Debbie Wasserman Schultz Picks Fight With John Boehner for Suing Obama
Around the State
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said this week that he was planning to bring out a bill in July allowing Congress to sue President Barack Obama over his executive actions, and a congresswoman from Florida is in the lead pushing back.
Boehner sent a letter to congressmen this week, arguing that Obama had overstepped his powers as president.
“For years Americans have watched with concern as President Barack Obama has declined to faithfully execute the laws of our country – ignoring some statutes completely, selectively enforcing others, and at times, creating laws of his own,” Boehner wrote.
Pointing to the Constitution, Boehner noted it mandated the president “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed” but Obama often ignored it.
“Under the Constitution’s separation of powers principle, only the legislative branch has the power to legislate,” Boehner insisted. “On one matter after another during his presidency, President Obama has circumvented the Congress through executive action, creating his own laws and excusing himself from executing statutes he is sworn to enforce – at times even boasting about his willingness to do it, as if daring the America people to stop him. On matters ranging from health care and energy to foreign policy and education, President Obama has repeatedly run an end-around on the American people and their elected legislators, straining the boundaries of the solemn oath he took on Inauguration Day.”
Insisting Obama was violating what the Founding Fathers intended, Boehner claimed Obama’s “aggressive unilateralism" is having “significant implications for our system of government, and presents a clear challenge to our institution and its ability to effectively represent the people.” The speaker added that many of Obama’s executive actions were impacting the economy as the White House strangled growth with excessive regulations.
Turning to his proposal, Boehner said he planned to unveil it in July.
“I intend to bring to the floor in July legislation that would authorize the House of Representatives – through the House General Counsel and at the direction of the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) – to file suit in the coming weeks in an effort to compel the president to follow his oath of office and faithfully execute the laws of our country,” Boehner wrote. “The legislation would follow regular order and be considered by the Rules Committee following its introduction, prior to its consideration by the full House.
“I believe the House must act as an institution to defend the constitutional principles at stake and to protect our system of government and our economy from continued executive abuse. The president has an obligation to faithfully execute the laws of our country,” Boehner concluded. “When this legislation is introduced in the coming weeks, I ask that you review it and join me in supporting it when it goes before the House.”
But a prominent congresswoman from Florida responded by going after Boehner’s proposal, insisting it was an overtly partisan attack that would end up wasting taxpayer funds in the legal challenge.
From her perches as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and as the ranking Democrat on the U.S. House Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wassserman Schultz, D-Fla., hit back at Boehner’s proposal.
“House Republicans will do anything to distract from their inability or unwillingness to legislate, and each time they do so they step further to the right and further away from the economic and security priorities of the American people,” Wasserman Schultz said. “Today’s announcement by Speaker Boehner fits squarely into their failed leadership agenda, but goes even further because it is so hypocritical and is so personally motivated by their political opposition to the president.
“Speaker Boehner and House Republicans are poised to embark on another multimillion-dollar waste of taxpayer money, like the millions they wasted defending the indefensible and unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act and the billions of dollars they wasted shutting the government down to deny Americans health care,” Wasserman Schultz added, before noting that President George W. Bush issued more executive orders than Obama.
“I would remind the speaker that President George W. Bush issued many more executive orders than President Obama,” Wasserman Schultz said. “House Democrats may not have always been pleased, but we never sued President Bush. It is pathetic that this do-nothing Republican Congress now wants to do something, and that something is suing the president of the United States … for actually doing something! The politics were never purer, or more putrid.”
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.