Paul Ryan: Obama Presidency 'Increasingly Lawless'

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Sunday, 02 Feb 2014 10:14 AM

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President Barack Obama's presidency is becoming 'increasingly lawless' as he signs executive orders contradicting existing law or proposing new ones, says Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc.

"Presidents don't write laws, Congress does," Ryan said Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

Obama, in his State of the Union address last week, promised to go it alone by issuing even more executive orders if Congress fails to pass laws he deems necessary.

"This Week" host George Stephanopoulos noted that the number of executive orders issued by Obama at this point in his presidency is fewer than those of the most recent two-term presidents, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan.

Ryan argued that the issue isn't numbers, but scope.

"Executive orders are one thing, but executive orders that actually change the statute, that's totally different," Ryan said. He gave as an example Obama's unilateral delay of some parts of the Affordable Care Act.

Still, Ryan doesn't see impeachment proceedings over the issue, which he labeled a "dangerous trend." Instead, he predicted court battles over individual incidents.

On others issues, Ryan:
  • Predicted New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will continue to lead the Republican Governors Association despite his deepening troubles over the Bridge-gate scandal.
  • Said that despite internal GOP disagreement on immigration, the party does agree that it doesn't trust Obama to enforce the law. He said Congress is unlikely to pass a bill this year to send to the president. Republicans want a secure border, interior security (a worker verification system and a visa tracking program), before the rest of law can take effect.
  • Said attaching policy to a debt limit bill is not a new approach, and that Congress should stop rubber stamping debt limit increases.
  • Defended comments he made that Pope Francis isn't familiar with American capitalism because he is from Argentina, where "crony capitalism" is practiced. Francis is starting the debate on helping the poor, not ending, it, Ryan said. He admitted Francis wouldn't back his budget proposal because "Popes don't endorse budgets."
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