“The people of the First District sent me to Congress to fight for a better America for our children and grandchildren, and to defend and uphold the Constitution, which is part of the reason why I carry a copy of the Constitution in my pocket every time I cast a vote on the House floor,” Roe said in a fiery statement posted to his website and emailed to media outlets throughout his district after his vote in support of a lawsuit to stop the president from circumventing the will of the elected members of the legislative branch.
”I take these duties very seriously, and I believe something must be done to stop this executive overreach. I hope this vote sends a strong and clear message to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.”
Roe’s strength and resolve to protect and preserve “our nation’s most sacred document — the Constitution” couldn’t be contained by just one statement.
“No president can rewrite the law, regardless of their political party affiliation,” he said in one.
“You can rest assured I will always fight to stop executive overreach and protect our Constitution as long as I have the honor of serving you in Congress,” he said. “We live in the best country in the world, and I won’t let anyone — including the President of the United States — trample on the system of checks and balances clearly laid out in the Constitution.”
In another, Roe said the nation would be unable to accomplish anything meaningful if the president continued to act without congressional authority.
“It’s up to the president. He can walk back his irresponsible governing tactics and work with Congress, or he can expect strong pushback from both chambers until the end of his presidency,” he said.
It’s refreshing to see Roe so emphatically stand up to the White House.
Oh wait. That wasn’t today’s White House. Roe made the above statements between 2014 and 2016 when President Barack Obama, a Democrat, tried to use executive orders to force action on immigration and health care.
Apologies for the outdated information, but, based on the congressman’s unmistakable determination, he’s surely spoken out against President Donald Trump’s recent attempt to use a national emergency declaration to allocate funding Congress considered and rejected for $5.7 billion worth of border barriers. The people of the First District didn’t elect him for different reasons in 2016 than they did in previous terms, did they?
Let’s see Roe’s own words about the emergency declaration:
“President Trump has consistently offered good-faith solutions that improve our border security while updating our country’s immigration laws, but Democrats have made clear they have no interest in compromising on this issue of national importance. This failure by Democrats to cooperate has left the president with no choice but to use an executive action to address the emergency at our southern border.”
No matter the party, our elected representative in the House has consistently been inconsistent. In fact, it seems like Roe is giving today’s president a pass to unilaterally circumvent a hard-fought compromise budget bill that passed both houses of Congress by more than two-thirds majorities. The debate over that border barrier funding sent us into the longest government shutdown in history.
Heck, Roe voted for that budget bill, and now he’s OK with a president negating his vote?
It’s not difficult to see that Roe’s posturing is political gamesmanship. But this isn’t a game.
The Supreme Court rightly blocked Obama’s executive action on immigration reform because it’s up to Congress to write the laws that govern our nation — though we’re still waiting for Congress to take any action at all to mend the dysfunctional immigration system.
Some Republicans, including Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, recognize the constitutional problems represented by the president’s emergency declaration. Should the Supreme Court rule it constitutional, Congress would lose its “power of the purse,” one of its most important checks on presidential powers.
Oval Office occupant aside, Roe’s waffling between uncompromising hardliner and party cheerleader negates both the things he’s said in the past and the things he’s saying in the present. And because he’s our voice in Congress, we end up being ignored.