Critics Respond: “He doesn’t have the constitutional authority to act unilaterally”
Source: Steve Watson
Among a myriad of promises to create and sign laws using his magic executive order pen, the president vowed during last night’s State of The Union Address to pass more strict gun control laws, even if it means bypassing the Congressional process.
“I intend to keep trying, with or without Congress, to help stop more tragedies from visiting innocent Americans in our movie theaters, shopping malls, or schools like Sandy Hook.” Obama said.
“Citizenship means standing up for the lives that gun violence steals from us each day,” he continued. “I have seen the courage of parents, students, pastors, and police officers all over this country who say ‘we are not afraid.’”
Obama’s pledge received an instant response with pro-second amendment groups and Republicans firing back.
”He doesn’t have the constitutional authority to act unilaterally and pass legislation on gun control,” Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann told The Daily Caller. “He just doesn’t.”
“I could not bear to watch as he continued to cross the clearly-defined boundaries of the Constitutional separation of powers,” said Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) who walked out of the SOTU speech.
During the speech, Obama repeated comments he made days previously, noting that 2014 is going to be a “year of action,” essentially by Presidential fiat. “Wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do,” Obama stated.
Tea Party favourite Stockman said Obama was promising to “break his oath of office and begin enacting his own brand of law through executive decree.”
“This is a wholesale violation of his oath of office and a disqualifying offense,” the Texas congressman said.
Other Republicans took a similar stance. “Unfortunately, what I heard from President Obama tonight was hostility toward our foundational principles, condescension toward a co-equal branch of government, and a general aversion to common sense and bipartisanship,” Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) commented.
“The president’s attempt to intimidate Congress by abusing executive power demonstrates a serious unwillingness to work with the coequal legislative branch of government,” Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) wrote in a statement.
Meanwhile, in response to Obama’s speech, Rand Paul delivered his own SOTU, outlining a “new way” forward, heavily drawing on overtly libertarian proposals.
Referring to unemployment and the dwindling economy, Paul stated “If we don’t understand the cause of joblessness, we’ll have trouble fixing it.”
“As we entered into the Great Recession, Republicans and Democrats misdiagnosed the problem as too little government. So they gave us more government in the form of bank bailouts and a government stimulus plan.” the Senator added.
“It’s not that government’s inherently stupid — although it’s a debatable point,” he said with a pause and a cock of the head. “It’s that government doesn’t get the same signals. Milton Friedman recognized that when he wrote, ‘Nobody spends somebody else’s money as wisely as they spend their own.’ ” Paul added, pointing toward free-market libertarianism as a solution.