Government Watch

Finally, a Strategy to Checkmate Obama’s Executive Actions

obamaFrom – – By Genevieve Wood

Many of President Obama’s executive actions—whether the most recent ones calling for more gun control or past ones extending amnesty to millions here illegally—are already being or will one day be challenged in the courts.

This is why it’s encouraging to see reports this week that lawmakers may finally make a real effort to checkmate the president’s proclivity to go around them and create laws on his own. It’s a strategy grassroots activists should demand.

Though Congress has given up much of its power when it comes to using its “power of the purse” to stop executive overreach, there is one power it still holds, and there is absolutely no reason not to use it. Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, popularly known as “Advise and Consent,” requires the Senate to approve all presidential appointments of cabinet officials, ambassadors, and federal judges.

The day of the Senate “consenting” and following a go-along get-along strategy on such matters should be over. I don’t care which Republican senator is being pressured to get one of his buddies or constituents seated on a court or appointed to a high-ranking government position.

As my colleague at Heritage Action, CEO Mike Needham, said this week, “given the administration’s disregard for Congress’ role in our constitutional system of government, the Senate should refuse to confirm any more of the president’s judicial nominees.”


Be prepared to hear from the left that this will cause a judicial crisis and from some weak-kneed Republicans that it’s not nice. Both arguments fall flat.

For one, as Heritage legal expert Elizabeth Slattery told me, “President Obama himself hasn’t really made judicial appointments a priority. He is ahead of President George W. Bush in terms of overall appointments at this point in their presidencies but slightly behind presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.”

I guess when you view yourself as the creator and interpreter in chief of our country’s laws, who needs Congress, and who needs the courts?

Additionally, this past year had one of the lowest average vacancy rates in the past 25 years. A total of 91 percent of district and circuit courts are filled. There is no judicial crisis.

As to members of the GOP who find it hard to stand up to the president, it would be nice for a change if they would do that instead of going back on promises to their constituents to stop the president from doing end runs around the Constitution.

Checks and balances are what ensures that one person or one party or one branch of government can’t act as dictator. Yes, there are still ways Congress could use its power of the purse to “check” the president.

There are limits on how appropriated funds can be spent, but good luck getting the Obama administration to live within those.

Congress could pass a rescission bill (basically taking back the money it originally approved spending, and thereby try to prevent the president from using it to enforce his executive action on guns or amnesty), but Obama would veto it.

And while Congress could say it will not fund X or Y activity after the latest funding bill it just passed expires on September 30, that still gives Obama eight months between now and then to continue his imperial mischief.

Refusing to confirm any more of the president’s judicial nominees is something Senate Republicans can do immediately. No filibuster by Minority Leader Harry Reid or veto by Obama can stop them.

Republicans have no excuse not to use their power to prevent the president’s unlawful executive actions from becoming long-term assaults on the Constitution and the rights of American citizens.

If You Enjoy Articles Like This - Subscribe to the AMAC Daily Newsletter
and Download the AMAC News App

Sign Up Today Download

If You Enjoy Articles Like This - Subscribe to the AMAC Daily Newsletter!

Sign Up Today
Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
5 years ago

If the president was willing to work with Congress executive actions would not be needed. Obama even admitted in the State of the Union Address he needed to get better in that area. So the problem rests with the President.

5 years ago

If congress was willing to work with the President, maybe executive action would not be needed. Thank you Senator McConnell. The GOP has no one to blame but themselves.

5 years ago
Reply to  Carol

To work with the president to do what? Help destroy the country, our values, our laws, culture, beliefs, and Constitution? Sorry, they have already rubber stamped everything he’s done. There’s a popular dog command for what the Congress has done: lay down and play dead. They have exceeded at playing dead.

5 years ago

Doesn’t matter. The emperor would just appoint ‘Czars’ instead.

5 years ago

Republicans might not have any excuse not to stop the continued Dictatorship of the Kenwaiian-in-Chief. But that doesn’t mean they will not acquiesce to his unholiness anyway. Congress is too full of RINOs and the GOP way be “Old” but they sure aren’t “Grand” in any way, shape or form.

This is why I have torn up and thrown out any GOP-related mailings I have received since 2008. But the last straw was when they abandoned a truly Conservative candidate for Virginia Governor in the last election. We need a third party (not one that begin’s with the letter “L” – they are too much like the DNC for my liking).

5 years ago
Reply to  Carlos

Carlos, I agree that it’s time for a new strong third party. … I believe that it should be a Christian Party. Christians are now being attacked on all sides. LBJ effectively muzzled pastors, priests, and ministers from speaking out against politicians with threat of loss of their tax exempt status. But, that shouldn’t stop Christians from coming together to protect our American heritage and our religious freedoms. After all, there are more Christians than Communist Democrats and Rino Republicans, both of which give lip service to their supposed claims of being Christians. I’ve been a member of many different Congregations depending on where I’ve lived and one thing I’ve noticed there were NO attorneys in these churches. What attorney politician who claims to be Christian ever attends a Christian worship service after they’ve been elected?

Fredrick Yerrick
5 years ago

Time to stand up, show up, and speak up! Our founding Fathers gave us the tool;
Article V in our Constitution. We can call for a convention to limit the Power, Scope, and Jurisdiction of our Federal Government. Begin now at;
Need help;
[email protected]

Fredrick Yerrick
5 years ago

It will take what our founders gave us, Article V for “We the People”to correct the mess we are in. The President, his selected Appointees, Congress, and the Supreme Court will not solve the mess we have gotten into by weakening our Constitution the past 100 years. Time to Stand up, Speak up, and Show up in support of an Article V Convention. You can start now by going to;
If you need help and motivation, contact me at;
[email protected]

5 years ago

As this dictator President shuns Congress, Congress should shun their approval of ANY future appointees by Obama.

The federal government was never intended to be the size that it has grown to be. The founders intended it to remain small and for the majority of issues to be handled at the state level where citizens can be more involved and have their voices heard.

Why hasn’t some citizen who has been a victim of crime by an illegal immigrant just sue this President and Attorney General with negligence of protecting our citizens by not enforcing existing immigration law which he has sworn to do upon taking his oath of office? This would not be suing the government but the official(s) personally who have neglected to do their sworn duty. A class action suit would be even better.

5 years ago
Reply to  Rik

Hi Rik,

Just answer your question. The President is pretty much indemnified from lawsuits. The federal courts just routinely dismiss them, whenever filed.

Ivan Berry
5 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

And whoopie to H. Action for telling us what Congress should do. But why bother? They have failed and failed again and again to do anything they should do while filling time and making work by having all these hearings without producing any results. They cannot even hold this administration to the principles of Treaties when adressing agreements with other nations, but instead make Treaties with a majority vote. Congress does nothing at all according to the provisions of the Constitution. Congress should…what? Congress should be repealed and replaced, that’s what. But the people are too dumb to do it. Public education and media b.s., anyone?

Daniel Crockett
5 years ago
Reply to  Ivan Berry


We do cave in. Demand term limit to all of Congress. Rename the Dems to Social progressive. It is time to change the flow chart: We the people first (Bosses) Campaigns for office should start 8 months before general election. When running for re-election they should not be paid while on the trail.

max keltner
5 years ago

It is time to vote out all the senators and congress persons an elect new ones. Demo’s and rep,. Change the laws to time limits, cut off retirement pay ,they can be on soc.sec. like supposed to be. They would quit stealing from it then.They get free health care, because they got it done. Not supposed to get all this, but they do. Time to vote then out. Limit the money spent on the whims of any president and their family for the millions of dollars for the white house staff ,,and the millions upon millions spent on many vacations every year. Right now we are paying 2 senators their monthly pay , although they haven’t worked in months, except to fly in, real fast to cast a vote, an fly out at high cost to taxpayers, again., because they are looking for a new job as president. Then they really be in the “dough”

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x