In an unprecedented Bill introduced on March 4th, 2014, passed by the House of Representatives March 12th, 2014; Five Democrats joined Republicans in passing a bill that directs President Obama to follow the laws he is Constitutionally bound to uphold – clearing the House by a 233 to 181 vote. In effect, the Congress passed a law directing the President of the United States to obey the U.S. Constitution.
The “Enforcement of Federal Laws Act” draws upon the separation of powers provisions embedded in the U.S. Constitution to limit the powers of the government to protect the liberty of free American citizens.
In an stinging indictment on the House floor presented by Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, he reminded the Executive Branch of its role and limitations that confine its’ powers as prescribed by the U.S. Constitution. Congressman Gowdy urged his colleagues to pass this Bill in order to push back the over-reach and selective enforcement of the law by “this or any President.”
Congressman Gowdy cited a list of immense Presidential powers prescribed to the Executive Branch within the boundaries of the Constitution and then asked; “Mr. Speaker, that is an immense amount of power, but what are we to do, when all of that power is not enough?” The House erupted into applause and approving comments of; “hear, hear.”
The U.S. Constitution separated the powers of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches, precisely so there would not be a concentration of power centrally located in one body of government. The President has the power to veto laws passed by the Senate and House of Representatives, but he does not have the power to selectively enforce or ignore portions of law, when solely motivated by political considerations. The Framers of the U.S. Constitution envisioned that dynamic may occur at some point in the future and for this reason, installed these checks and balances.
According to reports, this Bill was passed with Democrat approval because of the series of unilateral circumventions of the law;
House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.) said the Obama administration has “ignored” the Constitution.
“From Obamacare to welfare and education reform, to our nation’s drug enforcement and immigration laws, President Obama has been picking and choosing which laws to enforce,” he said. “In place of the checks and balances established by the Constitution, President Obama has proclaimed that ‘I refuse to take ‘no’ for an answer’ and that ‘where [Congress] won’t act, I will. Throughout the Obama presidency we have seen a pattern: President Obama circumvents Congress when he doesn’t get his way,” Goodlatte said
Representative Gowdy began to instruct his colleagues on the House floor and in trial lawyerly fashion proceeded to present the case as to why they should vote to pass this law, and why President Obama would agree with it:
“That may seem unfair to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, but I’m going to give them a hint,” he said. “The answer to every one of the questions is the same.”
“I’m going to read a quote and then you tell me who said it,” Gowdy said. “‘These last few years we’ve seen an unacceptable abuse of power having a president whose priority is expanding his own power.’ Any guess on who said that? Mr. Speaker, it was Sen. Barack Obama.”
“Here’s another one: ‘No law can give Congress a backbone if it refuses to stand up as a coequal branch the Constitution made it.’”
“’I taught the Constitution for 10 years, I believe in the Constitution,’” Gowdy again quoted then-Sen. Obama.
“So my question Mr. Speaker is what’s changed?” Gowdy asked. “How does going from being a senator to a president rewrite the constitution? What’s different from when he was a senator?” [Elizabeth Harrington, staff writer, Washington Free Beacon]
HR 4138, is headed to the Senate for debate and consideration. Analysis by “Government Track” give it a 28% chance of being enacted. American citizens interested in the passage of this law are invited to contact their Senate representatives. government track of bills HR 4138