Scott Tibbs

Congress needs to stop hiding from its authority

By Scott Tibbs, March 22, 2023

Two recent news stories have highlighted a fundamental problem with our government today. Instead of writing and voting on legislation, Congress has done everything they can to abandon their responsibility and instead hand sole power to the executive branch. The members of Congress can then serve as guest commentators on evening talk shows, setting themselves up for a second career in the media as pundits once they are out of politics.

The first story is the Supreme Court's review of President Biden's executive action to "forgive" student loan debt, done without the consent of Congress under an emergency law passed in the aftermath of September 11. The second story is that the "House Foreign Affairs Committee voted to give President Biden the power to ban TikTok." In both cases, the President can "legislate" by fiat, as the Congress continues to become more and more irrelevant. Just on the salaries of our elected legislators alone, we are spending $93,090,000 every year on people who have intentionally made themselves useless.

Obviously, the Supreme Court should strike down Biden's action on student loans. Biden does not have the legal authority to cancel student loan debt, especially without congressional approval. Both Slate and the Democratic Party want to mutilate the Supreme Court to act as a rubber stamp to Biden's power grab. This is a direct assault on the rule of law and a dangerous politicization of our court systems. Under the Democrats' plan, our courts would not be about the law, but about narrow partisan interests.

But that is just a symptom of the problem. Rather than introducing legislation to ban TikTok or appropriate money to forgive all student loan debt, Congress instead shuffles off a legislative responsibility to the executive branch. Congress is making itself irrelevant by refusing to do their jobs, and the power of the President continues to expand far beyond what the Founders intended. This is why every Presidential election produces such bitter divisions, because the President has far more power than he legally should.

Our constitutional system of government is very good, and very wise. The founding fathers expected that Congress would jealously guard its authority, and they designed Congress to be the most powerful branch of government. But for many generations now, we have seen Congress embrace cowardice over responsibility. Many of us were told in school that the legislative branch writes the law, the executive branch enforces the law, and the judicial branch interprets the law. But the executive branch has devoured the legislative branch's authority, and the legislators themselves were happy to give it up.

This needs to stop. We should only elect legislators who take their job seriously and are committed to governing by legislation. We do not need more people in Washington preening for the C-SPAN cameras or trying to be guests on Fox News or MSNBC at every opportunity. We need legislators who are determined to take back their authority from the executive branch. We also need a President who is disciplined enough to not abuse his authority. We certainly do not have that with Biden, and we will not have that if we re-elect Donald Trump.

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