The Republican-led House Judiciary Committee will convene at 10 a.m. Wednesday to examine legislative remedies for what some members see as President Barack Obama’s failure to faithfully execute the nation’s laws, as he swore to do in his oath.
The hearing is a follow-up of a similar inquiry held in December, when lawmakers heard from several legal scholars -- on various sides of the debate -- about whether there is cause for concern about Obama’s use of executive power.
House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said lawmakers have witnessed a pattern from Obama throughout his presidency to ignore laws that he disagrees with. Goodlatte and others want to find out if this type of action runs contrary to Article II, Section 3, of the Constitution, which states that the president “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”
Obama has acted unilaterally on several controversial issues that Congress has been divided on. He has delayed some mandates within the new health care law and has offered administrative reprieve for DREAMers, which Republicans have described as “the backdoor enactment of the Dream Act.” The DREAM Act is a proposal to offer conditional permanent residency to immigrants who fulfill certain criteria.
“President Obama boldly asserts that he has a ‘pen and a phone’ to change our laws through executive decrees, but we have a Constitution and we must abide by it,” Goodlatte said. “President Obama’s decision to ignore the constitutional limits on his authority subverts the rule of law and threatens the individual liberty that our system of separated powers is designed to protect.”
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There will be two panels testifying at the hearing: One features lawmakers who have introduced legislation concerning issues of executive overreach, and the other will comprise constitutional scholars.
Watch the hearing here.