Congressional Authority Versus Presidential Authorityby Representative Rodney Davis
Posted on 2015-02-11
DAVIS of Illinois. Well, thank you to the gentleman from
Florida for actually putting this Special Order together tonight and
also for yielding me time.
You brought up a great number of issues that I think are very important to many of us, regardless of whether or not you represent 800,000 constituents in Florida or--like me--800,000 constituents in central and southwestern Illinois.
I will tell you, David, that the other night, I was cleaning out one of my son's pockets in his jacket because I was throwing it into the laundry, and I pulled out a copy of the Constitution that he got at school.
I flipped through it, and I reread article I, article II, article III, and the Bill of Rights. You learn something new each time. What you don't forget is that our forefathers who created this great institution understood that it took equal powers. It took equal branches of government to produce the freedoms that we here in America sometimes take for granted.
It is exactly what you said about let's work with each branch of government. We can disagree without being disagreeable. You address so many issues. I would like to actually talk back and forth on some of those.
Let's start with the invitation to Prime Minister Netanyahu. We have a tremendous disagreement on whether or not the United States should unilaterally enter into negotiations with the terrorist State of Iran.
I worry. I worry what it means for America and what it means for our closest ally in the Middle East, Israel, if Iran finally was given access to a functional nuclear weapon. What would they do with that? Whom would they provide that technology to? It is something in a geopolitical sense that we have to be concerned about in our position as Members of Congress.
These are issues that we have to put a check and balance on the administration to ensure that we are working towards what is the common goal for our allies.
I think that Prime Minister Netanyahu's being invited to this great institution to come here to address the United States Congress, to address 435 Members of this House and many others, to talk about how we are working together as allies, I don't think that is an insult.
Frankly, Mr. Speaker, I say: What took so long? Why did it take the Speaker of the House to put the invitation out? Why did the administration continue to block this? These are the types of issues that we as an equal branch of government have to address in this body. That is why we are happy to talk about many of the other issues.
You mentioned Guantanamo Bay. I am a proud cosponsor of your bill that is going to ensure that this administration cannot negotiate away the United States' ownership of Guantanamo Bay, regardless of whether or not the President is going to--which I think is a terrible policy-- regardless of whether or not the President is going to clear out Guantanamo Bay of the terrorists who are there because they want to hurt Americans.
I think we need to ensure that there is a law of the land that does not allow this administration to negotiate away a very important base in Cuba that protects Americans.
Mr. Speaker, these are the types of issues, foreign policy issues-- ISIS is one that I know we will be able to discuss tonight and others-- but I am happy to begin a discussion on whatever it is you think is most important when it comes to America's foreign policy and our ability to be that oversight branch, that equal branch to the executive branch.