Most of you are opposed to what Barack Obama did, but if you step back for a minute you will see it is not what he did, but how he did it.
What Obama did is unpopular with a majority of Americans, but he is right that what he did has bipartisan approval in Congress. Nonetheless, the House of Representatives chose not to act in the same what Senate Democrats refused to let the Keystone XL Pipeline out of debate for a vote on passage. The Constitution allows both Houses of Congress to set their own rules and the House followed its rules.
So it is not what Barack Obama did, but how he did it. He had no power to do it. Congress, under Article 1, sets the rules for immigration and naturalization. Those rules require certain things happen. Barack Obama, as President under Article 2 of the Constitution, is required to faithfully execute the law. He is, in effect, telling several million people that it does not matter that they ignored the parameters the Congress set.
He cannot do that.
Barack Obama swore an oath that he “will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of [his] Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
He has violated that oath. He has exceeded the authority of the Presidential powers in the Constitution.
That, therefore, requires Congress to act to restrain him and put him back within the proper boundaries. They have two options at their disposal. They could impeach him, which won’t happen. They do not have the votes and it would be a nuclear option when one is not needed.
The other option is the power of the purse. They can restrain him. But instead, Congress has decided it will fund the government, including the Executive Branch, and then come back in January and try to undo the funding they’re going to do after Thanksgiving. They are, in effect, going to fund Barack Obama’s overreach, then do a publicity stunt of a vote claiming they’re going to try to undo it.
Congress too is sworn to protect and defend the Constitution. According to Article 6 of the Constitution, “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution”.
The House of Representatives’ full oath is as follows:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
They have sworn an oath to support and defend the Constitution.
President Obama’s actions are an affront to our constitutional order. Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)‘s own office has documented the twenty-two times Barack Obama said he could not ignore or create immigration law.
Just as Barack Obama has violated his oath of office, the House and Senate are violating their oath of office by not fighting Barack Obama and restraining him. The power of the purse gives them that ability. The only option, short of impeachment, is not passing a continuing resolution that will fund Barack Obama’s actions. That may lead to a government shut down.
But if their oath is to mean anything, they must do it. They cannot pass a continuing resolution that would essentially fund Barack Obama’s constitution usurpation.
Unfortunately, the sad truth is that neither Republicans nor Democrats care about the constitutional order. The political order has taken precedence. And while Republicans are pounding their chests that we now have a constitutional crisis, they showed they do not really believe it by packing up and leaving Washington immediately after the President acted.
They are going through an elaborate dance to convince the public they care, when really they privately agree with the outcome.
You are being played. And Republicans are playing you for the fool. They have left Washington and will return in two weeks to fund Barack Obama’s constitutional overreach.