Congressman Jim Gerlach wrote an impassioned op-ed in the Pottstown Mercury this morning in which he asserts that President Obama has overstepped the boundaries of executive power through a misuse of executive orders, and by warping the constitution to fit his own needs.
Gerlach, who represents Pennsylvania’s sixth district, argued that the United States is facing a constitutional crisis akin to the Watergate era.
“Regrettably, the current administration has sought to expand the limits of executive power once again, reminding many of us of the trying days our republic endured under President Nixon,” Gerlach wrote.
To support his argument, Gerlach cites three examples: an executive order concerning immigration and deportation, Obama’s decision to postpone a portion of the health-care law a few weeks ago, and Attorney General Holder’s memo that made alterations to federal marijuana laws. Despite his heavy assertions, Gerlach does not offer any comparative data to suggest that Obama is using his executive powers in a manner that is significantly different from past presidents.
The Congressman concludes the piece by arguing that President Obama has largely abandoned the interests of the nation’s founders.
“So if our nation is now confronted with a chief executive who regularly legislates by executive order, regulation or memo rather than engaging and winning over the Congress to achieve policy goals, are we not in a time where the constitutional law-making process created by the founders has been turned on its head for the sake of executive expediency?” Gerlach asked.
In the past, Gerlach has been portrayed as one of the most moderate members of the Republican caucus. With this op-ed, however, the Congressman now joins a growing list of Republicans who have sought to portray the Obama administration as unconstitutional and overly active.