Executive orders are not a viable route around political gridlock

President Obama recently told Congress if they kept obstructing instead of acting, he would proceed with his agenda without him. While it is unclear if the President could actually move forward in this manner, it is very interesting to note such executive orders could exist and potentially get pushed through without the approval of Congress.

What is Presidential Power?

The concept of Presidential power is one of the primary bases for the American political system. The President of the United States has a great deal of power including: implied powers, those granted by the United States Constitution, powers given by Acts of Congress , as well as other forms of power to sign or veto legislation and to command the United States armed forces. The President also has executive powers, which are the broader powers to manage national, and international, affairs and as well as managing the United States government. With these executive powers the President can create new rules and regulations which do not require Congress’s approval, and still are binding laws.

Gridlocked Political System

A gridlocked political system is when voters are divided, or the opposing sides of the government, are deadlocked and cannot come to a common conclusion. This often happens in legislation because it is controlled equally by the democrats and republicans. This also happens frequently when the United States House of Representatives or U.S. Senate is controlled by the opposing party as the President of the United States. When a political system has reached a stalemate, the President can use his/her executive powers to bypass the gridlock; however this may not be the most viable route to choose.for more information and updates visit our latest blog post.

Downfalls of Using Executive Orders to Bypass Political Gridlock

While the President of the United States does technically have the authority and power to over the gridlocked Congress and implement new laws with the single stroke of his mighty pen, there are many downfalls to changing policies in this manner. While the President may very strongly want a particular policy or law to be enforced, he/she must also think about their long term goals and visions and consider potential voter pushback. Legislature and judges may also pushback against the President if he/she chooses to discount their opinions and professional judgment, especially considering they are voted in by the public to speak and advocate for the masses and general population of the United States.

While the democrats and republicans often do not see eye to eye on certain platforms and can have drastically different agenda’s, they usually can find enough common ground to avoid the President having to enact his unilateral power and enacting executive orders without their support. The United States government has been laid out in such a manner where this is a constant state of checks and balances, making it very unlikely and extremely difficult, for any single party or person to have ultimate power and control. Therefore, any assertions that it is likely the President of the United States will use executive orders to bypass political gridlock, are unfounded.



In spite of the power the United States President does have, he does not have ultimate power and is unable to push his agenda through in a unilateral manner. Even though the President can execute executive orders, he still needs the backing and support of Congress in order to work his way through a gridlocked system. With the checks and balances established within the United States government, it is unlikely a President would bypass Congress and enact his/her executive power.

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