During a press conference at the end of the three-day summit on U.S.-Africa relations this Wednesday, President Obama once more vowed to do what he could to deal with the nation’s problems — with or without help from Congress.
“I think that I never have a green light,” the President replied. “I’m bound by the Constitution, I’m bound by separation of powers. There are some things we can’t do.”
“Congress has the power of the purse, for example. I would love to fund a large infrastructure project, proposal right now that would put millions of people to work, boost our GDP. We know we’ve got roads and bridges and airports, electrical grids that need to be rebuilt but without the cooperation of Congress what I can do is speed up permitting process for example. I can make sure we’re working with the private sector to see if we can channel investment into much-needed projects.”
He summed up his determination to do what he can even without the cooperation of Congress by saying:
“The American people don’t want me just standing around twiddling my thumbs and waiting for Congress to get something done.”
On the subject of immigration he said:
“We have a broken system, it’s under-resourced, and we’ve got to make choices in terms of how we allocate personnel.”
And on Israel:
“No country would tolerate rockets being launched into their cities. I have consistently supported Israel’s right to defend itself … I also think it is important to remember that Hamas acts extraordinarily irresponsibly when it is deliberately sighting rocket launchers in population centers.
Long term, there has to be a recognition that Gaza cannot sustain itself permanently closed off. The question then becomes, can we find a formula in which Israel has greater assurance that Gaza will not be a launching pad for further attacks…but at the same time, ordinary Palestinians have some prospects for an opening of Gaza so that they do not feel walled off.”