Obama Is Not a Monarch
The president cannot act alone; the Constitution requires compromise.
By SEN. TED CRUZ -Via Politico-
The Constitution designs a system of checks and balances for our nation, and executive amnesty for immigrants here illegally unilaterally decreed from the White House would seriously undermine the rule of law.
Our founders repeatedly warned about the dangers of unlimited power within the executive branch; Congress should heed those words as the president threatens to grant amnesty to millions of people who have come to our country illegally.
To be clear, the dispute over executive amnesty is not between President Obama and Republicans in Congress; it is a dispute between President Obama and the American people. The Democrats suffered historic losses in the midterm elections largely over the prospect of the president’s executive amnesty.
President Obama was correct: His policies were on the ballot across the nation in 2014. The elections were a referendum on amnesty, and the voters soundly rejected it. There was no ambiguity.
Undeterred, President Obama appears to be going forward. It is lawless. It is unconstitutional. He is defiant and angry at the American people. If he acts by executive diktat, President Obama will not be acting as a president, he will be acting as a monarch.
Thankfully, the framers of our Constitution, wary of the dangers of monarchy, gave the Congress tools to rein in abuses of power. They believed if the president wants to change the law, he cannot act alone; he must work with Congress.
He may not get everything he wants, but the Constitution requires compromise between the branches.
A monarch, however, does not compromise. As Alexander Hamilton explains in Federalist 69, a monarch decrees, dictates, and rules through fiat power, which is what President Obama is attempting.
When the president embraces the tactics of a monarch, it becomes incumbent on Congress to wield the constitutional power it has to stop it.
Congress, representing the voice of the people, should use every tool available to prevent the president from subverting the rule of law.
When the president usurps the legislative power and defies the limits of his authority, it becomes all the more imperative for Congress to act. And Congress should use those powers given to it by the Constitution to counter a lawless executive branch—or it will lose its authority.
If the president announces executive amnesty, the new Senate majority leader who takes over in January should announce that the 114th Congress will not confirm a single nominee—executive or judicial—outside of vital national security positions, so long as the illegal amnesty persists.
This is a potent tool given to Congress by the Constitution explicitly to act as a check on executive power. It is a constitutional power of the majority leader alone, and it would serve as a significant deterrent to a lawless president.
Additionally, the new Congress should exercise the power of the purse by passing individual appropriations bills authorizing critical functions of government and attaching riders to strip the authority from the president to grant amnesty.
President Obama will no doubt threaten a shutdown—that seems to be the one card he repeatedly plays—but Congress can authorize funding for agencies of government one at a time. If the President is unwilling to accept funding for, say, the Department of Homeland Security without his being able to unilaterally defy the law, he alone will be responsible for the consequences.
A presidential temper tantrum is not an acceptable means of discourse.
Of course, these confrontations are not desirable, and it is unbecoming for an American president to show such condescension towards the voters.
The American people, however, are not powerless. They have elected a new Congress full of members who have promised in their campaigns to stand up to this lawless President and stop the amnesty. We must honor our commitments.
If the president will not respect the people, Congress must.