With President Barack Obama implementing new climate change regulations through the EPA without the consent of Congress, many Republicans are noting the threat that unilateral executive action represents to our constitutional system of checks-and-balances.
During a speech from the House floor on Friday, Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) cited some examples of President Obama’s unilateralism and noted that it takes the decision making process out of the hands of Congress, the representatives of the people.
“The President decided to raise energy prices on all Americans, which adversely affects the poor the most, and he didn’t ask Congress. The President decided to unilaterally reduce our strategic nuclear deterrent when more countries than ever have nuclear weapons — [with] no treaty that would require consent of the Senate,” said Bridenstine. “The President decided which health insurance plans the people are allowed to have. The President didn’t ask Congress or the people, for that matter. The list goes on.”
“In America, we are either moving more towards liberty or more towards tyranny,” continued Bridenstine. “Well, I think we should ask ourselves what tyranny would look like in the United States of America.”
After recounting some recent events, Bridenstine noted that the result of a president ruling by executive fiat would limit the power of the legislative branch and greatly diminish the representation of the people. “The President told us that he would fundamentally transform America,” he recalled, “and I think that is exactly what he is doing.”
Watch Bridenstine’s remarks below: