Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay believes President Barack Obama use of executive power has gone beyond what should ever be constitutionally acceptable.
“If it’s not tyranny, I don’t know what it is,” DeLay told TheBlaze. “But this president is violating his oath of office. He’s abusing his power. The president of the United States, I don’t know where he gets the notion that he can legislate, change legislation, decide what law he’ll enforce and not enforce, this is all violating the Constitution of the United States and probably many statutes.”
Obama has used executive action to change the Obamacare law that was enacted with his support, to impose gun restrictions, to impose carbon emission rules that failed to pass Congress, to change immigration rules after Congress rejected a similar proposal, and a unilateral decision by the Justice Department on drug laws.
DeLay also said that the Obama administration has misused the government, citing the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative groups and the treatment of State Department employees who were prevented from talking to Congress about the terrorist attack in Benghazi.
DeLay refrained from calling for specific action against the president, but said the standards would be different if it was a Republican president.
“The use of government to oppress his enemies – the IRS scandal, Benghazi, they’re abusing the employees of the federal government that were there in Benghazi as we speak—if a Republican had done this, the national media would be calling for impeachment and drive him out of office,” DeLay said. “It’s just unbelievable and scary who this president thinks he is and the tyranny that he is beginning to inflict on the American people.”
One way to restore the balance of powers, DeLay said, is for the House of Representatives to reassert itself on the powers of taxing and spending. His forthcoming book, “Shut’er Down” that’s due out this summer, calls for a “constitutional revival.”
“The House of Representatives was given the majority back after the election of 2010,” DeLay said. “From the moment that new Congress was sworn in, I would have done exactly what we did in 1995 and that is send a message to the president of the United States that there is a new majority in town that, by the Constitution, has the power of the purse and we’re going to exercise that power.”
The example he gave for winning was the 1995 government shutdown, widely seen as a PR problem for Republicans but a policy win.
“The result of that shutdown in 1995 was that we won,” DeLay continued. “We sent a very real message to Bill Clinton, we’ll take you over the edge. The signal and the understanding that Clinton finally got was that we were serious about who we were in the new majority and from that day forward, the rest of the Clinton administration, he never got to sign one major bill that he initiated, because everything started in the House of Representatives, we did the welfare reform, we balanced the budget, we held the line on spending, we cut taxes, on and on and on and on, deregulation.”
Recent years were tough for DeLay, who has faced criticism along with the then-Republican majority Congress for boosting spending and the size of government during the administration of President George W. Bush. DeLay also had a near decade-long legal fight with Texas state prosecutors over an alleged campaign finance violation. Last September, an appeals court overturned his conviction by a lower court of the charges.
Asked about the current House Republican leadership, which conservatives have criticized, DeLay said, “I don’t go there. People have to make their own decision there.”
But he added that simply because the Democrats hold the Senate majority doesn’t mean the House can’t control the agenda. That’s because all taxing and appropriations bills must originate in the House under the Constitution.
“People think I’m crazy, but I don’t care who is president,” DeLay said. “What I care about is who’s in the majority of the House of Representatives because they have the power of the purse and therefore they have the power over everything if they would just exercise it, they would end up ultimately winning.”
Follow Fred Lucas (@FredVLucas3) on Twitter