12/16/13. Rep. Trey Gowdy on Obama’s Executive Actions: ‘Congress Ought to Be Able to Assert Its Standing’.
Taking on what he says is an “unprecedented level” of nullifying the will of Congress by the executive branch, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) has joined a House resolution to sue the executive branch for taking action on the health care law, immigration and other matters contrary to what was passed by Congress.
Referring to the Obama administration’s executive action to unilaterally allow younger illegal immigrants brought to the United States by their parents to be exempt from enforcement laws after Congress rejected the DREAM Act, Gowdy said Obama was “substitut[ing]” his judgement for Congress’s.
“Congress had a chance to provide a path to citizenship for children and they refused to do so,” Gowdy said on “Fox News Sunday.” “So Congress refused to act and the president substitutes his judgment for Congress’s and does by executive fiat what the legislative branch refused to do.”
Further, Gowdy pointed out, the president has delayed or provided waivers and extensions on complying with Obamacare.
“With the Affordable Care Act, he went to the Supreme Court to get a finding that it was constitutional. It’s been appropriately funded and yet he’s still turning off certain provisions,” Gowdy said. “So even if he likes the law and Congress doesn’t, he does it by executive fiat. If Congress suggests, as we did during the shutdown a remedy to the employer mandate or the individual mandate, he threatens to veto our action and then goes and does it himself.”
As a co-equal branch of government, Congress must assert itself, Gowdy said.
“I don’t like running to the court. I’d like to use any other remedy other than going to the court,” Gowdy said. “But our other remedies have not worked. And the judicial branch is there for a reason and it certain circumstances, Congress ought to be able to assert its standing, and I just think the pervasiveness of his ignoring Congress is reaches the point, we don’t have a choice.”
In 2011, then Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration over the military action in Libya that was done without congressional authorization. The courts ruled that Kucinich as a member of Congress did not have standing.
However, Gowdy, a former prosecutor, said that judicial decisions have said that Congress as an institution would have standing. If the House passes the resolution introduced by Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), it would be up to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to take the action to court.
Gowdy wondered which other laws the president can ignore.
“If you can turn off immigration laws, if you can turn off mandatory minimums in our drug statutes, if you can turn off the so called Affordable Care Act, why not election laws?” Gowdy said. “Assume that a statute said you had to provide two forms of ID to vote. Can the president require three forms of ID? Can the president require one form of ID? Can he suspend all requirements that you show ID? And if not, why not. If you can turn off certain categories of law, do you also not have the power to turn off all categories of the law?”