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Cantor Calls Obama's Disregard of Congress 'a Hallmark' of his Presidency

Image: Cantor Calls Obama's Disregard of Congress 'a Hallmark' of his Presidency

By Melanie Batley   |   Wednesday, 09 Oct 2013 11:06 AM

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is blaming President Barack Obama for the current standoff over budget matters, saying his disregard for the authority of the legislative branch led to the government shutdown and makes it more difficult to resolve the impasse.

Writing in an op-ed piece Wednesday for The Washington Post, the Virginia Republican asserted that the president has made a practice of standing in direct defiance of the spirit of the Constitution by continually circumventing Congress to fulfill his own agenda.

"The president not only has refused to negotiate on issues of debt and spending but also has mocked the very idea of engaging with Congress. President Obama has repeatedly made clear that he feels it is beneath the office of the presidency to work in a bipartisan way with the legislative branch," Cantor said.

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"In the 224 years of our nation's history, one party has controlled the House, Senate and White House for 130 years. President Obama enjoyed two of those years, and it's no surprise he wishes that were still the case. Yet while 28 of 44 U.S. presidents have found a way to lead in divided government, this president has not."

Cantor raised a number of examples to make his point that Obama has "circumvented the law." He cited the president's decision to delay the Obamacare employer mandate as one and his "recess" appointments of judges and officials that were later deemed unconstitutional as another. He also listed unilateral decisions to change U.S. immigration laws, among others, as more evidence of a president who has no respect for Congress.

"It has been a hallmark of this presidency," Cantor declared.

"In some of these instances, the president attempted to garner statutory authority, failed to do so, and then acted in defiance of that. In other instances, he never bothered to find consensus and ignored Congress from the outset, usually contending that he simply had no choice. This is no way to govern, and it cripples the system of checks and balances that our Founding Fathers envisioned," the majority leader continued.

Cantor concluded by calling on the president to at least "sit down and talk."

The American people, he insisted, "expect us to work together… and they will not accept one party simply refusing to negotiate.

"Mr. President, let's sit down and talk. Let's reach consensus and end the 'my way or the highway' attitude once and for all."

Urgent: Should GOP Stick to Its Guns on Obamacare? Vote Here.

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