Not surprisingly, Macomb’s two representatives in Congress, Candy Miller and Sandy Levin, split their vote on the successful House resolution to sue the president.
Here’s the floor statement by Miller, a Harrison Township Republican:
The ultimate law of our great nation is not the important work we undertake here in this House, above all, it is the Constitution we all swear to preserve, protect and defend.
The first words of the Constitution, Article 1, Section 1, are the following:
‘All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives.’
Not some, but all legislative powers are vested in the Congress of the United States. No other entity of our federal government has the power to write law – not the executive branch or the judicial branch – only Congress.
Article 1, Section 7, states the following:
‘Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the president of the United States; if he approves he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it…’
If he approves, it shall become law, if not, he vetoes the law and sends it back to Congress. Nowhere is the president given the authority to rewrite the law on his own.
And Article 2, Section 3, places the following responsibility with the President:
‘He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.’
This resolution asks the third branch of government, the judicial branch, to solve problems arising from the president’s failure to faithfully execute the law, specifically aspects of the Affordable Care Act, as he is required in Article 2, Section 3, and to have exercised power expressly given to Congress to write the law under Article 1.
The founders in their genius put in place this system of checks and balances for a very important purpose, which is to make certain that no one person could both impose and enforce the law, because that type of action amounts to tyranny. In short, we have no king in this nation.
As the representative of the people of the 10th District of Michigan, and someone who is sworn to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, I believe strongly that I have a responsibility to support this resolution so that the courts can affirm that legislative power is vested in this House, the People’s House, and not in the White House.
As the Chairman of the Committee on House Administration, I will have the responsibility to verify that any contracts with those who will litigate this case comport to the rules of the House. That is a responsibility that I take very seriously.
As such, many on the minority side have asked how much this will cost. My answer is that we do not yet know because no contracts have been negotiated and we do not know how long such litigation will take to conclude.
But the questions I would ask are ‘what price do you put on the adherence to the rule of law?’ ‘What price do you place on the continuation of our system of checks and balances?’ And ‘what price would you place on our Constitution?’
My answer to each is ‘priceless.’ I can assure all of my colleagues that this process will move forward with due diligence, it will be conducted within the rules of this House, and it is my firm hope that, in the end, the courts will uphold the constitutional principles that are the bedrock upon which our great nation has been built.”
Levin, a Royal Oak Democrat who represents most of Macomb County, said this:
Republicans today are choosing lawsuits over legislating. They are choosing to sue the President rather than pursue action to support the American economy.
There’s no shortage of legislation that’s awaiting action:
Immigration reform. A bipartisan Senate bill is awaiting action.
Unemployment insurance. A bipartisan Senate bill has never gotten a vote in the House. Held up by the speaker.
The Employment Nondiscrimination bill, the Senate bill, not brought up here. Held up by the speaker.
Paycheck fairness, not brought up.
A minimum wage bill, not brought up.
Export-Import bank, caught in the contest and the conflicts within the Republican conference.
A highway bill – another patch, showing the inability of the House Republicans to face up to the need for a long term highway bill.
And voting rights reform? There is a bill sponsored by a senior Republican in this House and that has not seen the light of day.
Instead, Republicans are choosing to sue.
For what it’s worth, a new Public Policy Polling survey found that only 41% of voters in the country believe that the lawsuit instigated by House Speaker John Boehner is legitimate, compared to 51% who think it’s just a political stunt. Beyond that PPP reports that 56% think the lawsuit is a bad use of taxpayer money, with only 36% expressing the sentiment that it’s a good use.
One final point: As former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said this morning, by the time the suit is decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, under normal timelines Obama will be out of office.