Congress Takes Up Identifying ‘High Crimes And Misdemeanors’ By The President
by Randy DeSoto, Western Journalism
A Florida congressman, tired of what he sees as the president’s continued abuse of executive authority, has introduced legislation to define what constitutes impeachable “high crimes and misdemeanors” by the Chief Executive.
Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., wants to establish clear standards that, if violated by the president, will trigger impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives.
In an interview with World Net Daily regarding his bill, House Resolution 198, Yoho said: “Every time we go back to the district and even before I ran, people said, ‘The three branches of government are out of balance. When is Congress going to stand up and have some accountability and rein in the power of the executive branch?’”
“At some point, we’ve got to draw that line that says from this point forward, all presidents – I don’t care if they’re Republican, Democrat, from the planet Mars – they’re going to be held to the confines of the Constitution,” he added.
Some of the offenses HR 198 delineates as impeachable include: 1) issuing executive orders or presidential memoranda that infringe upon or circumvent the constitutional powers of Congress; 2) failing to take care that the laws be faithfully executed through signing statements or systematic policies of non-enforcement; 3) substituting executive agreements for treaties; 4) misusing federal agencies to advance a partisan political agenda; 5) refusing to comply with a congressional subpoena for documents or testimony issued for a legitimate legislative purpose; and 6) initiating war without express congressional authorization.
For Yoho, President Obama’s “executive amnesty,” which he announced last fall, was the final straw. “Over 30 times in a six-year period of time, he said he did not have the authority to change the law on immigration, yet he went ahead and did,” the representative said.
A federal judge currently has issued a preliminary injunction blocking the president’s executive order implementing the new policy, while its constitutionality is determined in court.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, released a report last spring with 76 different offenses, many which would qualify as impeachable under HR 198’s proposed new standards. Among them are:
– Disregarded 1996 welfare reform law in granting broad work waivers for work requirements of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
– Implemented portions of the DREAM Act, which Congress rejected, by executive action.
– Issued signing statements, refusing to enforce parts of congressional-enacted statutes.
– Falsely portrayed the Benghazi terrorist attack as a spontaneous protest against an anti-Muslim YouTube video, and then lied about the White House’s involvement.
– Delayed the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate for two years.
– Illegally granted businesses a waiver from Obamacare’s employer mandate. Twice.
– Illegally required people to violate their faith via the Obamacare contraception mandate.
– Government agencies are engaging in “Operation Choke Point,” where the government asks banks to “choke off” access to financial services for customers engaging in conduct the Administration does not like—such as “ammunition sales.”
– Illegally targeted conservative groups for heightened IRS scrutiny.
– Secretly obtained phone records from staff at the Associated Press.
Liberal constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley believes that “The United States is at a constitutional tipping point: The rise of an uber presidency unchecked by the other two branches.”
In testimony before Congress last July, he said: “It is tempting to embrace rule by a single person who offers to govern alone to get things done. However, this is the very siren’s call that our founders warned us to resist.”