NTF issue paper: president18.doc. 4-14.

BACKGROUND. “I have got a pen and I have got a phone, and I can use that pen to sign executive orders,” boasted President Obama recently. Decrying that Congress refuses to promote his socialist agenda, he is acting alone as a dictator by issuing an unprecedented number of executive orders, thus bypassing Congress and thwarting the will of the American people. His use of executive orders is the most fanatical power grab by a president in American history, threatening Congress that if it refuses to pass his agenda, he will act unilaterally.

OBAMA DECREES. Several of his directives run afoul of limitations that Congress imposed on federal spending, his actions conflicting with federal law. Soft on terrorism, Obama signed one order closing Gitmo in order to transfer captured terrorists to civilian courts, where they would benefit from our U.S. criminal rights. He then eliminated the CIA interrogation program that had revealed much sensitive information. This year, through Exec. Order # 13658, he dictated that contractors and subcontractors who conduct business with the feds must increase their minimum wage to $10.10 per hr., a wage to increase by annual percentage in the CPI for urban wage earners and clerical workers. His plan would help only a few thousand workers.1 Obama wrote a decree that ordered the federal government to take extreme measures to prepare for, closely cooperate with, and coordinate planning to facilitate federal, state, local, and private sector efforts to safeguard the economy, infrastructure, environment, and natural resources against supposed climate change calamities and thus to provide unneeded services and programs. Another of his dictates ordered physicians to screen all patients from 15 to 65 for AIDS at no cost. Bill Obama Care. Businesses cannot deny insurance coverage to employees with AIDs. His health care orders have delayed Medicaid reimbursement for primary care doctors. The next decree reversed federal regulations to give millions more employees overtime pay. His ploy will help few workers, about 5 million, mostly professionals. His generosity will not alleviate our stagnant wages or horrid job market for those unemployed a long time. The Dept. of Labor has insufficient employees to enforce these new decrees.2 Surprisingly, a number of conservatives cheered after Obama issued an order to freeze the U.S. assets of Russian lawmakers that the Obama Regime considered complicit in supporting the Russian takeover of Crimea. There exists precedent for previous presidents using orders in cases involving drug and financial crimes or against foreign dictators like Saddam Hussein. However, no precedent exists for a president or feds to seize the bank assets, home, or business of a U.S. citizen without due process. This Obama exec order applies not only to foreigners but also to permanent resident aliens and American citizens who could face asset and property forfeiture, if their actions the regime considers contributing to the Crimean crisis. Anyone showing sympathy to Russian interests or arguing against the Obama policy could become a target. It repeals our tradition of property rights and due process by bypassing the Constitution. As Obama believes that he has the power to make it illegal for a citizen to provide support to Russia via political commentary or charitable donations, he uses similar orders to push his other agendas. Obama reauthorized a previous order granting himself ability to seize farms, food, processing plants, energy resources, transportation vehicles, and skilled employees during a declared national emergency. A future order could target firearm ownership or opponents of Obama Care, under this guise of national emergency.3 Obama abuses his authority, causing more D.C. dysfunction. As he stretches the boundary of exec authority, he alienates Congress more and makes it much more difficult to accomplish legislation. A Politico analysis in 2013 discovered that, during his first term, Obama enacted 246 exec orders, causing an economic impact of over $100 million, many more than during the Bush II or Clinton Administrations.

CONSTITUTIONALLY UNLAWFUL. Obama is using executive orders to exceed his constitutional authority. Under Article II, Sec. 1, Clause 1 of our Constitution, presidents have considerable executive powers to wage war and protect national security. However, Obama has abused his authority in many ways. His unilateral decree to raise the minimum wage for government contractors is only his most recent usurpation of lawmaking authority. Obama decided in 2012 that Congress was not pushing along amnesty for illegal aliens quickly enough, so he signed an executive order barring the Immigration & Customs Enforcement Service (ICE) from deporting minors residing here illegally. ICE officials decried that his order hamstrung their operations. Similarly, by decree he delayed his Obama Care employer mandate, a cynical political calculation. Forcing employers with over 50 employees to offer health insurance before the 2014 primary elections would disrupt the economy and alienate voters for Democrats.4 Obama Care explicitly says that the employer mandate must take effect on Jan. 1, 2013; however, Obama lawlessness delayed this part of the law until 2016. This is completely unconstitutional! The Supreme Court ruled in Clinton vs. City of New York that the President does not have the constitutional authority to alter a law or statute, explaining that “there is no provision in the Constitution that authorizes the President to enact, to amend, or to repeal statutes.” Constitutional conservatives believe in a restrained, limited presidency. Obama dictatorialness is an impeachable offense. His actions are causing a constitutional crisis, threatening our constitutional provision of separation of powers. Only 2 days into his first term, Obama started signing batches of executive orders, obviously wishing to accomplish things to which Congress never would agree. These orders are valid only if they do not violate other provisions and rights. In 1952, specific rules and guidelines appeared for what a president could do or not do with exec orders. In Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, the Supreme Court invalidated a Pres. Truman order to steel mills on the grounds that he was attempting to make law, a legislative function. One congressional report cited 9 times that Obama advocated expansive views of federal power in his edicts, all reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court since Jan. 2012.

ASSAULT ON GUN OWNERS. Obama issued in 1 day 21 individual exec orders that attacked and undermined our 2nd Amendment rights. One order amended Obama Care to urge doctors and hospitals to investigate which patients own guns. This outrageous decree allows the feds to track and monitor lawful gun owners seeking medical care. Obama took 23 exec actions on firearms, while he was requesting Congress to pass similar legislation. His unilateral actions ordered federal agencies to share more info with the background-check system. Obama ordered the Centers for Disease Control to study the causes and prevention of gun violence, though federal law places a financing restriction on the CDC that prevents it from conducting research or analysis related to gun violence. Radio host Rush Limbaugh alerted listeners that the Obama Regime could not pass its onerous gun legislation, so it was trying to accomplish the same via exec order.

EXEC ORDER STRATEGY. Obama exceeds all his predecessors in issuing exec orders 3 ways. First, he issues orders to change his own error-laden legislation after working with Congress to pass initial legislation, e.g., Obama Care. He also issues orders to prevent Congress from acting. He promulgated his Dream Act 2012 to give amnesty to illegal minors, not only because Congress balked at this ruse but also because he wanted to outflank potential congressional allies who were preparing their own version, embarrassing Obama among Latino voters. Now, Democrats are encouraging Barack Obama to extend this executive order to ALL illegal immigrants in the country! With one signature, Obama could order his administration to permanently cease prosecuting illegal immigrants. His orders, thirdly, are unusual, because he has voluminous exec power on some issues but argues that he has no authority to act. An example is the NSA surveillance programs, which he decries but offered no relief via exec order.5 Despite receiving massive criticism for using exec orders to bypass Congress, Obama is doubling his effort to promise more orders. He believes that his exec actions as a means to accomplish his goals will convince the public to consider his actions better than gridlock in Congress. He takes unilateral action to redistribute our wealth, using words like ” income inequality” and yapping about expanding opportunities, that the rich hold too much power. White House cronies defend the exec orders as an effective means to govern when there is divided government, and White House Press Sec. Jay Carney routinely states that the President will bypass Congress when necessary. If Obama dislikes a law, he refuses to enforce it or simply proclaims through executive fiat that it changed and that such actions should not concern anyone.

OBAMA THE HYPOCRITE. The Obama imperial viewpoint contradicts his earlier view in 2008, when he bashed Pres. Bush for issuing executive orders. Then, he complained that the biggest problems the nation faced were caused by Bush trying to aggregate more power into the executive branch and not cooperating with Congress, something Obama promised to reverse as president.

LIBERAL CHEERLEADERS. Congressional Democrats literally beg the President to bypass Congress whenever possible, because conservatives block their agendas in the House. These Democrats welcome Obama willingness to find ways to circumvent Republican opposition to his policy goals.

CONSERVATIVE CRITICS. Sen. Chuck Grassley (IA.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Comm., accused Obama of exceeding the limits of his executive authority, a power grab in the same pattern as we have seen in his contempt for the elected reps of the American people. Conservative critic Sen. Ted Cruz (TX) denounces the decrees, stating that when a president selects which laws to enforce and which to ignore, he has forfeited the presidency. His lawless pattern evidences his willingness to disregard written law and instead enforce his own policies by executive decree. Cong. Paul Ryan declared that we now have an increasingly lawless presidency, the President assuming the role of Congress in writing statutes. “Making matters worse is that President Obama is again abusing his power by imposing his policies via executive fiat instead of allowing them to be debated in Congress,” Sen. Marc Rubio said, “President Obama’s frustration with our republic and the way it works doesn’t give him license to ignore the Constitution.”

TAKE ACTION NOW. Obama entertains a fantasy that he can use his executive pen to create new laws. He regards himself above the law and has no respect for the law or our Constitution. He is ruling the country through executive decree. Legal challenges to executive orders appear occasionally and sometimes succeed. Urge your congressman to sponsor a lawsuit to nullify Obama executive orders that seek to make law and violate our constitutional rights.

Research, documentation, and analysis for this issue paper done by Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom, with express prior permission granted for its use by other groups in the NE Conservative Coalition Network. 4-14. C

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