Point: Executive Orders
President Barack Obama has pushed the Constitution to the side by signing executive orders in order to change federal law without Congress’ approval.
Obama, like almost all presidents, has overstepped in his duty by issuing numerous executive orders during his terms.
This month, Obama signed into effect a series of executive actions designed to keep guns out of the wrong hands through background checks and to increase mental health treatment and reporting to the background check system.
The problem I have is not necessarily what the executive order entails (because I, too, want stricter background checks), but the fact that executive orders skip over the legislative branch of our government.
The Necessary and Proper Clause in Article One, Section 8, Clause 18 of the Constitution states “the Congress shall have power to make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.” It does not mention that presidents should have the power to make laws, but only to see that laws are executed faithfully.
It is the duty of the legislative branch to write and enact laws, and by the president bypassing Congress, he continues to expand his powers outside of those intended for a president. The separation of powers was created so the executive, legislative or judicial branch of government would not have too much power or abuse the power it has.
The administration is proposing a $500 million investment to increase access to mental health care. Again, I am absolutely all for better mental health care in today’s world, but without congressional approval Obama takes the job of the legislative branch from them and uses it as his own.
While the president may be passionate about gun control and he may be the commander-in-chief, he should not overstep in his position in the executive branch. I would be more willing to support a leader who would encourage involvement from others and demand a call to action.
Many critics of Congress believe they are slow on taking any action, for example, on gun control. However, instead of the president stepping over Congress, the people of America should call on the legislators to make a difference. As citizens of this country, we reserve the right to make our voice heard to speak of the changes we want to see made. If our voice is loud enough, maybe we could see the changes made efficiently and effectively before the president would even have to consider an executive order.
As college students and members of society, we should be researching candidates for local elections and elect leaders we believe will represent us well and who will listen to what we have to say. This is in hopes that the president does not have to expand his powers, giving the executive branch more power by dipping into the duties of the legislative branch.