from FOX News:
The increasing lawlessness with which President Barack Obama has been acting in his second term is not going unnoticed.
In fact, in a strong rebuke last week to the unilateral actions being
taken by the Obama administration, a federal appeals court came down
hard on the administration’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission by ruling
that delaying a decision on a proposed nuclear waste storage facility
was in violation of federal law. In the majority opinion, the judges
declared that the administration was “simply flouting the law,” and that
President Obama “may not decline to follow a statute or prohibition
simply because of policy objections.”
President Obama’s fall from grace as the candidate elected to rein in
executive power in 2008 is more than tragic – it sets scary new
precedents for the behavior of future presidents from either party.
Just take for example how President Obama has selectively enforced his own health care law:
In 2011, the Obama administration unilaterally ended the CLASS Act –
a long-term care insurance plan included in ObamaCare that proved to be
unworkable. Congress would later pass a repeal of this program, but it
still signaled a disturbing beginning to the President’s pattern of
selectively enforcing his law.
Last month, the President issued a one-year delay on the employer
mandate contained in ObamaCare that would force large employers to
insure their employees or pay a penalty. When my House Republican
colleagues and I moved forward with 35 House Democrats to pass
legislation that would codify the delay into law, the President
responded by issuing a veto threat on a bill that would have made his
actions legally binding.
The President has now unilaterally ignored legal statute and issued a
delay on anti-fraud measures within the law. Taxpayers now are at
significant risk for fraud and abuse as the President nefariously seeks
to push as many people as possible onto ObamaCare subsidies whether they
are eligible or not.
And just last week it was reported that the President has delayed
provisions of ObamaCare that would limit out-of-pocket health care costs
on individuals and families. Just as the President caved to pressure
from big business on the employer mandate delay, he has now caved to
insurance companies over the best interests of American families.
The Obama administration has even gone so far as to circumvent a GOP
amendment to the health care law that would have required members of
Congress and their staffs to abide by the same exchange rules as
Americans across the country. The Office of Personnel and Management
issued a ruling giving Congress the unique ability to participate in the
exchanges while still having employer-subsidized premiums.
The precedent these actions set for future administrations should scare all Americans.
At a press conference before the President left town on vacation, he
was asked about his decision to pick and choose what parts of the law he
enforced. His response was that, “in a normal political environment,”
he would have contacted the Speaker of the House and asked for help to
“tweak” the law. One must wonder what the President considers a “normal”
political environment – is it one where his party controls the House
and has a super majority in the Senate?
Again, the precedent these actions set for future administrations
should scare all Americans. And they should worry the President as well.
If President Obama can unilaterally decide which parts of the law he
must enforce, what is to prevent the next president, regardless of
party, from unilaterally deciding to not enforce these and other laws
passed by Congress? And how far is he willing to test Americans’
patience with his increasingly imperial presidency?
Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee's 6th congressional
district and serves on the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees.
She has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years.