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Ted Cruz: Amnesty a Dispute Between President Obama and the American People

Cruz Make DC Listen

In an op-ed entitled "Obama is Not a Monarch" posted on November 19 in Politico, Senator Ted Cruz made the essential constitutional argument that all too few other Republicans have been willng to make: the Constitution was drawn to stop exactly the kind of arbitrary unilateral executive action President Obama has time and again imposed upon the American people.

As Senator Cruz wrote in Politico:

The Constitution designs a system of checks and balances for our nation, and executive amnesty unilaterally decreed from the White House would seriously undermine the rule of law.

Our founders repeatedly warned about the dangers of unlimited power within the executive branch; Congress should heed those words as the President threatens to grant amnesty to millions of people who have come to our country illegally.

To be clear, the dispute over executive amnesty is not between President Obama and Republicans in Congress; it is a dispute between President Obama and the American People. The Democrats suffered historic losses in the midterm elections largely over the prospect of the President’s executive amnesty. 

Cruz further noted that this is something the Framers of the Constitution foresaw as he observed:

Thankfully, the framers of our Constitution, wary of the dangers of monarchy, gave the Congress tools to rein in abuses of power. They believed if the President wants to change the law, he cannot act alone; he must work with Congress.

He may not get everything he wants, but the Constitution requires compromise between the branches.

A monarch, however, does not compromise. As Alexander Hamilton explains in Federalist 69, a monarch decrees, dictates, and rules through fiat power, which is what President Obama is attempting.

When the President embraces the tactics of a monarch, it becomes incumbent on Congress to wield the constitutional power it has to stop it.

Cruz went on to note that the Senate Majority Leader for the newly elected Congress (presumably Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky) has a potent constitutional power to help check an out-of-control executive branch:

When the President usurps the legislative power and defies the limits of his authority, it becomes all the more imperative for Congress to act. And Congress should use those powers given to it by the Constitution to counter a lawless executive branch—or it will lose its authority.

If the President announces executive amnesty, the new Senate Majority Leader who takes over in January should announce that the 114th Congress will not confirm a single nominee—executive or judicial—outside of vital national security positions, so long as the illegal amnesty persists.

This is a potent tool given to Congress by the Constitution explicitly to act as a check on executive power. It is a constitutional power of the Majority Leader alone, and it would serve as a significant deterrent to a lawless President.

Additionally, the new Congress should exercise the power of the purse by passing individual appropriations bills authorizing critical functions of government and attaching riders to strip the authority from the president to grant amnesty.

President Obama will no doubt threaten a shutdown—that seems to be the one card he repeatedly plays—but Congress can authorize funding for agencies of government one at a time. If the President is unwilling to accepting funding for, say, the Department of Homeland Security without his being able to unilaterally defy the law, he alone will be responsible for the consequences.

Senator Ted Cruz is right -- there must be no long term funding of the government until Obama's unconstitutional amnesty is stopped. There must be no giving-in to a President who claims the monarchical power the Constitution was drawn to thwart.

The American people, however, are not powerless. They have elected a new Congress full of members who have promised in their campaigns to stand up to this lawless President and stop the amnesty. We the People demand that the new Congress honor its commitments.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Obama's executive amnesty is “illegal” and “wrong,” and that Republicans ought to stop it “at all costs.”

If the President will not respect the people, then Republicans in Congress must.  

CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE and SENATORS at 1-866-220-0044 (Capitol Switchboard) NOW! TELL THEM TO STOP OBAMA'S UNCONSTITUTIONAL ACT! TELL THEM IT IS TIME TO #FightOrBeComplicit

Click this link to read the full text of Senator Ted Cruz op-ed on the constitutional role of Congress in fighting executive over reach.

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