In the News
Jan 29 2014
A group of House Republicans is pushing a resolution to bring legal action against President Barack Obama for overstepping his authority in executive orders.
The STOP (Stop This Overreaching Presidency) resolution, sponsored by Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.), targets Obama for allowing a year extension health care policies that were ended because of Obamacare; delaying the employer mandate for one year; deferring the deportation of illegal immigrants brought to the country as children and waiving part of the welfare work requirement.
“He’s got a pen and a telephone, it’s true, but we’ve got the Constitution,” Rice said on Wednesday. “The prosperity of this country arose from those freedoms and they must be protected.”
Republicans renewed their criticism about the president overstepping his constitutional bounds after Tuesday’s State of the Union address when Obama said that without congressional cooperation, he would move to act on his own.
“The President will work with Congress where he can, but when they are recalcitrant, he’s not going throw up his hands and do nothing,” said White House spokesman Eric Schultz. “Instead, he’s going to use his lawful authority to strengthen the economy and the middle class. That’s what the American people expect, and that’s what they deserve.”
Rice said he’s spoken with the House GOP leadership about the resolution — which would be non-binding if it ever advanced, and wouldn’t need Senate approval — and a hearing is being scheduled in both the Judiciary and Administration Committees.
The resolution has 74 Republican cosponsors, ranging from the more conservative to moderate members. Rice held a press conference to announce it Wednesday with 12 other Republicans.
Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.) pointed to efforts by the House Energy and Commerce Committee to pass energy laws that have been ignored by the White House. He said Obama work with lawmakers instead of acting alone.
“This is an issue that affects the entire American nation,” Lance said.
Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.) said it is important for the House to send a message and involve the judicial branch in any dispute with the administration.
“You cannot rule by fiat,” Miller said. “I signed on to this resolution because I have watched this president overreach.”
Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) said Obama should work with Congress.
“We have a president who once taught the Constitution who has now forgotten the Constitution,” Collins said.
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, said overreach by the executive branch is not a Republican or Democratic issue because it sets a precedent for all presidents.
“To suggest that he can write laws without Congress is an insult to the American people,” Scalise said. “Our country rejects the concept of dictatorship.”
Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) said the president should have watched School House Rock cartoons to learn that the executive branch doesn’t write laws.
“There is nothing in that cartoon that says the president has the authority to go around the Constitution,” Davis said.
By: Ginger Gibson
January 29, 2014 12:55 PM EST