Impeachment, censure and legal action are all on the table as the House considers how to discipline President Barack Obama for his "imperialist" conduct in bypassing Congress with executive orders, Rep. Marsha Blackburn told Newsmax TV
Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, didn't rule out any of these responses in an interview with"MidPoint" host Ed Berliner to discuss the president's latest threatened maneuver — to secure a global climate change agreement without congressional approval.
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But she suggested the federal judiciary already has set clear limits on the president's authority.
"What you're going to see is us look at censures," said Blackburn. "You're going to see us continue to look at taking the president to court.
"Impeachment is out there," she continued, "but I have to tell you, I kind of appreciate the fact the Supreme Court has found this administration guilty 12 different times and found them in error, in abeyance.
"And every time they go to court they are shown and proven to be outside of the rule of the law," she said.
Blackburn scoffed at the White House's latest effort
to press ahead on another front — immigration — by crafting what the Associated Press called a "blame-it-on-Congress legal justification" for stopping deportation proceedings against millions of illegal immigrants.
That executive order could come before the end of summer, the AP reported. The administration's argument is that Congress underfunded immigration enforcement and therefore defaulted to the president, who must decide where to assign the government's limited resources.
The president already stayed deportation for some 800,000 children who arrived here illegally, through a 2012 executive order called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
Setting priorities based on budgeting means deferring deportation for some or all of the estimated 11.5 million undocumented migrants inside the country, the administration argued.
"That is absolutely ridiculous and the president knows that's ridiculous," said Blackburn, adding, "Here again, they feel like the means they're going through justifies the ends that they want to reach. They don't want to work with Congress. They don't want to address these issues one at a time.
"If the president wanted to do something on this, he could take up the two bills that are sitting on [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid's desk right now that we passed on August 1: My legislation that would freeze the DACA program and … legislation that would put the money in place — reprogram funds — to put the National Guard on the border and secure that southern border.
"That would be a great start," said Blackburn, "and if the president really wants something done, that's where he ought to be looking."
Blackburn also criticized the president's attempted end-around on climate change
— a "politically binding" international agreement to abide by caps on greenhouse gas emissions, coupled with a "name and shame" enforcement regime for countries that don't enforce the limits.
The caps are based on existing global treaties the Senate has refused to ratify, but the White House contends this new agreement would pass muster because it's not a legally binding treaty of the type requring Senate approval.
Blackburn said the president is wrong on both the law and the science of climate change linked to emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide.
"What we are seeing from more scientists is an agreement that this [global warming] is a cyclical process that we have been through, and we don't need to be signing or expanding other agreements," she said.
She said Obama's move also ignores how much the U.S. already has done to lower CO2 output through energy efficiency and diversification of energy sources beyond oil and coal.
"There is a right way and a wrong way to go about this," said Blackburn. "The president's process is an extremist approach, and it is something that he's trying to do as a political gimme to the radical environmentalists that support him.
"Many of us are conservationists," said Blackburn, adding, "What we are not for is going about implementing the policies just for the sake of doing the policy."
A potential House lawsuit
against the president — for which lawmakers have set aside $350,000 to pay lawyers, should the case go forward — is aimed at overturning his decision to waive the employer mandate for the Affordable Health Care Act.
NASA Expert: The End of Global Warming
"This is specifically why we're taking him to court," said Blackburn. "The president treats laws as suggestion, and he needs to realize it's his job not to pass the law — his job is to implement the law.
"If he doesn't like [the laws], then come back to us," she said. "He doesn't have time for this. He is an imperialist president; he wants to act like he's the king."
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