Rep. Gowdy Uses Obama’s Own Words Against Him In Response to Veto Threat

By Barbara Hollingsworth | March 13, 2014 | 2:25pm EDT

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) (

( – Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) used President Obama’s own words as a U.S. senator to excoriate him for threatening to veto the ENFORCE the Law Act, which would provide a streamlined system for a house of Congress to the sue the Executive Branch for failing to enforce laws passed by Congress.

“How does going from being a senator to a president rewrite the Constitution?” Gowdy asked.

Telling House members that he was going to give them a “pop quiz,” Gowdy added, “That may seem unfair to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, but I’m going to give them a hint: the answer to every one of the questions is the same. I’m going to read a quote, and then you tell me who said it."

‘These last few years, we’ve seen an unacceptable abuse of power, having a president whose priority is expanding his own power.’

“Any guess on who said that, Mr. Speaker? It was Senator Barack Obama,” Gowdy said during an impassioned speech on the House floor.

“Here’s another one: ‘No law can give Congress a backbone if it refuses to stand up as a co-equal branch the Constitution made it.’

“Senator Barack Obama.”

‘What do we do with a president who can basically change what Congress passed by attaching a letter saying I don’t agree with this part or that part?’

“Senator Barack Obama."

‘I taught the Constitution for ten years. I believe in the Constitution.’

“Senator Barack Obama."

“And my favorite, Mr. Speaker": ‘One of the most important jobs of the Supreme Court is to guard against the encroachment of the executive branch on the power of the other branches. And I think the chief justice has been a little too willing and eager to give the president more power than I think the Congress or the Constitution originally intended.’

“So my question, Mr. Speaker, is how in the world can you get before the Supreme Court if you don’t have standing? What did the president mean by that, when he looked to the Supreme Court to rein-in executive overreach? If you don’t have standing, how can you possibly get before the Supreme Court?

“So my question, Mr. Speaker, is what’s changed? How does going from being a senator to a president rewrite the Constitution?” Gowdy asked. “What’s different from when he was a senator?”

Noting that prosecutors and police officers are required to follow the law “or the defendant walks,” Gowdy went on to say that “we all swore an allegiance to the same document that the president swears allegiance to, to faithfully execute the law. So I will be listening intently during this debate for one of my colleagues to explain to me what that phrase means…

“And if a president does not faithfully execute the law, Mr. Speaker, what are our remedies? Do we just sit and wait on another election? Do we use the power of the purse, the power of appeasement? Those are punishments, those are not remedies,” Gowdy declared.

“The remedy is to do exactly what Barack Obama said to do, to go to court, to go to the Supreme Court and have the Supreme Court say once and for all we don’t pass suggestions in this body, Mr. Speaker, we don’t pass ideas. We pass laws, and we expect them to be faithfully executed.”

Gowdy’s ENFORCE The Law Act, which the House passed Wednesday, allows a single chamber of Congress, or both chambers acting in concert, to file an expedited civil action against any member of the executive branch who “has established or implemented a formal or informal policy, practice, or procedure to refrain from enforcing, applying, following, or administering any provision of a Federal statute, rule, regulation, program, policy, or other law” in violation of Article II, Section 3, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution, which states that the president "shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”

A three-judge panel in U.S. District Court would hear the case, and the panel’s ruling could only be appealed directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

President Obama has threatened to veto the bill if it makes it past the Senate.

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