Executive Power

Obama Poised To Stretch Executive Power in Battle With Congress

Just get him a toga

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A big unknown for President Obama's second term is whether he will find a way to work with Congress or continue to push the limits of executive power.

The clearest signal will come before the year-end fiscal cliff: If Obama insists on an immediate tax hike on higher earners, he may antagonize the GOP and damage chances for cooperation.

Leaders of both parties have set a bipartisan tone since Tuesday's results. Yet there's plenty of cause for skepticism. Unable to find common ground with Republicans since January 2011, Obama has increasingly relied on executive branch actions and cut Congress out of the loop.