“I was a constitutional law professor, which means unlike the current president I actually respect the Constitution.”
— Barack Obama, March 30, 2007
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopolous” that President Barack Obama’s presidency is becoming “increasingly lawless,” because the president is “actually contradicting law” or “proposing new laws without going through Congress.”
“We have an increasingly lawless presidency,” said Ryan.
“We have an increasingly lawless presidency where he is actually doing the job of Congress, writing new policies and new laws without going through Congress,” Ryan said. “Presidents don’t write laws. Congress does, and when he does things like he did in health care – delaying mandates that the law said was supposed to occur when they were supposed to occur, that’s not his job.”
“The job of Congress is to change laws if he doesn’t like them – not the presidency. So executive orders are one thing, but executive orders that actually change the statute, that’s totally different,” Ryan said.
Stephanopolous asked Ryan if he really thought Obama’s proposals are unconstitutional, pointing out that the rate of the president’s executive orders is far behind Presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton.
According to the National Archives Federal Register, Obama has signed 167 executive orders as of Dec. 23, 2013. President George W. Bush signed 291 executive orders, and his father, President George H.W. Bush signed 166 executive orders. President Bill Clinton signed 364 executive orders.
“It’s not the number of executive orders. It’s the scope of the executive orders,” said Ryan. “It’s the fact that he’s actually contradicting law like in the health care case, or proposing new laws without going through Congress, George. That’s the issue. So this is a big concern. We have an increasingly lawless presidency.”