We have spent just about all of the Barack Obama Administration decrying its myriad abuses of powers it doesn’t have.
Often, the font of these power grabs are President Obama executive orders.
The Executive Branch is called that for a reason – it executes laws, it does not write them.
Every Executive Branch Department, Agency, Commission and Board is actually a creation and creature of the Legislative Branch – Congress. None of these arms of the Leviathan can do anything unless and until Congress passes laws giving them the authority.
These laws also establish the parameters within which the agencies are supposed to work – limiting the flights of regulatory fancy we now so frequently see.
For decades, these agencies have been warping beyond all recognition the laws written to constrain them. Worse still, they are incessantly creating out whole cloth all new authorities – generating “laws”they then get to execute.
The courts, for their part, have far too often lost their Constitutional perspective on the proper separation and balance of powers.
The Executive Branch has grown (and grown, and…) to become legislators, executors and enforcers – all by their onesies.
Congress – whose Legislative Branch powers are the ones being usurped – should be outraged, right? And be fighting mightily to rein in the runaway Executive?
Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee said that the new Congressional Full Employment Caucus will “give President Obama a number of executive orders that he can sign.”
Not so much. For Democrats – and we have long known this – ideology way trumps the Constitution.
Why did these Democrats run to be legislators – if they are willing to actively assist the Executive Branch in end-running their elective reason for being?
One of the areas in which the Executive Branch has been most progressively proactive is the Internet. Likely because they have so little Congressionally-granted authority – and they want to play catch up. For instance:
The Executive Branch’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has twice imposed Network Neutrality. The D.C. Circuit Court has twice unanimously thrown the FCC’s imposition out – as lacking Congressionally-granted authority.
That authority would emanate (it actually does not) from the 1996 Telecommunications Act – the last time Congress wrote relevant law. Nowhere therein is the FCC told to impose a neutral network.
That same law also classified the Internet as an Information Service (Title I). Not as a Communications Service (Title II) – which is where the devoid-of-innovation landline telephone has been consigned since the 1934 Telecommunications Act.
Does the law matter to these guys?
Of course not. Their “solution”to not having been given the authority by Congress’ law to impose Net Neutrality – is to unilaterally rewrite Congress’ law to grant themselves authority.
Congressional Democrats (Sheila Jackson Lee and her gaggle aside) are outraged at this brazen usurpation of their gigs – right?
Representative Anna Eshoo is urging the FCC to oversee Internet providers using Title II of the Communications Act….
Representative Zoe Lofgren also called for a mix of Title II and forbearance….
Rep Waxman’s proposal also relies on Title II….
Not so much. They are – in Jackson Lee Gaggle-esque fashion – happily helping the Executive Branch illegally do their jobs for them.
You know what they could do instead? Help their Congressional Republican colleagues. Who are doing what they all – Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Whigs – were elected to do. Write laws.
Do you think 1996 law applies to the 21st Century Internet? Neither do I. Neither do they.
Democrats think 1934 law applies. Okay, fine. Make that pitch in the legislative process – amongst the officials We the People have chosen. Rather than working with unelected Executive Branch bureaucrats on yet another power grab.
And see whose ideas win the day.
By the way – very few Democrats in 1996 thought the 1934 Act should apply to the Internet. Else the 1996 law would have consigned the Internet to Title II – and no Reclassification would now be (allegedly) necessary.
But if Reclassification is to Constitutionally occur – Congress has to do it.
So let’s get back to the proper order of things. The Legislative Branch legislates – then (and only then) the Executive Branch executes.
And if Congressional Democrats don’t want to adhere to the Constitution and do their jobs – We the People should take their jobs from them.
Editor’s Note: This first appeared in Human Events.