On November 4, in a healthy exercise of democracy, voters around the country registered their dismay with the governing party and swept them out of power in Congress and in scores of state legislatures. Yet, this president is not only refusing to respect the results of the election, he is thumbing his nose at the Constitution itself.
The Obama Administration is planning to pardon at least 4.5 million illegal aliens and grant them work permits. This move will allow them to receive driver’s licenses and Social Security cards, and eventually obtain access to our welfare system.
Additionally, as part of his coup, he is planning to make numerous changes to our immigration system – all without the consent of Congress.
It’s as if Article I Section 8 of the Constitution, which explicitly grants Congress plenary power over immigration and naturalization, does not exist.
Imagine if a Republican president were to decide that the Social Security system is unfair and in the absence of new legislation simply allowed younger workers to keep their payroll taxes.
What if that president unilaterally implemented a national Right-to-Work standard?
Or, what if that president opened energy exploration in areas that are barred from drilling by federal statute?
Undoubtedly, Democrats would not allow a GOP president to get away with governing like a king, especially if they controlled Congress. But even without a truculent Democrat opposition, the media would never let a Republican president threaten such policies before they were overturned.
Why then is this president even allowed to threaten action beyond the scope of his office without fear of reprisal?
This constitutional crisis should concern all Americans and elected officials – Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. Irrespective of ones view on immigration policy, we must all agree that a president does not have the authority to remake something as crucial as immigration without Congress.
Liberals in Washington might be frustrated that Congress has not acted on their immigration wish list, but that is why we have elections. The power over naturalizations was granted to the legislative branch, and the American people voted out those in Congress who desire open borders.
Even in blue Oregon, where Democrats performed well on election night, a ballot initiative to grant illegals driver’s licenses, similar to the spirit of Obama’s impending executive action, was defeated 67-33%.
If liberals want to change our immigration laws, they should work through the democratic process and sell their proposal to the American people.
Now that Obama has decided to use the unlawful route to implement his dyslexic priorities, the response from Congress must be crystal clear. Congress must use the upcoming budget bill for the current fiscal year to defund the administrative action immediately. They should fund the critical portions of government in a separate bill while defunding the relevant action in the bill containing appropriations for DHS and any other relevant agency.
Obama has no leverage to shut the government down and veto the non-controversial funding bills in order to fund this unpopular and unconstitutional executive action.
Additionally, Senate Republicans have the ability to block confirmation of Obama’s nominees with just 51 votes. They must pledge to block every judicial and executive nominee for the rest of Obama’s presidency until he relents and rescinds the executive order.
Finally, we must fight this unlawful act on a state level. Republicans now control 31 governorships and the full trifecta of state government in 23 states. These governors and state officials should refuse to issue driver’s licenses or recognize the work permits from Obama’s amnestied illegals.
This is not a Republican issue. Democrats who respect the institution of Congress and the constitutional separation of powers should be just as alacritous in wielding the power of the purse. Do they want to set a precedent where a Republican president enacts his conservative priorities without Congress?
If Congress fail to reassert its control over the budget process, we will find ourselves in a constitutional crisis, one in which the president of the United States becomes a de facto king for two years with no checks and balances. Recently, we celebrated the service of our veterans – from those who stormed the beaches in Normandy to those who served recently – it’s important to remember that this is not the form of governance for which they risked their lives to protect.
Daniel Horowitz is the Senior Editor of Conservative Review. He has previously worked with and written for Madison Project, RedState, and Breitbart.