Congresswoman Martha Roby

Representing the 2nd District of Alabama

Roby Says President’s Lofty Rhetoric Doesn't Match Reality

January 29, 2014
Representative Roby In The News

U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R) from Montgomery responded to President Barack H. Obama's (D) State of the Union address, saying that the President's lofty, campaign-style rhetoric doesn't match reality.

Representative Roby said, “Everyone knows President Obama is a gifted speaker, but too often his rhetoric doesn’t match reality. He brags about the unemployment rate, but fails to mention that participation in the labor force is at its lowest level since the 70s. He talks about income inequality, but won't acknowledge that his immigration and minimum wage proposals would undermine the middle class and working poor. He calls for 'action' on jobs, but ignores the more than 30 bi-partisan, House-passed jobs bills still stuck in the Senate.”

Rep. Roby continued, “I was pleased to hear the President mention problems with our nation’s surveillance activities. There is no question reforms are needed to ensure we can gather vital intelligence to stop terrorists while also protecting the privacy of law-abiding Americans. And those reforms need to be enacted into law, not ordered by presidential pen stroke.”

The conservative Alabama Congresswoman said, "It should concern all Americans – Republicans and Democrats – that the president is promising more unilateral executive actions that circumvent the Legislative Branch. Our system of checks and balances may not be convenient for President Obama's political agenda, but they exist to protect Americans from an encroaching federal government. I will not stand by and watch President Obama erode this country's constitutional separation of powers, and that's why I'm supporting the STOP Resolution to rein in executive overreaches."

Congresswoman Roby last week co-sponsored Rep. Tom Rice (R) from South Carolina’s H. Res. 442, the STOP Resolution (Stop This Overreaching Presidency.)  The legislation would seek the intervention of the Judicial Branch to rein in particularly egregious, unilateral Obama Administration actions that flout constitutional restraints on the Executive Branch.

Under the Constitution, the Congress writes law, the Judiciary interprets the laws, and the Executive Branch enforces the laws written by Congress.  Over the 20th Century Congress relegated more and more of its law making authority to federal agencies answerable to the President.

Presidential Executive Orders (under administrations of both parties) vastly expanded the scope of presidential authority.  President Obama has extended that far beyond his predecessors and has in some instances created whole new powers by the stroke of his pen.

Under the Constitution, the Congress has the power to impeach the President if he commits “high crimes and misdemeanors” but no President has actually ever been removed by the Senate after being impeached by the House.  Since President Obama’s party controls the Senate, that makes his removal extremely unlikely even if constitutional scholars thought that the President’s action rose to the level necessary to justify impeachment proceedings.

House Republicans are left with few options other than litigation or acceptance of President Obama’s new executive orders.

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