President Obama kicked off the New Year with four unconstitutional appointments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The Senate has the right to give “Advice and Consent” to nominations under Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution. The President unilaterally declared the Senate in recess so he could operate pretending that he was making constitutionally permissible recess appointments.
In the President’s State of the Union Speech last week, he had the audacity to demand an end to the Senate’s right to force extended debate on nominees or legislation through the use of the filibuster. Obama said “a simple majority is no longer enough to get anything–even routine business–passed through the Senate.” Senators have the right to extended debate under the rules and a supermajority of 60 senators is necessary to shut down debate.
It is undemocratic and a violation of the separation of powers for President Obama to bully senators into rubber-stamping his extreme left-wing nominees to the courts and executive offices of the federal government. Obama demanded that “the Senate to pass a simple rule that all judicial and public -service nominations receive a simple up-or-down vote within 90 days.” The Senate should just say no to this arrogant demand.
Prayers for Gabrielle Giffords
Last week, the House unanimously passed a piece of legislation sponsored by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D.-Ariz.) dealing with drug smuggling. She resigned her seat after the vote.
The passing of the bill was a highlight of an emotional week in the House. Giffords was shot a year ago in a Tucson parking lot and has had a very difficult recovery. The passage of the legislation and outpouring of support for her was a moment of true bipartisanship. It was also probably the last time this year we’ll see Republicans and Democrats unifying for a cause.
Obama’s class warfare: Blame and promises
The President’s State of the Union last week contained a frontal assault on free-market capitalism.
He harkened to class warriors of the past to encourage middle-class and poor people to get angry at upper-income Americans. He blamed job creators for the economic meltdown on Wall Street and for “a shrinking number of people [who] do really well while a growing number of Americans barely get by.” President Obama’s solution is to push for higher taxes and government handouts that will create even more voter dependency on big government.
Obama blamed Republicans for the loss of four million jobs just before he was sworn in and “another four million before our policies were in full effect.” Obama failed to mention that his party had total control of all the mechanisms of making laws for his first year in office when he passed a massive government spending program that has proven to be a failure. Obama created 8.5% unemployment and funneled government cash to his crony capitalist friends.
Obama made new promises hoping that the American people will forget his broken promises of a stimulus that would keep unemployment under 8%, a healthcare law that would improve the system and transparency on the White House web site that would allow the American people to read legislation before he signed it.
Saving national defense
President Obama wants to gut the defense budget–and Republicans have unwittingly helped him.
The Department of Defense is scheduled to be hit with massive automatic spending cuts as a result of the bipartisan deal that increased the debt ceiling last year. Furthermore, the President unveiled his own plan a few weeks ago to cut tens of thousands of ground troops in the name of modernizing our national defense. These are two terrible ideas.
The debt-limit deal contained a provision for $1.2 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years, including $500 billion in defense spending. This was the automatic sequestration on the table if the supercommittee failed to find $1.2 trillion in cuts– and fail it did. The Washington Times reported last week that House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon (R.-Calif.), in an effort to undo the automatic cuts, has introduced legislation to protect the defense budget.
To add to the problems of defending our nation, the President announced his plan to cut another $500 billion by downsizing troop levels.
Kim Holmes, Vice President of Foreign and Domestic Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation, points out that we spend only 5% of our economic output on defense, while Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid chew up about 10%. If Obama wants to find savings, he’s looking in the wrong place.