It has begun. The president of the United States, Barack Obama, has stated recently that he will work with congress where he can, but that he has “a pen and a phone”. A lot of people do.
What the president meant is that he will make the changes he desires through executive order instead of doing the hard work of passing legislation thought congress. His first volley is to raise the minimum wage for federally contracted workers from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour. The president is expected to take the executive action on Tuesday and announce it during his state of the union speech.
The increase from the current national rate of $7.25 will not benefit existing federal contractors. Rather, it will be a benefit enjoyed exclusively by new hires. Further, according to the Associated Press, contract renewals will not be affected by the increase unless “other terms of the agreement change.”
It’s important to remember that the increase is limited in scope and it will not apply across the board. This will no doubt upset some of the louder proponents of wage increases.
The announced increase is the most recent example of Obama making good on his vow to work around Congress to accomplish specific goals.
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) on Tuesday slammed President Barack Obama’s plan calling it a “constitutional violation.”
Increasing the wage for federal contractors technically does not require congressional authority, but King believes it is beyond the scope of the president’s authority.
“I think it’s a constitutional violation,” King said during a CNN interview. “We have a minimum wage. Congress has set it. For the president to simply declare ‘I’m going to change this law that Congress has passed,’ is unconstitutional. He’s outside the bounds of his Article II limitations.”
“This threat that the president is going to run the government with an ink pen and executive orders, we’ve never had a president with that level of audacity and that level of contempt for his own oath of office,” King added.
What I believe we are seeing develop not only on the national level with the three branches but on the state level too is lawlessness. Each of the three branches have their authority spelled out in the state and national constitutions.
When the president uses his pen and his phone to act outside of the scope of his powers without consideration of the precedence his actions will set. The congress is enabling this behavior as the democrat held senate believes they are standing with their guy, while the republican held house does not have the stomach to challenge the president in any meaningful way.
It is no better in New Mexico as Gov Martinez and the legislature have ceded their authority to the courts on several issues as if they do not have co-equal powers.
Be prepared in the days to come as the nations descends the slippery slope of transition from a democratic republic to dictatorship with a powerless congress and court. If America does not take a stand in the next few days, we can say goodbye to the land of the free and the home of the brave because neither can be found here anymore.