Monday, even the reliably pro-Obama New York Times woke up to the reality that Obama is now routinely bypassing Congress to govern by bureaucrat decree (a fact they could have learned in great detail in my book "Democracy Denied" by the way, but I digress).
Today, the United States Senate will have an opportunity to do something about it, when they vote later this afternoon on the Enzi Resolution, S.J. Res 36, which would stop one of Obama’s serial abusers of bureaucratic power, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in its tracks.
I discussed the Enzi Resolution in some detail here in Fox News Opinion last month, but suffice it to say that today’s vote has enormous practical and symbolic significance.
As a practical matter, if would overturn one of the NLRB’s most egregious power grabs, the attempt to change the rules governing union elections without authorization from Congress, specifically to shorten the timetable so union organizers can catch employers by surprise and to erode key safeguards employers presently have to ensure that only eligible voters are able to vote in union elections.
If just 51 senators agree to overturn the rule, it would go to President Obama’s desk. He might veto it, but only at great political expense.
Symbolically, the vote has even larger significance, because it gives every U.S. senator an opportunity, on the record, to show whether they approve of a president who now bypasses Congress so regularly that even the New York Times is reluctantly reporting on it.
There will likely be only two such opportunities before the election for senators to assert their constitutional responsibility to write the laws: today’s vote on the NLRB and an expected vote next month on the EPA’s regulations on coal-fired power plants.
With only two opportunities to show voters they intend to stand up to an administration that prefers to govern by decree than through the messy – but constitutionally proper – process of moving legislation through both houses of Congress, senators should think very carefully about the stakes in today’s vote.
While I think the ambush elections rule is economically harmful and destructive of workers rights, even liberal Democrats who believe in empowering union bosses should be wary of ceding away legislative authority to unaccountable federal bureaucrats. There may soon be, after all, a new president who will use the vastly expanded powers of the president in domestic policy for other purposes.
Given the groundswell of interest in the Constitution, there is no better time than today to get back to the very first thing our Founders wrote after the famous preamble. Article I, Section 1, which says: “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”
Let's be clear -- The Founders were not talking about a sprawling federal bureaucracy, or a president who insists that “we can’t wait” for Congress, or in an NLRB controlled by union bosses.
It’s easy to get frustrated with Congress and stop being an engaged citizen, but if you’re concerned about this issue I urge you to let your senators know how you feel. Go to www.StopTheNLRB.com and weigh in on today’s vote. Tell your legislators that you expect them to do the job of legislating. And then, if they refuse to, work to replace them with someone who will.
Phil Kerpen is the founder of American Commitment Action Fund, on the web at www.BookerFAIL.com.