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Who Needs A Legislative Branch?

House Democrats, frustrated they can’t pass their progressive agenda, are using their Congressional Retreat to propose circumventing Congress and have President Biden simply adopt their hare-brained ideas through Executive Orders.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told reporters at the retreat that her group will release a list of proposed executive orders this week: “Certainly there are a lot of areas where a) if we don’t get legislation, the administration could take action and b) the administration can take action to help move us more quickly towards the goals that we’re working on.”

What makes Jayapal’s plan worrying is that she now has Rep. James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, the No. 3 ranking House Democrat and a close Biden ally, on board. Clyburn says he recently met with White House officials to discuss executive actions Biden could take: “I’d be very pleased if Biden’s legal staff could do some research…. to see whether that or not executive orders can be used to accomplish some of these (priorities).”

Progressives have a long list of “creative”  uses of executive power that are part of a demand list. For starters, Jayapal wants Biden to issue executive actions to cap the price of insulin, raise the overtime eligibility threshold for workers, and add more subsidies to Obamacare.

Such notions would stretch the power of executive orders beyond anything ever before contemplated. But recall that President Obama publicly said more than 20 times that he had no power to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants. Right up until he did exactly that during his 2012 reelection campaign.”

If Biden follows the Jayapal-Clyburn model, we are looking at a future government that is guided not by law, but by presidential fiat.

It’s one thing to try and jam through a fundamental transformation of American life in an evenly divided Congress. It’s something else entirely if it’s attempted as a part of one-man rule.

Now is the time for believers in the Rule of Law to make clear that lawsuits to block any Executive Order overreach will be filed within hours of anything being announced.

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