By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Thursday, U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R) spoke in support of a House resolution that would bring legal action against the Administration of Barack H. Obama in an effort to rein in what the Congress considers to be executive overreaches.
Congresswoman Roby said, “Our Constitutional constraints on government are not always convenient for political or policy goals, but they are necessary for preserving the checks and balances that ensure government still derives its authority from the people. The Obama Administration’s actions over the last few years have been especially blatant and egregious. We must act to rein in the Executive Branch and restore our basic, cherished principle of separation of powers.”
Rep. Roby continued, “I appreciate the thorough, dedicated work of Congressman Tom Rice on this issue, and I am proud to sign on as a co-sponsor.”
House Resolution 442, the STOP Resolution (Stop This Overreaching Presidency) is sponsored by Rep. Tom Rice (R) from South Caroline. The STOP Resolution would direct a civil action on behalf of the House of Representatives in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging particularly egregious, unilateral Obama Administration actions that flout Constitutional restraints on the Executive Branch.
According to Rep. Roby, these potentially unconstitutional administration action include:
- The lifting of Affordable Care Act-mandated requirements on the type of insurance providers can offer;
- The one-year delay of the health care law’s employer mandate;
- The adoption of a policy against deporting certain illegal immigrants, counter to U.S. immigration and naturalization laws; and
- The decision to waive compliance with “welfare to work” laws.
Rep. Roby said, “Our Constitutional constraints on government are not always convenient for political or policy goals, but they are necessary for preserving the checks and balances that ensure government still derives its authority from the people.”
Rep. Roby acknowledged, “The Obama Administration isn’t the first to overstep its Constitutional authority,” but claimed that, “Its actions over the last few years have been especially blatant and egregious. We must act to rein in the Executive Branch and restore our basic, cherished principle of separation of powers.”
The conservative Alabama Congresswoman continued, “I appreciate the thorough, dedicated work my colleague, Rep. Tom Rice, has put into the STOP Resolution, and I am proud to sign on as a co-sponsor.”
Rep. Roby said, “I wish this wasn’t necessary. I wish President Obama and his administration officials had the self-restraint to act within their Constitutional bounds. However, this administration’s pattern of aggressively overstepping its authority to implement policy and win political battles leaves us no choice but to act.”
“The STOP Resolution allows the House of Representatives to seek the intervention of the Judicial Branch to rein in these executive abuses and reconstitute the proper separation of powers. I hope it also sends a message to the Obama Administration that this body, as one half of a co-equal branch of the United States government, will not stand by and watch it erode this country’s Constitutional framework.”
Recently the Courts have ruled that the Obama Administration’s exceeded its authority when it defied existing law by attempting to appoint National Labor Relations Board members without Senate approval and when the Administration unilaterally chose to not enforce congressionally-enacted laws relating to Yucca Mountain and nuclear waste.
Presently, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to take up a case arguing that federal subsidies for ObamaCare exchanges are unconstitutional. A ruling could be made soon.
Rep. Roby said, “Working through the courts can take time. But, the Judicial Branch has shown a greater willingness of late to rein in these overreaches from the Obama Administration. Attorneys General from the states have done a great job challenging these abuses, and now it’s time for Congress to take action as well.”
Most of us grew up learning the rather simplistic constitutional message that Congress/legislative branch makes the laws, the President/Executive branch enforces/carries out the law, and the court/judicial branch interprets that law. It does not really work like that. Many years ago Congress surrendered much of their law making authority to executive agencies like: the IRS, EPA, OSHA, FAA, FDIC, etc. Dozens of federal agencies are empowered by Congress to write regulations and in most cases those agencies have the power to impose fines and other punishments on citizens that fail to follow the rules that are written by the agency.
At several points the Obama administration has appeared to expand its authority even further. Whether it is unilaterally changing deadlines for the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or unilaterally deciding to give work visas to millions of illegal aliens in open defiance of existing immigration laws on the books after comprehensive immigration reform stalled in the Congress or writing mountains of new EPA regulations regulating carbon dioxide emissions after legislation giving the administration that authority died in the Senate or writing executive orders giving the executive branch new powers to access Americans mental health records to restrict who can purchase guns.
Congresswoman Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District. She is in her second term in the United States Congress.