During last night’s State of the Union address, President Barack Obama stated that he would try to work with Congress, but would go around lawmakers if he needed to. It was a constant theme of his speech, mentioning it several times throughout the night, such as when he said:
We’ll need Congress to protect more than three million jobs by finishing transportation and waterways bills this summer. But I will act on my own to slash bureaucracy and streamline the permitting process for key projects, so we can get more construction workers on the job as fast as possible.
He made the same promise for gun control:
I intend to keep trying, with or without Congress, to help stop more tragedies from visiting innocent Americans in our movie theaters, shopping malls, or schools like Sandy Hook.
Opponents of the President have been vocal about their opposition to his use of executive orders. Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) referred to Obama’s “pen and phone” comment, he said:
Under the Constitution, that is not the way federal law is supposed to work.
In the op-ed, Cruz states that Obama is not just creating his own laws, but that Obama is ignoring laws that have been passed. “When a president can pick and choose which laws to follow and which to ignore, he is no longer a president.” writes Cruz.
The Heritage Foundation has also expressed concern over Obama’s use of executive power. Heritage Legal Expert Hans von Spakovsky said:
By ignoring federal laws that he doesn’t like and bypassing Congress, President Obama has established a perilous precedent that may haunt this nation for a long time. We are a country based on the rule of law and the contempt he has shown for that principle endangers our liberty and our democratic process.
This story was produced by The Foundry’s news team. Nothing here should be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of The Heritage Foundation.