Wednesday, March 12, 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. – H.R. 4138, the ENFORCE (Executive Needs to Faithfully Observe and Respect Congressional Enactments of the Law) Act passed the House of Representatives today with bipartisan support. Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) spoke on the House floor on this legislation – video is available below, as well as a transcript of his remarks:
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"I rise in support of the ENFORCE Act, which reins in the growing problem of executive overreach in this Administration and helps re-establish the checks and balances inherent in our Constitution.
"Our Founders crafted a Constitution with limited and enumerated powers for the three branches of government. Unfortunately, executive branch overreach, especially into the prerogatives of the legislative branch, has significantly increased in recent years. This overreach is so significant that this Administration has not only ignored and undermined statutory requirements, it has effectively made law without congressional consent. While the executive branch undoubtedly has great powers, the Constitution expressly prohibits it from picking and choosing which laws it will enforce. If the constitutional limits on executive power are simply being ignored, it is up to Congress to demand accountability on behalf of the American people.
"This should not be a partisan issue, but instead should focus on restoring the proper role of the executive to ensure the laws of Congress that are passed are faithfully executed. I urge my colleagues to join me in support of this legislation, which restores the balance of power to our government and preserves the foundation of our Constitution.
"I yield back the balance of my time."
· The ENFORCE the Law Act puts in place a procedure to allow the House or Senate to authorize a lawsuit against the Executive Branch in the event that it fails to faithfully execute the law.
· The bill also allows for expedited consideration of this type of lawsuit by providing for direct appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.