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House Passes Legislation to Push Back Against Presidential Overreach

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Location: Washington, DC

In a push by Congress to restore balance to the separation of powers set forth by the Constitution and rein in overreach by the Executive Branch, the House of Representatives passed two pieces of legislation this week -- the ENFORCE the Law Act and the Faithful Execution of the Law Act.

"An issue of great concern is President Obama's blatant disregard for the laws of the United States of America," said Congressman Don Young. "The Constitution makes it very clear, it's Congress' responsibility to write and pass our laws and the President's duty to enforce them. This Administration has chosen, on multiple occasions, which laws to enforce and which laws to ignore for entirely political reasons. Without the approval of Congress, these decisions -- including delays to certain Obamacare provisions, ignoring the enforcement of immigration laws, implementing polices that regulate carbon emissions, and disregarding specific education policies -- go against everything this country was founded upon."

The House of Representatives passed H.R. 4138, the ENFORCE the Law Act, by a vote of 233-181, to give Congress the ability to authorize lawsuits against the Executive Branch for failing to execute its duties and enforce the nation's laws. The legislation, introduced by Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC), would also allow for an expedited review process of lawsuits against the Administration in order to prevent lengthy judicial review processes that could exceed a President's term.

"The ENFORCE the Law Act is necessary," said Congressman Trey Gowdy in a speech on the House Floor. "It gives Congress the ability to remedy executive overreach--not just react to it or punish it. Our Framers designed a system of three coequal branches. As Senator, President Obama repeatedly warned of the dangers of the executive branch. This bill would allow us to defend the legislative branch as the Framers and our fellow citizens expect."

The Faithful Execution of the Law Act, H.R. 3973, passed the House today by a vote of 244 to 171, and builds upon efforts for added transparency for any Administration that establishes or implements policies that don't enforce or apply federal law. The legislation requires all federal officials who establish non-enforcement policies to report the reasons why to Congress.

In Case You Missed It: A progressive Constitutional Law Professor recently penned an Op/Ed for the Los Angeles Times describing the danger of The president's power grab, which is bringing the United States to a "constitutional tipping point…unchecked by the other two branches."


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