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Tom G.
Republican GA 14

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  • Providing for Consideration of H.R. 37, Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens Act

    by Representative Tom Graves

    Posted on 2015-01-13

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    GRAVES of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I would like to read to you a few quotes. First: [[Page H241]] With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that's just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed.

    Congress passes the law. The executive branch's job is to enforce and implement those laws.

    The problem is that I'm the President of the United States, I'm not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.

    I can't do it by myself. We're going to have to change the laws in Congress.

    I am President. I am not king. I can't do these things just by myself.

    I'm not a king. You know, my job as the head of the executive branch ultimately is to carry out the law.

    I'm bound by the Constitution; I'm bound by separation of powers. There are some things we can't do.

    Congress has the power of the purse, for example.

    These are the words and the statements of the President of the United States. And words matter. But, even after the President said all of this in a politically motivated action last November, he pursued a course that could allow up to 5 million undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States illegally and without consequence.

    Like my constituents, I am outraged. President Obama defied the will expressed by the American people last November and blatantly contradicted his own statements about the limits of the executive branch.

    Now, let's be clear, lest others confuse this issue today. This is not a debate about immigration. That will come later. But this is about the rule of law. This is about the constitutional separation of powers. This is about the respect we owe the American people.

    In this appropriations bill, we are exercising the power of the purse and we are taking a strong, narrow approach that will, first and foremost, provide security to our homeland and, secondly, deny any funds whatsoever from being used to carry out the President's unwise and, in my opinion, unconstitutional actions.

    Now, I have to say, the President was right about a couple of things. He is not an emperor, and he is surely not a king. House Republicans are united in making sure that he doesn't get away with acting like one either. And yet before the debate even begins, last night the President has already issued threats. He is threatening to shut down the Department of Homeland Security because this bill prevents him from implementing his own ideology.

    But make no mistake: a veto threat is a threat to our national security; a veto threat is an open invitation to our enemies. In the wake of the horrific terrorist attack this week in France, is the President really willing to compromise the safety of 320 million Americans to appease his base and score political points? God help us if that is the case.

    Today, it is up to us in the House. Let us vote to defend the constitutional role of this legislature, let us vote to stop the President's blatant overreach, and let us vote to secure our homeland.

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