Skip to comments.Obama to Congress: I’ll decide what’s constitutional
Posted on 01/11/2012 12:04:59 AM PST by neverdem
Election season is here, and you might think President Obama would be going out of his way to show voters that he can be trusted with the powers of the presidency. But you would be wrong. Just a few days before Christmas, Obama served notice to all Americans that he will continue to abuse executive privilege by seeking new ways to vilify gun owners and further his anti-gun agenda.
Congress placed a provision in the $1 trillion omnibus spending bill for 2012 designed to bar the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from using any of its $30.7 billion taxpayer funds to advocate or promote gun control. However, upon signing the bill into law, President Obama issued a caveat of his own:
I have advised Congress that I will not construe these provisions as preventing me from fulfilling my constitutional responsibility to recommend to the Congresss consideration such measures as I shall judge necessary and expedient.
In other words: Congress may pass laws, but I decide which of its laws are constitutional and which I can simply choose to ignore.
Of course, the Constitution doesnt actually give the president this power, but Obama wont allow a little thing like the U.S. Constitution get in his way. And in the present case, Congress is right to try to prevent him from using a federal health agency, not to mention our tax dollars, as a weapon in his ongoing war against the Second Amendment. As The Washington Times reports, NIH has wasted over $5 million since 2002 producing deceptive studies aimed at furthering gun control including one study that tried to prove that a home without firearms was essential to a childs safety and well-being.
Even more importantly, Congress knows that there is no scheme too radical, or dangerous, for the Obama administration when it comes to using federal agencies to push its anti-gun agenda.
Last month, email exchanges surfaced between employees at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) that show the administration helped illegally transfer guns to violent Mexican drug cartels in order to manufacture a case for gun registration. Now gun dealers in four Southwest border states must abide by a new gun registration requirement, courtesy of BATFE, that forces them to register the sales of any law-abiding American who purchases more than one semi-automatic rifle within five business days.
Congress never passed any law like this. Rather, Obamas BATFE orchestrated the deadly Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal to give cause for its unconstitutional gun-control edict. Given this, how hard is it to envision the Obama administration issuing a phony health study that maligns gun owners?
Obama may not have a majority in Congress, or the will of the people, behind his anti-gun agenda. But that isnt stopping his administration from finding deceitful ways to evade Congress and build public support for gun bans, gun registration and other regulations designed to weaken and destroy our Second Amendment rights.
Chris W. Cox is the executive director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) and serves as the organizations chief lobbyist.
And so if the Bummer NIH spends on “gun control” anyhow just what will the GOP do? If Cordray is any indication, forget about impeachment. Forget about a lawsuit. Forget about even a meek squeak!
Sorry. If the article is accurate, I have to agree with President Obama. Congress can’t prevent a president from advocating to Congress whatever the president wants. I might have misinterpreted it, but that’s what Obama appeared to say. He didn’t say he was going to advocate gun control to the public. The quote only had him saying he would continue to advocate his point of view (on guns) to Congress. The president has done a lot of unconstitutional things, but I don’t see this as one of them.
Seems to be about the NIH spending, however. That is plain black and white wrong for Obama to ignore. In a sane country the GOP would be daring him to let the NIH do it and saying that their impeachment pens were ready.
Seems like the Republican party agrees with Obama.
There overall silence, instead of raising hell about it, is deafening.
The problem is that the omnibus is now law. He says only that it’s not going to prevent him from sending recommendations to congress, but reading between the lines, Obama is saying he, and by extension his NIH, is going to ignore the restrictions congress implemented.
While this article is aimed at gun control, the problem is far more widespread. Between:
*this example of Obama deciding which laws he will follow
*the NDAA which codifies the administration’s ability to detain anyone anywhere (so long as they can tie that person to “terrorism” somehow)
*the various inadvertently-revealed administration views that terrorists and extremists include ordinary protestors, low-tax advocates, anti-abortionists, gun owners, people who keep emergency food supplies beyond 7 days’ worth, veterans &c
*the proposed SOPA/PIPA legislation that will give the administration broad authority over any web content, so long as it can be deemed to “violate copyright”
*the newly-revealed DHS position that it can gather the personal information of various journalism avocations, but also anyone who uses social media for real-time updating of any kind
Short version: A President and executive branch that believes it can pick and choose which laws to obey, and ignore the public’s elected representatives (this NIH thing), and who considers a wide range of ordinary Americans to be its enemies (various terrorist lists), and has given itself authority to gather personal information about such people (the DHS thing), and further authority to shut down any media it chooses (SOPA/PIPA), and arrest whoever it wants without recourse (NDAA).
This is looking more and more like a full-on assault on free speech and a nascent police state.
I don’t disagree (in principle) with what Congress is concerned about here, but a study (in proper form) does not “advocate or promote” a position. I don’t disagree with what Congress is concerned about here. We know the Obama administration is heavily politicizing the executive branch. They are pursuing an agenda. However, I don’t see anything wrong with the president’s statement. He has a right to freely communicate with Congress, to include advocacy for whatever the president deems important. If he said he was going to fund an anti-gun advocacy program in schools, that would be a clear violation. Saying he will advocate for gun control to Congress isn’t the same thing.
President Obama isn’t the first to make signing statements. President Reagan used them. Personally? I think they’re unconstitutional. Nothing in the US Constitution gives a president the right to reject portions of bills. He can either sign or veto them. He has no constitutional right to modify or ignore them.
That aside, I’m saying a law that prevents or limits a president’s right to advocate (to Congress) for particular legislation is also unconstitutional. Congress has no right to tell the president what topics he is permitted or not permitted to discuss with Congress.
Again, I know the administration is pushing a very fine line here, but frankly, he knows he can get away with it. There are limits, but it’s very difficult to tailor legislation precisely enough to excise what one wants. Even then, there’s no way to resolve disagreements short of impeachment or tying the issue up in courts for years.
Congress is at fault for creating an overpowerful executive branch in the first place. The chief executive is well, well beyond commander in chief and head diplomat these days.
******* “ Seems like the Republican party agrees with Obama.
There overall silence, instead of raising hell about it, is deafening.” *******
I have a good Congressman ... but my inner rage is ignited and fueled daily by the only folks I have left to Vote for.
Perry ... I like Perry
He may not have chance in hell but he isn’t Mitt
The GOP SUPPORTS Obama’s treason and remains SILENT
I have a good Congressman ...
Has your "good" Congressman spoken up about the Cordray appointment or about Obama's comments with respect to how he will decide what parts of law are to be enforced based on his perception of constitutionality? If he hasn't, then he is part of the problem we are facing.
“Sorry. If the article is accurate, I have to agree with President Obama. Congress cant prevent a president from advocating to Congress whatever the president wants. I might have misinterpreted it, but thats what Obama appeared to say.”
I think you’re partially right. The article is kind of muddled though as it rephrases what Obama said.
I think the constitution is clear that the congress cannot force the president to talk or not talk about any particular issue.
Moreover NOT enforcing a law that exists is as old a practice as when the Anti-Federalists took over from the Federalists.
I think the writer is right though when he complains about Obama spending money that it said should not be spent. That is making up a law that does not exist. Tyranny. It was that particular problem with an executive branch that Madison hoped to prevent with the system of checks and balances.
“He has no constitutional right to modify or ignore them.”
I think that depends. If congress writes a law that says “imprison everyone who looks cross-eyed”, the next president is free to ignore it and pardon those convicted under it much like Jefferson did with the Alien and Sedition Acts. On the other hand if the president wakes up tomorrow and decides to imprison everyone who looks cross-eyed then that is clearly unconstitutional.
In short making laws is unconstitutional but ignoring laws is not.
Sometimes I think Obama is trying to get impeached and thus reelected. If the nation again becomes fixated on an impeachment they will ignore his Marxist ideology and corruption, blatant attacks on the constitution, gun running to Mexico, refusal to control the border, and his appointments of socialist, Marxists and some ex communists (I do not think they are ex) to positions of great power in the government and the judiciary. They will also ignore his dismal failure in the creation of jobs.
It is my opinion that only two things can save the presidency of Obama.
2. Mitt Romney
This is looking more and more like a full-on assault on free speech and a nascent police state.
None of this would be possible without the acquiescence of the GOP. Face it, both parties are enemies of the people. We have nowhere to go.
Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation: "I do solemnly swear(or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
If the President is not doing what he took an oath to do then it is time to be rid of him regardless of what else he may say he is doing?
The silence is deafening, and frightening.
Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation: “I do solemnly swear(or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
to the best of my ability...
a communist is unable to see the value of protecting the constitution...
we are doomed.
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