Presidential Power Grab: Dem Rhetoric vs. Reality

Dems Claim To Be ‘Concerned About The Constitutional Separation Of Powers,’ But When The Chips Are Down They Back A President Who Is Blatantly ‘Ignoring The Law’


Dem Rhetoric: ‘Frankly Am Concerned About The Constitutional Separation Of Powers’

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): “I disagree with the president’s decision to use executive action to make changes to our immigration system...” (CBS News, 11/20/14)

  • MANCHIN: “I also agree with my Republican colleagues that President Obama should not have executed action—he should not have used his Executive action to make changes in our immigration system.” (Sen. Manchin, Congressional Record, S.729, 2/3/15)

SEN. ANGUS KING (I-ME): “I also frankly am concerned about the constitutional separation of powers. You know, the Constitution says that the Congress makes the law and the president executes it. It's a very clear division. The Framers knew what they were doing and it doesn't say if the president gets frustrated and Congress doesn't act, he gets to do, you know, what he thinks is important for the country.” (“Sen. Angus King: Executive Action On Immigration Could Backfire,” NPR, 11/19/14)

SEN. JOE DONNELLY (D-IN): “It is clear the immigration system in this country is broken, and only Congress has the ability to change the law to fix it. … the President shouldn’t make such significant policy changes on his own.” (Sen. Donnelly, Press Release, 11/20/14)

SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D-MO): “Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri said she supported comprehensive immigration reform but was concerned by Obama's plan. ‘I have to be honest, how this is coming about makes me uncomfortable, I think it probably makes most Missourians uncomfortable.’” (“Some Senate Democrats Balk At Obama's Unilateral Immigration Approach,” Reuters, 11/19/14)

  • MCCASKILL: “Yes, I said it. I am uncomfortable with the President issuing Executive orders such as this—no matter what party it is, no matter who the President is.” (Sen. McCaskill, Congressional Record, S.724, 2/3/15)

SEN. HEIDI HEITKAMP (D-ND): “I’m disappointed the president decided to use executive action at this time on this issue, as it could poison any hope of compromise or bipartisanship in the new Senate before it has even started. It’s Congress’ job to pass legislation and deal with issues of this magnitude.” (“Obama Fails To Convince Some Dems On Immigration,” Politico, 11/20/14)

SEN. AL FRANKEN (D-MN): “I have concerns about executive action. ... This is a job for Congress…” (“More Senate Democrats Urge President Obama To Delay Immigration Order,” Politico, 9/5/14)

SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA): “A big issue like immigration, the best way to get a comprehensive solution is to take this through the legislative process.” (“Warner: ‘Right Decision’ To Delay On Immigration,” The Hill, 9/8/14)

SEN. JON TESTER (D-MT): “Democratic Senator Jon Tester of Montana said he would like to see Congress try again. ‘I would prefer the Congress acted, yes,’ Tester said. ‘I think it would be great to have the House take up the Senate-passed bill …. That would be a solution to the problem.’” (“Some Senate Democrats Balk At Obama's Unilateral Immigration Approach,” Reuters, 11/19/14)


Dem Reality: A Palace Guard Protecting A President ‘Ignoring The Law’

“All 46 members of the Democratic caucus voted against cloture on the motion to proceed to the $39.7 billion measure (HR 240), citing opposition to five House Republican amendments that effectively reverse executive actions on immigration…” (“Democrats Rebuff DHS Bill Over Immigration Provisions,” Roll Call, 2/3/15)

PRESIDENT OBAMA: “…if we start broadening that, then essentially I would be ignoring the law in a way that I think would be very difficult to defend legally. So that's not an option.” (President Obama, Remarks, 9/17/13)



Related Issues: Senate Democrats, Immigration, Executive Orders