President Barack Obama, with his vow to bypass Congress and use his own authority to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, is shrugging off his oath of office and triggering an unprecedented "constitutional crisis," Rep. Mike Kelly told Newsmax TV
Kelly stopped short of calling for the president to be impeached as a way to restore constitutional order, telling "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner that House Speaker John Boehner's lawsuit
accusing Obama of overstepping his authority might be the course to take.
Kelly did not rule out impeachment.
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"I don't want to say that that stuff's off the table," said the Pennsylvania Republican and returning member of the House Ways and Means Committee. "Any time we say things are off the table, then we kind of weaken our position. I would say we would use whatever tools we have in the box to protect the American people and to defend the Constitution of the United States."
The president is scheduled to announce
his immigration overhaul on Thursday in a televised address to the nation.
Critics have called the anticipated move an illegal grant of executive amnesty and a pointed insult to Congress just weeks after voters punished Obama in midterm elections that he himself said would be a referendum on his policies
"The country is witnessing something right now that I don't think, in our entire history, we've ever looked at," said Kelly. "We're in a constitutional crisis where the executive . . . overreaches so egregiously the powers that he has, and says to the Congress, 'You are no longer relevant. You are no longer important.'"
Kelly said a showdown over separation of powers has been building for a while, at least since the last State of the Union address — when, he said, Obama made clear to Congress his disdain for its role in checking his authority.
"I watched him do it on the State of the Union last year," he said, "and what was more surprising and sickening than anything else is that half of the people on the other side of the aisle stood up and cheered.
"You just were cheering for a man who told you, 'You don't count. You don't matter. You're irrelevant to me,' " said Kelly.
Kelly said the president's disregard seems to extend beyond Congress to the American people and to the Constitution itself.
"Apparently, the oath doesn't mean anything," said Kelly. "The oath of office, to him, is insignificant."
But Kelly cautioned
against overreacting or being baited into what might be perceived by the country as a disproportionate response.
"We will wait to see what he does," said Kelly, promising that Congress "won't be shrill."
"We have a Constitution," said Kelly. "We follow it. It is the envy of the world. I don't think we should allow one man to upset it, and we'll look very carefully at what he offers. We'll come back with a very thoughtful response to it, and we will uphold the oath of office that we took."
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