Barack Obama has certainly tossed down the gauntlet in front of the Republicans, hasn’t he? In an address to the nation last Thursday night, he finally confirmed all of the trial balloons the White House had launched, promising he would issue some sort of executive order on immigration.
Turns out the reality goes even further than we were warned about. Although the president has said the Administration will establish procedures that will permit some five million illegal aliens to remain in this country and receive work permits, he is in effect stopping the deportation of all illegals, except for criminals, terrorists and the latest arrivals. By doing so, Obama has made sure that almost all of the estimated 11 million to 12 million illegals in this country are in no danger of being deported. In effect, he has granted amnesty to all but a handful of them.
Of course, his actions now fly in the face of his repeated assertions over the past six years that he did not have the authority to do so. “The problem is,” Obama said last year, “that I’m the president of the United States. I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.”
That was just one of 22 different times Obama was recorded saying that he did not have the authority to do what he just did. In a Town Hall meeting back in 2011, the president said:
There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply, through executive order, ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.
But that was then; this is now. So the question today is: What should the Republicans do about the president’s unconstitutional actions?
One possible strategy is for Congress to cut off the funds the president will need to implement his program. The Constitution is unequivocally clear that all spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives. If Congress won’t fund it, the president can’t spend it.
The liberal media are already screaming that doing such a thing could lead to another government shutdown. They claim that this would be disastrous for Republicans.
There are two false assumptions here. First, the only way a shutdown would occur would be if the president vetoed any spending bill that Congress passed. That could happen if Congress approved a single continuing resolution. But what if Congress approved a series of authorizations? Would Obama really veto every one of them? I suspect that’s one publicity war he would lose, no matter how much the mainstream media tried to defend and protect him.
But even if that were to happen and the government had to shut down for a while, would it really be a disaster for the country or for the Republican Party? Based on what just happened in the midterm elections, I don’t think so. The voters made it pretty darn clear they want the GOP to run things for a while. There didn’t seem to be any residue of anger over the shutdown two years ago.
Controlling the purse strings is just one of the things the new Republican majority could do. Another is to refuse to vote on any of Obama’s nominations for various federal posts. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is one of the fiercest advocates of drawing this line in the sand.
Both parties have used this tactic on occasion in the past. But I can’t remember when it was applied across the board for an extended period of time. If the goal is to force the president to back down, I don’t think this will do that.
But throwing some sand in the works isn’t the worst thing that could happen. No, a much worse thing would be for Republicans to roll over and allow Obama to continue to trammel the Constitution for two more years.
Hey, Republicans, you’ve finally got the votes to stop him. So how are you going to do it? I can’t wait to hear your answer.
Until next time, keep some powder dry.
Chip Wood was the first news editor of The Review of the News and also wrote for American Opinion, our two predecessor publications. He is now the geopolitical editor of Personal Liberty Digest. This article first appeared on PersonalLiberty.com and has been reprinted with permission.