Legislative Lowdown

President Obama’s job-killing environmental extremism

President Obama's job-killing environmental extremism

The job-creating Keystone XL pipeline isn’t going to happen, thanks to President Barack Obama. He intends to use a provision in the law extending the payroll tax cut for two months to block the building of the pipeline. His apparent disdain for free-market capitalism and private-sector job creation is discouraging, to say the least.

The Keystone XL pipeline would have been a 1,700-mile pipeline transporting Canadian tar sands oil to Texas refineries for domestic use and export. Tens of thousands of jobs for Americans in six U.S. states were expected to be created as part of this project. The pipeline would have aided in reducing dependence on Middle Eastern oil, provided more oil for U.S. refineries and accelerated free trade with Canada. But President Obama seems to be too busy pandering for green voters to worry about reducing unemployment.

“The President’s own Jobs Council said that energy pipeline projects like this one can create hundreds of thousands of American jobs,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said last week. “The unions support it. The states along the proposed route support it, and it has bipartisan support here in Congress.” Boehner is correct when he says that Obama’s “policies are making the economy worse, rather than better.” Actions speak louder than words from the Promiser-in-Chief.

Calls for impeachment

The President’s unconstitutional recess appointments of Richard Cordray to be head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and three new members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) may be impeachable offenses, according to some constitutional experts.

There are multiple offenses against the Constitution in this tyrannical and undemocratic act. Article I, Section 5 allows the Senate to adjourn for more than three days only when it has the consent of the House. The House refuses to allow the Senate to go into an extended recess.

Article II, Section 2 grants the Senate the right to “Advise and Consent” to nominations and gives the President the power to “fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate.” The Senate is not in recess. Furthermore, the President ignored the express will of the Senate, because Cordray did not receive the consent of senators when they had a chance to grant it late last year.

Congress has many options on ways to fight President Obama’s unconstitutional appointments. Senators can filibuster any and all nominees. The House and Senate can use the power of the purse in a variety of ways to make Obama think strongly about removing. But there is also the power of Impeachment.

Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, tells HUMAN EVENTS that “impeachment may be extraordinary, yet, for the first time in this presidency, ought to be given serious discussion. Certainly, if the President does not stand down or further investigation finds that these appointments were knowingly inappropriate and knowingly illegal then the case for impeachment becomes more apparent.”

This, however, is a politically difficult exercise, particularly in an election year, when voters can inflict the ultimate impeachment,

Debt limit increase rejected in house

This House voted 239-176 on a resolution disapproving of President Obama’s request for an increase in the debt ceiling. Six democrats joined all but one Republican (California Rep. David Dreier) to vote no on the measure. This week the Senate is expected to vote on the resolution, but it is expected to fail.

Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) voted present on the resolution because he believes this vote to be “absurd,” adding, “The whole idea of this Resolution of Disapproval is a joke and a waste of time.” He called it a symbolic vote because there was no fundamental spending reform signed into law last August and said he will “continue to stand up against these short-term political gimmicks that are ruining our country.”

Walsh’s concerns were illustrated by the final deal that allowed the debt ceiling to pass last year. Conservatives were given a vote on a toothless Balanced Budget Amendment, while the final spending levels in the deal broke the promises made in the Paul Ryan budget. A Supercommittee was created that considered massive tax hikes but refused to make fundamental reforms to entitlement programs. The failure of the Supercommittee led to scheduled massive cuts in defense spending in early 2013, making Walsh’s point.

SOPA goes too far

The House’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Senate’s Protect Intellectual Property Act are losing support from congressional sponsors day by day. The bills are efforts to stop the theft of online copyrighted material, but opponents say they go way too far and will set the table for government regulation of the Internet. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is pledging to filibuster the Senate bill.

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