Executive waiver

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An executive waiver is an administrative tool used by presidents of the United States, and other of its Federal executives, permitting the selective enforcement of some laws. The right of the president to delay implementation of certain provisions is normally written into a law, to provide flexibility that Congress cannot offer.[1]

Such waivers enhance presidential control of domestic policy. Waivers are sometimes used in grant programs to allow experimentation and flexibility.[1] There is also an extraordinary circumstances waiver in Section 502b of the Foreign Assistance Act.[2]

Ronald Reagan's administration used waivers in dealing with the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program in the 1980s. President Bill Clinton also employed waivers to give state's flexibility in Welfare reform. Medicaid waivers have also been used.[1] President Obama used executive waivers in 2015 to lift most sanctions on Iran[3] in return for Iran not pursuing nuclear weapons.


  1. ^ a b c Joel D. Aberbach, Mark A. Peterson The Executive Branch Oxford University Press, Jan 26, 2006 - 640 pages pages 508-511
  2. ^ Rhonda L. Callaway, Elizabeth G. Matthews [Strategic US foreign assistance: the battle between human rights] 2008 219 pages page 60
  3. ^ Kenneth Katzman (August 4, 2015). "Iran Sanctions" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. Retrieved September 5, 2015.