President Obama’s catalogue of faults is a long read, but the biggest problem with his presidency comes down to his steadfast refusal to stay within the boundaries of the executive branch. Again and again, this supposed constitutional scholar trampled like a wild bull over the checks and balances that keep our government from sliding into tyranny. Democrats, pleased to see their liberal agenda being imposed on the country, chose to ignore Obama’s flagrant defiance of the Constitution.
In a way, it may turn out to be a good thing for the country that Donald Trump and congressional Republicans do not see eye to eye on all issues. If this were President Jeb Bush, it would be all too tempting to hold onto all of that power that Obama created for himself. Hey, it was good enough for Democrats, right? Why should we be held to a double standard?
The problem, of course, is that you’re setting precedents that will still be in place when the other guys are in charge. Democrats spent the last eight years acting as though there would never be another Republican president. That’s why they’re so terrified and shocked by Trump’s election. Only now do they see the folly of allowing their president to run roughshod over the legislature.
At the starting gate, though, it looks like the GOP is going to make it a priority to steal back some of their rightful power on Capitol Hill. In the opening week of the 115th Congress, House Republicans are scheduled to bring two bills up for a vote that would give lawmakers the final say when it comes to federal regulations. The Midnight Rules Act and the REINS Act, if passed, will erase this president’s final-year regulations and force all major regulations in the future to be approved by the House and Senate.
“Our federal agencies are out of control, and Congress is partly to blame for that,” said Rep. Doug Collins. “We’ve ceded our legislative responsibility to agencies that were never intended to make laws, and the result has been redundant, counterproductive rules that have massive impacts on our economy.”
The success of the new Congress will depend largely on how much of Obama’s agenda they can eliminate, but it will also depend on restoring the system of checks and balances upon which our Republic’s future rests. Let’s hope the GOP washes away the worst of this president’s stains.