Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan became the latest Republican to attack President Barack Obama over his increaed use of executive orders, calling his administration “an increasing lawless presidency” that is now “doing the job of Congress.”
The House budget chairman spoke with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, with the reporter asking Ryan what he thought about the president’s promise during the State of the Union address to “take steps without legislation” to achieve his agenda. Stephanopoulos questioned why Ryan and other Republicans are upset, since Obama has issued less executive orders than the previous administrations.
“It’s not the number of executive orders; it’s the scope of executive orders,” Ryan maintained. “It’s the fact that he’s actually contradicting law, like in healthcare, or proposing new laws without going through Congress, George. That’s the issue. So this is a big concern.
“We have an increasingly lawless presidency,” Ryan continued. “We have an increasingly lawless presidency where he is actually doing the job of Congress, writing new policies and new laws without going through Congress. Presidents don’t write laws, Congress does. And when he does things like what he did in healthcare, delaying mandates that the law said was supposed to occur when they were supposed to occur, that’s not his job. The job of Congress is to change laws if he doesn’t like them, not the presidency.”
Ryan laughed off Stephanopoulos’ suggestion that if the president is truly so lawless, the GOP should move to impeach. “Some of these are gonna get fought out in court,” he noted. “But I am concerned about this trend — such as what he said at the State of the Union, that if Congress doesn’t give me the law I want I’m gonna go do it myself, that’s effectively what he said. That’s not the way our Constitution works… I think these executive orders are creating a dangerous trend that is contrary to the Constitution.”
Ryan also touched on immigration reform, which appears to be gaining traction among Republican leadership. (RELATED: What is Boehner’s secret immigration plan?)
He didn’t deny a deal with Obama and congressional Democrats may be in the works, but promised any bill would reject outright amnesty and focus on border security.
“Here’s the issue that all Republicans agree on: We don’t trust the president to enforce the law,” he said. “[Security provisions] have to be in law, in practice and independently verified before the rest of the law can occur. So it’s a security-first, non-amnesty approach.”
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