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Obama's end-runs around Congress spark bipartisan criticism

 

President Obama has repeatedly pledged, "If Congress refuses to act, I'll do everything in my power to act without them," and as he makes good on his promise it's sparking criticism from both the right and left.  

At a House Judiciary Committee hearing this week, GOP lawmakers repeatedly expressed frustration with the president's end-runs around Congress on everything from non-enforcement of immigration laws to massive re-writes of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  

Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., says the president, "doesn't have a debate in the Oval Office about what he wants to do," adding, "he does what he wants to do, and then you no longer have representative democracy."

George Washington University law professor and Obama supporter Jonathan Turley says he's troubled by the expansion of executive power under both President George W. Bush and now President Obama.  

"The problem of what the president is doing is that he is not simply posing a danger to the constitutional system; he is becoming the very danger the Constitution was designed to avoid: that is, the concentration of power in any single branch," he said.  

Turley's comments came as part of his testimony before the committee.

Article II of the U.S. Constitution calls on the president to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Simon Lazarus, Senior Counsel for the Constitutional Accountability Center, says that's exactly what President Obama is doing by modifying the ACA so that the law can be successfully implemented.  

Lazarus also testified before the committee.  

"I have to say that hyperventilating about how extraordinary and unprecedented and unconstitutional these delays are is just that, it's hyperventilation and it’s contrary to obvious historical fact," Lazarus said.

Though experts testifying before the committee mentioned impeachment as the ultimate check on executive power, Republicans on the committee gave the idea no real consideration - given that the Senate is controlled by Democrats. They also expressed frustration that under current legal precedent it is virtually impossible for members to sue the executive branch.  

The experts seemed unified in expressing to the committee that the one viable solution "comes down to elections."

Shannon Bream joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in 2007 and is a Washington-based correspondent covering the Supreme Court. She also serves as the anchor of "America's News Headquarters" (Sundays at 12-2PM/ET). Click here for more information on Shannon Bream