Convinced that President Barack Obama is writing his own laws on issues such as health insurance and immigration reform, the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday will examine just how much latitude the nation’s chief executive has to do so.
That’s when the committee will hear from four experts during a 10 a.m. hearing on “The President’s Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws.” The experts have a mix of legal, constitutional and health policy backgrounds.
Congressional Republicans have accused the president of circumventing the nation’s laws he disagrees with. They have specifically cited Obama’s actions on the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), which Republicans have tried almost 50 times to repeal, and also want to knock him for enacting policy initiatives on issues that failed to win Congress’ approval, such as the DREAM Act.
“President Obama has blatantly disregarded the Constitution’s mandate to faithfully execute the laws,” said Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., in a statement. “He has changed key provisions in Obamacare without congressional approval, failed to enforce our immigration and drug laws, and ignored his constitutional duties for the sake of politics.”
Goodlatte added that “It is apparent that the president’s vested interest is not in the protected liberties of the American people, but in the advancement of his own agenda and interests.”
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The hearing will focus on Obamacare -- particularly the employer mandate delay, waiver for non-compliant health plans, and contraceptive mandate that the committee's Republicans believe violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Lawmakers in that committee will also talk about Obama’s alleged “decision to ignore enforcement of our immigration and federal drug laws.”
Yet -- while a 2013 immigration reform bill is politically dead in the House after passing the Senate -- the Obama administration continues to deport a record 400,000 people each year. This administration is set to hit a record 2 million deportations. Last year, the president put in place a policy to halt the deportation of children. He said lobbying Congress is the best way to pass reform that restructures the system.
Here’s a list of the hearing witnesses:
-- Michael F. Cannon, director of Health Policy Studies, Cato Institute;
-- Nicholas Rosenkranz, professor, Georgetown University Law Center;
-- Jonathan Turley, professor, George Washington University Law School; and
-- Simon Lazarus, senior counsel, Constitutional Accountability Center