OBAMA ABOVE, AROUND AND UNDER THE LAW

October 26, 2012

Conservatives have long objected to President Obama’s legislative agenda, which, they note, stretches the constitutional limits on government. But at least as disturbing is his penchant for ignoring legislation, a tendency that has led him to force through parts of his agenda without the necessary congressional approval.

Articles in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and National Review have highlighted cases of the president’s executive overreach — and now, so has House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

The majority leader’s office released a report Tuesday listing example after example of the Obama administration’s disregard for the law.

For instance, Public Law 112-86 gave the TSA 180 days to find a way to expedite security screening for members of the military who are in uniform and present official orders. With the deadline passed, little has changed: A few airports allow military members to use shorter lines that were already available to other preferred passengers, and elsewhere our military personnel are screened through the normal lines. As Cantor’s report notes, the Obama administration’s TSA is violating both the law’s letter and its intent.

Another example: Despite a law banning the use of taxpayer dollars to lobby for or against abortion rights in foreign countries, the Obama administration sent $18 million to Kenya specifically to lobby for a constitutional referendum that would expand abortion access there.  

One more: The White House’s 2013 budget proposed creating a network of manufacturing institutes that would connect public and private research-and-development efforts, and the Department of Commerce promised that a $1 billion legislative proposal would be forthcoming. No such legislation was ever introduced, let alone passed, but the president decided he might as well go ahead anyway. “We’re not going to wait — we’re going to go ahead on our own,” he said, and did just that, setting up a pilot institute with funding that had been appropriated to various executive agencies for other purposes.

Now these are just three examples of the many laws ignored, circumvented or considered just plain useless to President Obama. Don't forget, pulling the Justice Department out of enforcing and defending the Defense of Marriage Act; ignoring or putting off the mandate to appoint the fifteen members of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) mandated by his on Health Care bill (by the way, the IPAB is the so-called "death panel"); and his call for defense contractors to ignore the WARN Act which requires employers to give a 60-day notice of layoffs. Notice of layoffs are to be issued on November 2 because layoffs are slated to begin on January 3, when the sequestration law requires big cutbacks in defense spending. Mr. Obama wants contractors to wait until after the election to give the notices because he doesn't want anymore negatives affect his reelection bid.

These and many more underreported examples of the president’s playing fast and loose with the law depict the utter contempt Obama has for the law. Other examples range from recess appointments to coal regulations to de facto amnesty for countless illegal aliens and requiring religious institutions to offer healthcare plans which contain requirements that violant the teachings and conscience of the Catholic Church.

It would be one thing if the administration were setting aside laws that it believes conflict with the Constitution. In these cases, the administration does not assert any such conflict. It merely ignores laws that get in the way of policies it finds congenial.

Undecided voters would do well to consider the repercussions of supporting a man who has so much power and so little to show for it — and Eric Cantor has done well by directing greater public attention to these abuses.


We believe that the Constitution of the United States speaks for itself. There is no need to rewrite, change or reinterpret it to suit the fancies of special interest groups or protected classes.