President Barack Obama’s “rogue” executive actions are driving the country toward a constitutional crisis, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) said Thursday.
“It’s both perplexing and alarming that President Obama has decided to move forward with executive actions that he once said he didn’t have the constitutional power to take. The President’s decision to recklessly forge ahead with a plan to unilaterally change our immigration laws ignores the will of the American people and flouts the Constitution,” the Virginia Republican said.
Thursday the White House released details about the President’s long-anticipated executive actions on immigration. Included in his order is legal status for some 5 million illegal immigrants. Goodlatte’s committee has jurisdiction over immigration policy and law. According to the chairman, Obama’s actions amount to a rogue effort that threatens the constitutional balance of powers.
“The American people are deeply concerned about the direction of our country and went to the polls earlier this month to overwhelmingly reject the Obama Administration’s policies. Rather than listen to the American people and change course, President Obama is going rogue, doubling-down, and driving full speed towards a constitutional crisis,” Goodlatte said.
“By assuming legislative power and ignoring the limitations placed on his authority, President Obama threatens to unravel our government’s system of checks and balances and imperils individual liberty,” he added.
The Virginia Republican continued, saying that Obama’s decision to go at it alone has served to “further set back” efforts to achieve immigration reform legislatively and stressed that Obama does not have the authority to change the laws himself.
“It’s disappointing that President Obama has refused to work with the new men and women Americans elected to represent them in Congress,” he said. “Since the President has acted outside the confines of his authority, I will work with my colleagues in both the House and the Senate to stop the President’s unconstitutional actions from being implemented.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)–the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee–offered a similar statement of disapproval.
“The President’s executive actions on immigration are the wrong way forward and disrespectful of the law. Such broad, massive legalization is an affront to the Constitution,” he said Thursday. “The President himself has said that he doesn’t have authority, or that he doesn’t prefer this course of action, but yet continues to take this route.”
Grassley continued, saying that Obama has “a big opportunity to enact real reform, and instead he’s poisoning the well for future action” and argued Obama is making the problem worse.
“Unfortunately, if the American people have learned anything about this President, it’s that he has never worked well with Congress-even those in his own party,” Grassley said. “His disdain for a co-equal branch of government is very evident. It shows in executive actions like this, in regulations that the American people are solidly against, and in his and his Cabinet’s responses to Congress’ constitutional responsibility of oversight.”