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James Petras

James Petras

US President Barack Obama is seeking "dictatorial powers in order to impose his policies” and to sidestep a “recalcitrant Congress,” an American activist and academic writer says.

“The problem is that President Obama’s attempt to pursue foreign and domestic policies has encountered enormous problems within the Congress, both from the right and from the left,” James Petras told Press TV on Monday.

“The executive powers that Obama will assume have both executive and legislative functions, in other words the president will assume near dictatorial powers in order to impose his policies over a recalcitrant Congress,” he added.

Obama and his advisers have warned that the president will use executive orders this year to bypass Congress when necessary to advance his policy agenda.  

The president has dubbed 2014 a “year of action,” after a tough 2013 in which his legislative goals on priorities such as gun control and immigration reform died or languished in Congress.

On Sunday, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said that Obama’s pledge to use executive actions to move his agenda forward is an arrogant abuse of power.

The US president is opening his sixth year in office with approval ratings near all time lows and is facing a deeply divided Congress already turning much of its focus to the November midterm elections.

According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, Americans are broadly pessimistic and lack confidence in US political leaders to make good decisions for the future of their country.