If House Republicans do not act on immigration in the way Barack Obama wants soon, then the president will simply “borrow” Congress’ legislative powers and unilaterally rule on the issue, bypassing Congress once again, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said Thursday.
“I don’t know how much more time he thinks he needs, but I hope that Speaker Boehner will speak up today,” Durbin said. “And if he does not, the president will borrow the power that is needed to solve the problems of immigration.”
Democrats have issued an ultimatum to Republicans in the House, telling them that if they do not do Obama’s bidding on immigration by the end of July, the president will simply adopt the mantle of dictator and rule on his own.
“We’re at the end of the line,” Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., told reporters. “We’re not bluffing by setting a legislative deadline for them to act.”
On Wednesday, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., repeated his call for unilateral action when he declared immigration dead in the House and demanded Obama issue an executive order to curb deportations.
“Having been given ample time and space to craft legislation, you failed, the president now has no other choice but to act within existing law to ensure that our deportation policies are humane, that due-process rights are protected, that detention conditions are as they should be, and most importantly — that the people we are deporting are detriments to our communities, not assets to our families, economy, and society,” he said.
But the Constitution does not allow for Obama to simply “borrow” congressional power as Durbin suggests or write laws when he believes Congress is not acting as he wishes.
“The President does not ‘borrow power.’ He grabs it. He overreaches. He acts lawlessly. But, no, he can’t borrow power like a library book,” Cruz aide Amanda Carpenter tweeted.
“The White House saying it is going to ‘borrow’ power from Congress should send shivers down every American’s spine,” another person tweeted.
The Hill said Durbin’s threat came a day after House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, announced legislation allowing the House to sue Obama for overstepping his Constitutional authority.
“When there is a failure on the part of the president to faithfully execute the law, the House has the authority to challenge this failure,” Boehner said Wednesday.
But is a lawsuit enough to stop Obama from wielding his pen and his phone or ruling like the movie character “Judge Dredd?”
For years, various Republicans have threatened impeachment — the Constitutional cure Judge Andrew Napolitano said is the only way Congress can stop Obama’s executive actions. But nothing has been done and grassroots conservatives are becoming weary of talk with no action.
On Friday, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., tried to ease the minds of constituents concerned about Obama’s executive overreach with an email saying the Constitution’s system of checks and balances will ultimately keep the president under control, as it did when the Supreme Court unanimously ruled Obama’s recess appointments to the NRLB unconstitutional.
“I want you to know that I am listening,” she said. “I am working with my colleagues in Congress to hold the Administration accountable to you – and I am more confident than ever that our system of checks and balances will prevail.”