a “year of action” and is vowing to heavily rely on executive authority to accomplish his policy goals.

“[Obama] says, ‘Well, it’s hard to get Congress to do anything.’ Well yeah, welcome to the real world,” Paul continued. “It’s hard to convince people to get legislation through; it takes consensus. But that’s what he needs to be doing and not just taking his pen and creating law.”

Observers expect the president to make his case for executive action in his State of the Union address on Tuesday. The White House has already been criticized for making unilateral changes to the Affordable Care Act, after the rocky launch set the law back.

Paul said Sunday “there still are some questions” about whether Obama has the authority to make changes to the law, or whether he should have to go through Congress.