U.S. Senator Roy Blunt
Whether we’re talking about President Barack Obama’s threats to take executive action on immigration, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) blatant executive regulatory overreach, or Health and Human Services (HHS) cherry-picking which ObamaCare provisions to enforce and which to delay – this president and his administration have a very bad habit of ignoring the law and the Constitution.
During his recent speech in Kansas City, the president reiterated his brazen willingness to simply ignore Congress, and told Americans who oppose his policies to “stop just hating all the time.” The president’s remarks followed EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy’s visit to our state, where she called Missourians’ concerns surrounding the EPA’s proposed water rule “silly” and “ludicrous” and said concerns expressed by the Missouri Farm Bureau were “hogwash.”
This is the kind of rhetoric we’d expect in junior high – and it’s certainly no way to work together. Americans’ concerns about executive overreach are not “silly” or “ludicrous.” And families who are worried about their paychecks, privacy, and constitutional rights are worried about the direction he’s taking the nation.
Fortunately, the courts handed down several important rulings this summer to remind President Obama and his administration that they are not above the law.
In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the bipartisan “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” and ruled that the Obama administration cannot force its beliefs on Americans through its burdensome HHS Mandate. The Supreme Court also unanimously struck down the president’s so-called “recess appointments” to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) – reaffirming that the Senate decides when the Senate is in session, not President Obama.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit also ruled against the Obama administration’s attempts to ignore the law in the case of Halbig v. Burwell, which ruled that President Barack Obama’s health care law authorizes subsidies only through state exchanges, not the federal exchange. ObamaCare was poorly written and poorly implemented, and more than four years after its passage, Americans are still paying for the unintended consequences of this flawed law.
All of these cases are important reminders that Congress must hold President Obama accountable. U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner and members of the House are right to pursue measures to let the court compel the president to uphold the law. The Democrat-controlled Senate should allow a vote on a bill that I’ve introduced, the “ENFORCE the Law Act,” which would put a procedure in place to allow Congress to authorize a court case against the executive branch for failure to faithfully execute the laws. A call by the referee, if you will.
I will continue listening to Missourians who are rightly concerned about executive overreach and continue working in Washington, D.C. to stop the president from ignoring the law and the Constitution he swore an oath to uphold.
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