House Speaker John Boehner is defending his plans to sue President Obama later this month over executive power, saying he is standing up for the legislative branch of government and the Constitution.
“In the end, the Constitution makes it clear that the President’s job is to faithfully execute the laws,” writes Boehner, in an op-ed appearing Sunday on the CNN website. “And, in my view, the President has not faithfully executed the laws when it comes to a range of issues, including his health care law, energy regulations, foreign policy and education.”
Boehner asserts that over the last five years, “the President has circumvented the American people and their elected representatives through executive action, changing and creating his own laws, and excusing himself from enforcing statutes he is sworn to uphold — at times even boasting about his willingness to do it, as if daring the American people to stop him.”
Over that time, Republicans have protested such executive actions as recess appointments and environmental regulations.
As a result, Boehner says that, later this month, “We will bring legislation to the House floor that would authorize the House of Representatives to file suit in an effort to compel President Obama to follow his oath of office and faithfully execute the laws of our country.”
Obama has said he has been acting on behalf of the middle-class, because Republicans in Congress are doing “nothing.” He said late last month, “f Congress were to do its job and pass the legislation I’ve directed them to pass I wouldn’t be forced to take matters into my own hands.”
And appearing Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union panel, Democratic National Committee Communications Director Mo Elleithee responded to the threatened Boehner lawsuit by casting it more as a mid-term election year maneuver intended to excite and turn out GOP base voters on Nov. 4.
“That’s all that is, whether it is yet another vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, whether it is yet another hearing on Benghazi, whether it is now suing the President and some Members of Congress talking about impeaching the President, this is about ginning up their base,” said Elleithee.
But in his op-ed, Boehner writes that Obama has in the last five years has “consistently overstepped his authority under the Constitution, and doing so eroded the power of the legislative branch.” Boehner said that timeframe, “not coincidentally,” relates to when Democrats lost the majority in the House of Representatives.
Obama also has responded to the potential GOP lawsuit by calling it “a stunt.”
But Boehner in his op-ed called the president’s responses a “flippant dismissal” of the Constitution, and “disappointing.”
“It is utterly beneath the dignity of the office. I know the President is frustrated. I’m frustrated. The American people are frustrated, too,” writes Boehner.
“People are tired of this. They are tired of a Congress that would rather fight the President in order to turn out their base than work with the President to get things done,” said the DNC’s Elleithee, in his CNN appearance Sunday.
What We're Following See More »
"Even as he acknowledged the importance of an open internet, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on Wednesday set his telecom agency on a course to scrap the tough, broad net neutrality protections imposed by the Obama administration. During a major speech in Washington, D.C., Pai outlined the need for a total revision of existing federal rules that seek to prevent companies like AT&T, Charter, Comcast and Verizon from blocking or slowing down web content, including the movie or music offerings from their competitors." Separately, Pai told Reason's Nick Gillespie that the Clinton Administration "basically got it right when it came to digital infrastructure. We were not living in a digital dystopia in the years leading up to 2015."
The White House on Wednesday laid out its plan for tax reform, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin saying it would be "the biggest tax cut and the largest tax reform in the history of our country." The tax code would be broken down into just three tax brackets, with the highest personal income tax rate cut from 39.6 percent to 35 percent. The plan would also slash the tax rate on corporations and small businesses from 35 percent to 15 percent. "The White House plan is a set of principles with few details, but it’s designed to be the starting point of a major push to urge Congress to pass a comprehensive tax reform package this year," said National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement today established the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE), as called for in a presidential executive order from January. The new office's website states that its staff "will be guided by a singular, straightforward mission—to ensure victims and their families have access to releasable information about a perpetrator and to offer assistance explaining the immigration removal process."