Jackson Lee on SOTU: ‘Executive Orders are Legal,’ Obama Acting ‘On Behalf of the American People’

January 29, 2014 - 4:53 PM

sheila jackson lee

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas). (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr)

(CNSNews.com) – In reference to President Barack Obama’s pledge, during his State of the Union speech, to advance his agenda on climate change and the minimum wage by executive order, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said “executive orders are legal” and that he is “acting on behalf of the American people.”

At the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday evening, CNSNews.com asked Rep. Lee,  “What about the Republicans criticizing the use of executive orders when it comes to climate change and minimum wage – his use of executive orders?”

Rep. Jackson Lee said, “As I was saying,  [the address] was appealing to the needs of the American people. And, frankly, if the American people are crying out for relief - they’re crying out for unemployment insurance, or climate change or the Affordable Care Act and the president is mandated to do what he can on behalf of the American people – executive orders are legal and they will be addressed by the legal system if they are overreaching.”

Jackson Lee also said that the president “knows the Constitution.”

“Frankly, the president knows his confines,” Jackson Lee said. “He knows the Constitution.”

Obama State of Union

President Barack Obama delivers the State of Union address before a joint session of Congress in the House chamber Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Larry Downing, Pool)

“We know what is right on behalf of the people of the United States,” she said. “And he has a right to use executive order.”

“My friends in the Congress who are Republicans always say as Democrats, ‘Let’s work together,’” Jackson Lee said. “If we can work together and pass legislation, the president has already said he will sign it.”

Jackson Lee further said Congress should put people back to work.

“Let’s create job legislation that puts people back to work,” she said. “Technology. Energy.  Putting people back to work rather than criticizing work on behalf of the American people. Let’s come together and do work on behalf of the American people.”