Boehner: Here’s why we must sue President Obama

ObamaBoehnerEditor’s note: Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, is Speaker of the House of Representatives. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

Every member of Congress swore an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. So did President Barack Obama.

But too often over the past five years, the President has circumvented the American people and their elected representatives through executive action, changing and creating his own laws, and excusing himself from enforcing statutes he is sworn to uphold — at times even boasting about his willingness to do it, as if daring the American people to stop him.

That’s why, later this month, we will bring legislation to the House floor that would authorize the House of Representatives to file suit in an effort to compel President Obama to follow his oath of office and faithfully execute the laws of our country.

The President’s response: “So sue me.”

What’s disappointing is the President’s flippant dismissal of the Constitution we are both sworn to defend. It is utterly beneath the dignity of the office. I know the President is frustrated. I’m frustrated. The American people are frustrated, too.

After years of slow economic growth and high unemployment under President Obama, they are still asking, ‘where are the jobs?’ The House has passed more than 40 jobs bills that would help. But Washington Democrats, led by the President, just ignore them.

Even worse, the President’s habit of ignoring the law as written hurts our economy and jobs even more. Washington taxes and regulations always make it harder for private sector employers to meet payrolls, invest in new initiatives and create jobs — but how can those employers plan, invest and grow when the laws are changing on the President’s whim at any moment?

I don’t take the House legal action against the President lightly. We’ve passed legislation to address this problem (twice), but Senate Democrats, characteristically, have ignored it.

In the end, the Constitution makes it clear that the President’s job is to faithfully execute the laws. And, in my view, the President has not faithfully executed the laws when it comes to a range of issues, including his health care law, energy regulations, foreign policy and education.

There must be accountability. We have a system of government outlined in our Constitution with the executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch. Congress has its job to do, and so does the President. When there are conflicts like this — between the legislative branch and the executive branch — it is my view that it is our responsibility to stand up for this institution in which we serve, and for the Constitution.

If you look back over American history, there has always been a tension between the inherent powers of the executive branch versus the inherent powers of the legislative branch. This issue is as old as Marbury vs. Madison and as fresh as the unanimous Supreme Court ruling last week that the President overstepped his authority on recess appointments.

Over the last five years, starting — not coincidentally — when his political party lost the majority in the House of Representatives, the President has consistently overstepped his authority under the Constitution, and in so doing eroded the power of the legislative branch.

The legislative branch has an obligation to defend the rights and responsibilities of the American people, and America’s constitutional balance of powers — before it is too late.

46 comments

    • athynz

      Perhaps it’s because of the executive orders he keeps right on signing to bypass congress – which is also something other presidents have done. The executive order loophole needs to be closed ASAP. Perhaps it’s because of the prisoner trade that also was done without congressional approval. It could be due to the drone strikes against American citizens overseas without due process or any regard to collateral damage. It could also be due to the IRS targeting the tea party and the “lost” emails or the whole VA issue. Take your pick, there’s plenty of things I listed that if it happened on a republican president’s watch would have the democrats screaming for his head.

      • Troll

        athynz. No, the executive order is not a “loophole”. It was designed and exists for a purpose. Republican presidents have used the executive order privilege much more frequently then the current president. Please do not pretend to be a constitutional or presidential scholar when you clearly are not. It is painfully embarrassing.

      • athynz

        Who asked you? And if you had actually read my comment David you’d see that I already stated other presidents used it as well. Obama is abusing it. And again if you don’t like what I say then don’t respond boy.

  • Beth

    Sad, the hatred people have for him. This idiot is just looking for attention. Just sit back and shut up for the next 2 years; whiny, wimpy, babies! Mad because a black guy is in office; sore loser punks. Get over it already!

  • henry

    anybody having anything good to say about this prez is either black or getting something for free.

    • athynz

      My reply to Beth applies equally to your post. He has done a few good things but unfortunately they are outweighed by the other things he’s done or allowed to have happen – like in my list above.

    • Robbie

      Not true! I voted for him twice. It was either him or the possibility of Sarah Palin the first time. I wasn’t going to vote for another rich, out of touch white man the second.

    • Carol

      what do you mean???? I am white and I voted for PRESIDENT OBAMA and I am not getting anything free. He is an excellent PRESIDENT. THE BEST WE had since Bill Clinton. You people are just mad because he is african american and doing a fantastic job!!!! A better job than Bush did in his eight years. Bush created this mess nas PRESIDENT OBAMA has to clean it up. And as for Boehner…… Just QUIT!!!!! He is a sorry excuse!!!! And for RObbie….. White men leave their families as well,then when things does’nt go his way….. he murder’s them!!!!!!

      • athynz

        It’s been years and you are STILL blaming Bush? Obama has had plenty of time to clean up any mess Bush left – instead he went back on his word about transparency in the White House, has kept Gitmo open despite his promise to close it in his first year of office, has expanded the Patriot Act to where we as American citizen have NO right to privacy, signs executive orders that bypass the system of checks and balances our government is based on, has used the IRS to hinder his political enemies – a similar act against democrat groups was going to get Nixon impeached had he not resigned, has authorized unarmed drone strikes against American citizens overseas without due process of law and without regards to collateral damage… should I go on? Tell me again how great of a job he’s done. I agree that Bush was not a great president either and Boehner needs to go – along with every single other incumbent.

    • paula

      Henry you are really showing us that you got as much knowlege s a first grader. Check your family. I bet you got somebody that getting something free. Maybe you are. Don’t be a hater because you couldn’t vote.

  • airjackie

    with the fake scandals now exposed time to spend money on wasteful charges to spend taxpayers money. Koch bros gave Boehner the script to read as Congress will do nothing for the rest of the year. Just think if you did nothing on your job you would get fired. But Americans just accept the lies and spending while people suffer. What an embarrassment the GOP/Tea Party has made American. We have to have Canada give water to Detroit citizens who were shut off by Water Company with over charged bills but it seem business and Sports area don’t have to pay. Then the US communities that have to get Food Aid for Humanitarian United Nations agencies because Congress cut food stamps to seniors, poor, working class and Military families. Congress did give Israel Billions in aid this year while cutting Domestic needs for US citizens.

      • manalishi

        He’s not my president. I’m independent, your a dependent. Play your roll and comply to him, I will not.

      • marie

        whether you like or not, he is YOUR president…just like Bush and the others. This is no different. You won’t own it but the fact still remains. You are a U.S citizen, then he is your president. it’s like you saying your mom isnt your mom—the fact will remain whether you like it or not!

      • manalishi

        So feel free to claim him. I prefer to distance myself from s**t. You obviously feel different.

  • athynz

    “What an embarrassment the GOP/Tea Party has made American. We have to have Canada give water to Detroit citizens who were shut off by Water Company with over charged bills but it seem business and Sports area don’t have to pay.”

    Is there proof of this?

  • paula

    When Obama is finish with his term and the next president is a screw up all the haters of Obama is going to feel like a fool. Every since this man was president there been fool complaing. I know if he was white you wouldn’t see the faults. I hope the next president take united state straight to hell and I hope he or she be WHITE.

    • Robbie

      Obama’s mother is white and he was raised by her and her family. Obama’s daddy was black and never around. Sounds familiar doesn’t it. In my book President Obama is white.

      • Kim

        In your book, what book is that???? the white man book????? TOo f**cking bad Robbie…..HE IS BLACK

      • marie

        lol, Robbie, what happened to the drop of black blood rule? if your rule book is correct, then most all african americans are white because the slave owners raped black women left and right. Why do you think there are so many light brown, light skinned black people?

    • Grover

      Paula, there are far more people, white and black, who appreciate Obama than the noisy and mostly half-witted detractors you will find on an internet comment board.
      Note that many of these posters are commenting every day. They do not have much of a life and obviously not much knowledge outside of their small world. Pity them.

  • emma richmond

    Sue PRESIDENT OBAMA FOR WHAT? DOING HIS JOB, AND CONGRESS IS DOING NOTHING, BUT SITTING ON THEY BUTTS EVRY OTHER WEEK THEN THEY TAKE WEEKS OFF, THEY ARE MAKING FREE MONEY AND GETTING FREE BENEFITS, THEY ARE WORTHLESS., THEY NO LONGER WORK FOR THE PEOPLE THEY WORKD THE CORPORATION AND THE KOCH BROTHERS.

    WHAT WE DO KNOW GEORGE WILL PUSHED HIM INTO THIS SUE PRESIDENT OBAMA, HE SAID SO, HE GAVE BOEHNER ALL OF HIS TALKING POINTS, GEORGE WILL WAS LAUGHING ABOUT BOEHNER REPEATING HIS WORDS. WHEN BOEHNER WAS ASK ABOUT WHAT HE WAS GOING TO SUE THE PRESIDENT OVER HE DIDN’T KNOW RIGHT THEN HE HAD TO COME UP WITH SOMETHING. WHAT A JOKE. CONGRESS DON’T DO THEY JOB SO THEY COME UP WITH A DISTRACTION AND GET ANGRY WITH THE PRESIDENT FOR DOING HIS JOB.

    • manalishi

      Emma, you partly right right. The congress has not done its job. They were required to impeach the chump some time ago and still have not.

    • athynz

      I fully agree with you about congress – they are the true welfare people. Think about it – they are on the taxpayer dime, they don’t do any work, vote themselves raises every year, and they get paid for life. Every single incumbent needs to be voted out, term limits need to be imposed, and let’s get some people in there who will cooperate and get the job done. That also includes the person currently working in the Oval Office. Sorry but as a president he is not doing that good of a job.

  • KATY

    Now I get it!!!! Robbie and Manalishi are so bitter because they never had a male in their lives. Im sure their father’s left them because they are both ignorant as he**. It does’nt pay to be bitter and ignorant towards another race. You need to look in the mirror. You two is why the world is the way it is today. Oh and I’m not going to leave out how ignorant Clayton Bigsby is. He is a complete idiot.

    • manalishi

      Interesting take Katy. “You two is why the world is the way it is today.” I can’t speak for Robbie. I did not not for a communist, did not commit any of our daily crimes seen here, and my father is just fine. Maybe you’re not quite so bright after all. It’s ok, democrats need as many of you as they can get.

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