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January 28, 2014 3:38 PM Boehner’s Brick Wall

By Ed Kilgore

Ah, just can’t resist poking some more fun at the Orange Man before being forced to gaze upon his permatan for an hour or so as it glows just behind the president tonight.

Informed of the president’s intention to take action via executive order in areas where Congress has done nothing, the Speaker spoke:

House Speaker John Boehner warned President Barack Obama that he will “run into a brick wall” by using his executive power and bypassing Congress, as the White House has signaled the President intends to do.
“We’re just not going to sit here and let the President trample all over us,” said Boehner.
“This idea that he’s just going to go it alone, I have to remind him we do have a constitution. And the Congress writes the laws, and the President’s job is to execute the laws faithfully. And if he tries to ignore this he’s going to run into a brick wall.”

Somebody needs to explain to Boehner that executive orders typically flow from laws authorizing the president to issue them. He can fight that in court if he wants, but there’s not some plenary constitutional ban on executive orders.

As for the “brick wall,” it should be fairly obvious that the inertia produced by divided control of Congress and exceptional levels of Republican obstruction will not be Boehner’s ally when it comes to overturning executive orders. That “brick wall” has two sides, and at least so long as Democrats control the Senate, they’re not going to be participating in any crusade against Obama’s agenda.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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