Congress must step up to protect Constitution
Our nation’s founders disagreed on a multitude of issues about how to govern the United States. But on one thing they put their partisanship aside for the good of future Americans.
American government had to be representative, they agreed. It could not be controlled by any individual. For that reason, the concept of separation of powers was written into the Constitution.
In this country, laws are supposed to be enacted by the people’s representatives in Congress. Presidents are supposed to operate only within restraints imposed by those laws.
But President Barack Obama has rejected that philosophy of government. By the dozens, he has used executive orders to, in effect, make his own laws. And when he doesn’t like statutes approved on Capitol Hill, he changes them.
Obama feels secure in doing that because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has the power to block any attempt to rein in the White House.
Now Obama apparently has decided to throw another constitutional guarantee into the trash can.
Presidents are not permitted to conclude treaties with other countries. Such agreements must be ratified by the Senate.
It has been reported Obama may attempt to make the United States a party to an international agreement on climate change without seeking Senate approval. That could happen next year during an international climate conference in Paris.
Asked about that, White House spokesman Josh Earnest replied that “it’s not clear what sort of role Congress would be required to play” in such an agreement.
No. It is perfectly clear. Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution states the president “shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two-thirds of the senators present concur …”
By allowing Obama to act as he has and by permitting Reid to protect him, Democrats who hold the majority in the Senate have abdicated their responsibility under the Constitution. And Obama, as his choice concerning the treaty requirement shows, continues to use that failure to gain more and more power.
At what point will senators, both Democrat and Republican, recognize a sweeping change in how Americans are governed is under way? And when will they demand it be reversed?
Or will they become silent partners in the trampling of the Constitution?