Even before the new Congress is seated, the executive branch of Mr. Obama’s government is taking steps to continue to enact their agenda in the face of clear opposition of the American voters and what has previously been rejected by Congress. This creates a constitutional crisis pitting the Congress against the executive branch and it’s unelected bureaucrats, administrators and czars operating under the direction of the president.
This attempt to achieve through regulation, what has been or would be denied through legislation, sets up a power struggle that has never, to my knowledge, occurred in the history of our country. The incoming members of the House of Representatives and the Senate have been largely elected and charged with a mission to cut spending, lower taxes and reduce the size and intrusiveness of the federal government. This mandate appears to have been voted by the people to halt and, if possible, repeal most of the most objectionable portions of the legislation sponsored by the admistration that was passed during the last Congress.
It’s not clear what tools these freshmen representatives will have at their disposal to counter these unprecedented regulatory moves of the administration. In a separate vein, the states are also moving to reject these unpopular laws and rules as well. Twenty or so states have filed suit to block the mandatory provisions of the health care legislation. Texas and other states are now facing having to take legal steps to counter new measures being mandated by the EPA with regard to emissions. Texas has announced that it will not enforce or support these new environmental rules.
Once the new Congress has been sworn in and the first new session called to order it will be interesting to see what issues will be the first ones to be considered.
Meanwhile the Federal government agencies have no such ponderous procedures that have to be followed in order to place new rules on how life and business is conducted. Federal agencies can simply issue new directives as they see fit while the legislative process must go through committee hearings, etc. before these directives can become law. Then who’s to say that those laws will be adhered to by the executive branch. Right now the administration is clearly violating a number of items that were prohibited by a vote of Congress and simply ignoring what Congress specifically legislated. I’m reminded of the conflict between President Jackson and Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall regarding whether the Cherokee Indians could legally be resettled as Jackson wished. When the Supreme court ruled against Jackson he simply engineered what he wanted anyway, uttering the famous quote, “John Marshall has made his decision; let him enforce it now if he can.”
In effect President Obama is saying to the Congress, “You can pass whatever legislation you want, but I will ignore it and do what I want anyway, just try to stop me.” This sets up a dangerous constitutional crisis with an unpredictable outcome. No previous president, not even FDR, has so flaunted Congressional authority. It looks to be a momentous struggle with the nations future at stake. Time to get the popcorn ready.