When Fleming was asked if the president has the legal or constitutional authority to bypass Congress to raise the minimum wage on federal contracts, or advance his climate and energy agenda, as White House adviser John Podesta told NPR on Tuesday, he replied:
“Well, no I don’t. Again, I find it amazing that the president of the United States, representing one branch of government, would go to Congress, the other branch of government, and inform them that he is going to usurp their powers and he’s going to do an end-run. And I do believe he will attempt to do that, and he may have some success.
“Why? Because the attorney general, Eric Holder, does his bidding for him, and so does [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid, and the Congress cannot stop what the president does, it’s illegal, without both chambers being involved.
“So the leader of the Senate is failing in his responsibility to jealously guard the power of the Congress in the checks and balances of government. So he, as well as the president, as well as Eric Holder, are all acting unconstitutionally and unlawfully to do that.”
“Have you ever seen this kind of disregard of Congress in your time in Washington?” CNSNews.com asked Fleming.
“I have not, ever,” he replied. “You know, my life goes back to Eisenhower, and I think that much of what this president has done in terms of targeting people, in terms of lawlessness, would certainly make Richard Nixon blush if he were still alive.”
However, since impeachment is “a political process,” and Reid “would never allow a House impeachment to go forward,” congressional Republicans find themselves in a difficult dilemma, Fleming noted.
“The president has a tight circle of people who carry out many of his deeds, and they bufferize the president, [and] protect him from the political and legal ramifications of what he does. He’s very well schooled in Chicago politics. So that’s very problematic.
“Unfortunately, Congress does not have the power to reverse elections, and the American people reelected President Obama knowing what he was - an extreme, aggressive liberal - and now America’s paying the heavy price for that,” he added.
Although he believes that President Obama does have the authority to single-handedly raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 for all new federal contracts, the Louisiana Republican said that “it’s an idiotic thing to do.
“Why? Because it only applies to contracts going forward, which means that either the contractors are going to have to bid up and factor that into the cost, which means more cost to taxpayers, or you’re going to have fewer workers. And so the same negative effects we see in a down economy will occur.”
Fleming concluded that Americans’ “only real option” to restore the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches is to elect a Republican majority in the Senate this November.
Other conservative House members also voiced their frustration over the president’s unprecedented usurpation of congressional authority.
Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz) told CNSNews.com that unilaterally raising the minimum wage for federal contracts is not only unconstitutional, but “pure Obama political theater,” since he could find no current contracts in which employees were being paid less than $10.10 per hour.
However, like his colleague from Louisiana, Schweikert said that it will be “quite a battle” to stop Obama with the Senate in Democratic hands.
“We’ll go to the courts and do what is necessary in the funding arena, but this just demonstrates how far Obama goes to be an imperial president.
“A few years ago the Left was screaming about how George W. Bush’s ‘imperial presidency’ would cause the destruction of the Republic,” Schweikert added. “This president is doing it on steroids. Where’s the intellectual honesty of the Left? Their duplicity right now is just stunning.”
“Our nation is one of laws, and no one – including the President of the United States - is above the law,” agreed Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) “I have opposed President Obama’s efforts to bypass the will of Congress on multiple occasions. You can be sure I will continue working with my colleagues to hold him and his administration accountable.”
“If the President wants Congress to help him advance his agenda, unilaterally signing executive orders like this is the wrong approach,” Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) said in a statement. “I understand that the President wants to distract from his poor record on the economy and Obamacare, but signing executive orders to create headlines and more Washington polarization is a sad display of leadership.”