WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama said Wednesday that the administration is reviewing what authority he has to act without Congress to stop American companies from reincorporating overseas to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes, a practice he has denounced as unpatriotic and has asked lawmakers to remedy.
Obama said he would prefer that Congress send him legislation, but he wants to keep the practice from becoming more widespread. Lawmakers disagree on what to do, making it highly unlikely that the legislative fix Obama wants will emerge before November's elections.
"The American people don't want me just standing around twiddling my thumbs and waiting for Congress to get something done," said Obama, who is approaching the final two years of his presidency and is eager to build out his legislative legacy.
Republicans have criticized Obama for acting on his own in a broad range of areas, from raising the minimum wage for federal contractors to delaying the implementation of certain aspects of his signature health care law. And the GOP-controlled House recently voted to authorize a lawsuit against him on the issue.
But Obama suggested he's willing to risk further angering his political opponents, particularly on a pocketbook issue that Democrats believe could be a vote-getter come November. He commented at a news conference at the conclusion of a three-day summit with African leaders.
"We're reviewing all of our options," Obama said. "The lost revenue to Treasury means it has got to be made up somewhere, and that typically is going to be a bunch of hard-working Americans who either pay through higher taxes themselves or through reduced services."
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