Rep. Michele Bachmann did not react kindly to President Obama’s insistence that he will act unilaterally on a number of issues, threatening to sue him.
“If he wants to move forward with this unilateral activity, he better be prepared for the lawsuit that the United States Congress will bring to him,” she said in response to Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday. “He may think he’s king, he may declare he’s a king, but that’s not what he is under the constitution,” Bachmann added.
Rep. Steve King echoed Bachmann’s comments, noting that Obama has already overstepped the bounds of the executive branch. As an example, several conservatives cited Obama’s 2012 recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board, which are currently under review by the Supreme Court.
“He knows what he’s saying. He wouldn’t have to remind Congress, ‘I’m going to use all my real executive authority,’ that wouldn’t be in the speech. What he’s saying is, ‘I’m going to use some of your authority.’ So I agree with her that we need to take him to court,” King said.
In addition to a lawsuit, King proposed bringing a resolution to the floor of the House formally disapproving of Obama’s actions “that lists all of his constitutional violations, or at least the clearest ones — there are very many, I don’t know that if we’d ever get to all,” he said.
King said he hoped that a lawsuit — which could take a while — as well as the formal resolution would encourage Obama to cease taking executive actions without congressional approval. “If the disapproval of Congress can’t do that, then we have to start looking at other steps,” he said.
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., did admit that Obama does have several executive powers that he can exercise without congressional approval. “The problem is, they don’t outlast their presidents,” Cole said. “So if you want to go write on the sand in the beach, that’s great, but the tide will come in.”
If such a lawsuit went forward, it would not be the first time members of Congress sued the president. Former Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, sued Obama over military operations in Libya, for example. But, thanks to the separation of powers, such suits are often dismissed for lack of standing.
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The Senate voted on Wednesday 72-26 on a bill to fund the government through Dec. 9, averting a looming shutdown. The legislation will now go to the House, where it could be voted on as early as Wednesday. After this legislation is approved by the House, Congress will recess until the lame-duck session following elections.
"Congress voted Wednesday to override President Obama for the first time in his eight-year tenure, as the House followed the Senate in rejecting a veto of legislation allowing families of terrorist victims to sue Saudi Arabia. The House easily cleared the two-thirds threshold to push back against the veto. The final tally was 348-77, with 18 Republicans and 59 Democrats voting no."
Hyperbole alert! Following the Senate's decision to override President Obama's veto of a bill that would allow 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia in U.S. court, the White House has responded forcefully, specifically White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest. "I would venture to say that this is the single most embarrassing thing that the United States Senate has done, possibly, since 1983," Earnest said on Air Force One. The House is likely to follow suit in overriding Obama's veto when it takes up the vote.
Two weeks after a massive stroke, Nobel Peace Prize winner and former president and prime minister of Israel Shimon Peres passed away late Tuesday night. In a political, military, and diplomatic career that lasted nearly 70 years, Peres was influential both in building up the formidable strength of the Israeli military and in seeking to negotiate lasting peace with Israel's many neighboring Arab countries. Within hours of the announcement of his death, both condolences and tributes began pouring in, including from former President Bill Clinton, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and former United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair.