McDaniel: Restraining Presidential Power: Executive Orders

By Senator Chris McDaniel

Soon after the Republican sweep in the midterm elections, President Obama issued a very controversial executive order on immigration, allowing a minimum of five million illegals to remain in thechris-mcdaniel-bus-flag-ap country without fear of deportation.  This order essentially granted them amnesty and nullified federal laws governing aliens who crossed into the country illegally.

Now, bear in mind, Obama has said on at least 22 different occasions that the powers of the presidency do not give him the authority to issue such an order. In one such instance, he told the Spanish network Telemundo:  “I’m not a king. My job as the head of the executive branch ultimately is to carry out the law.  When it comes to enforcement of our immigration laws, we’ve got some discretion. We can prioritize what we do. But we can’t simply ignore the law.”

But ignore the law he did.

And it’s not only immigration that has attracted his pen.  In December, he issued an order to stop oil and gas exploration in Bristol Bay, Alaska.  Just this past week he issued another order to expand the amount of paid sick time for federal workers, all without congressional approval.

How can he get away with such abuses of power?  It’s easy with a timid Congress afraid to confront him directly.

Making matters worse, Obama has also deceitfully used language to confuse the public by naming his orders something else.  Rather than call such actions “executive orders,” he now labels them “memoranda.”

But whether they are called executive orders, memoranda, or proclamations, these actions have the same force of law and Obama, despite his denials, has issued 33 percent more executive actions than President George W. Bush and nearly 50 percent more than Bill Clinton.

Why does he do this?  Because Congress won’t act, he declares, so he must.  Yet, contrary to his belief, a “Do Nothing Congress” Clause is not in the Constitution.

In fact, unbeknownst to most people, there is not one single word in Article II of the Constitution, or in any other section, that mentions “executive orders,” “proclamations,” or “memoranda.”  Without Congressional authorization, they are all unconstitutional, whether issued by a Republican or a Democrat.

The Constitution, in Article I Section I, gives all legislative, or lawmaking, authority to Congress, not to the President.  The President’s power consists of making sure “the laws be faithfully executed.”  He cannot make law on his own, nor can he use executive action to delay or modify laws, as he has done repeatedly with Obamacare.

Although it may seem to be a frustrating system, it is the best ever conceived by man, designed to safeguard the liberties of the people.  This is accomplished by one of the great beauties of our government – the separation of powers, a division of sovereignty between the federal government and the states and divided authority between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.  Put simply, the diffusing of power protects our individual liberties.

The founders did this to keep the nation from falling into despotism and dictatorship.  As James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, said in Federalist 46, “The accumulation of all power, legislative, executive, and judiciary in the same hands . . . may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”

But sadly we seem to be moving inexorably in that direction.

To stop this movement, Congress, now in the hands of Republicans, should take swift action to restrain the growing powers of the President.  Any illegal executive actions taken by any President should be swiftly reversed and, if applicable, as in the case with executive amnesty, defunded.

No President, regardless of party, should be allowed to change laws or delay them without congressional action, and no presidential action should ever have the force of law.

That power must forever remain in the hands of the people’s chosen representatives.

About Chris: Senator Chris McDaniel is an attorney, conservative commentator and was a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in 2014. He has represented the 42nd District, which encompasses parts of South Mississippi, since 2008. He lives with his family in Ellisville, Mississippi.



  1. Anonymous says:

    There is so much Chris McDaniel has to learn about how our political system and how it works… that fact is obvious from reading these comments…

  2. P Tom Young says:

    Well, I guess the trick will be to get the Lily livered leaders in Washington to grow a set of marbles. Until we get more knowledgeable people like Chris elected it will continue. Note to anonymous, recommend you read the Constitution and the federalist papers. Chris hit it out of the park!

  3. frank gordon says:

    The way is clear. The people are going to demand a McDaniel/Palin ticket for 2016. If the establishment Republicans block it, there should be a Tea Party Convention.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I probably read the Constitution several times and the federalist papers too long before you guys were out of diapers…

    McDaniel is dreaming… and so are you if you’re supporting him… I know him well…

  5. Hey Guys: On this issue, conservatives of all persuasions can agree with The Anointed One. He is absolutely correct on all points. History shows that since the days of Lincoln, most Presidents will attempt to grab more power, and then assert it whenever they are able. Lincoln, FDR, GWB, LBJ, Obama, Nixon, and TR all expanded the role of the executive branch. In an effort to stop Mr. Obama, it’s my understanding that Boehner and McConnell have already made plans to defund this part of the immigration program. However, the Administration has figured out a way to charge a fee for some of the immigration services in order to make it self-sustaining without the need for any congressional funding. A tyrant is not going to let something as quaint as congressional oversight stand in his way.
    David Frazier


    Barry had some little lambs,
    Their hair was black as smoke.
    And every promise Barry made,
    It ended up a’broke.

    So what is Barry meant to do,
    With all his little lambs?
    Pack them all up in crates,
    And ship them home like hams?

    But it isn’t really Barry’s fault
    About his little lambs.
    He’s even telling Ricky P.,
    I’ve done all I can.

    Or perhaps with words of hope and change,
    He’ll know just what to do.
    Take his trusty pen in hand,
    And sign an ord’ or two.

    A billion here, a billion there,
    Is asking not so much.
    For Barry states by Prez decree,
    That all his little lambs,
    Are really helpless refugees.

    But what about Barry’s lambs,
    Where are they to stay?
    And no matter what he says,
    They can’t get Medicaid.

    Yes, Barry’s little lambs,
    Their hair is black as coal.
    But everywhere that Ricky looks
    He sees more dollars flowin’.

    Fifty thousand little lambs,
    The numbers keep a-growing.
    And just what is Barry doing
    To halt the lambs from flowin’?
    Why, he’s pandering for the DNC,
    And playing off the tees.
    Knowing that the little lambs,
    Are kept like refugees.

    So, will Ricky be our President,
    And stop the hordes from flowin’?
    By calling out the soldier boys,
    Their guns all locked and loaded?
    Not knowing whom to shoot, or where,
    Or when to pull the trigger.
    Since shooting at a helpless child,
    Is not what soldiers figured.

  7. Tom Casey says:

    Any mention of AK-47 in the Constitution? No? The article is asinine and misleading at best. The President, as the executive officer, is under a duty to execute the laws of the US whether they’re derived from Constitution or Congress. As such from time to time he must give directives to the agency to clarify and make more efficient it’s operation. If there is a question of whether the directive is constitutional, then we have federal courts that were established to resolve those controversies. If Chris really believes that no President has a right to use an executive order then he should file a suit asking the court to prohibit any use of directives by any President to operate our government. According to Chris, time off by a White House staff would require Congressional approval. I would love to hear Chris make that absurd argument to the court.

  8. Everyone please read Thad Cochran’s response to the Presidents State of the Union address and then read Roger Wicker’s and other Republicans responses and one will see why so many conservatives lined up against Ole Thad this past election. Gentleman Thad is still one who is willing to continue to negotiate every point away and never willing to make a stand because he likes the print, tax, and spend policys that have continued to attribute to the 18 trillion dollar debt that he has helped put on the shoulders of the American Taxpayer without any solutions for change. Besides, it keeps him and his cronies in power and money.

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