Last week, President Obama made a series of "recess" appointments to the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Labor Relations Board even though the Senate was not in recess. Article I, Section 5, Claus 4 of the U.S. Constitution unambiguously states that "Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days." No consent was voted on or confirmed by Congress. Furthermore, the Clinton Justice department found in 1993 that a Senate break had to last at least three days before it could count as a recess, a finding that President Obama’s own deputy solicitor general (Neal Katyal) confirmed while arguing before the Supreme Court last year. Finally, Democrats in the Senate, under Harry Reid’s leadership, used pro-forma sessions of Congress to block George W. Bush’s ability to recess appoint nominees in 2007 and 2008. So no matter how the President and his lawyers try to spin it, Congress was still in session, and the President engaged in an unprecedented and blatantly unlawful action by issuing these appointments. Even Leftist Timothy Noah wrote at The New Republic last week, "I’m having trouble understanding how the recess appointment of Cordray can possibly withstand a legal challenge… I just don’t see how these appointments can be legal."
We need Presidents – no matter their political party affiliation – who respect and obey the Constitution and the rule of law. All Presidents must understand that the power of our government is and should be limited by constitutional design. The mandated separation of powers and checks & balances implemented by our Founders were done with a view towards restraining executives in the White House who would embrace dictatorial and tyrannical control over Congress, the states, and the American people. Unfortunately, this recent display of arrogance is just one more example of unlawful and unwise action on the part of our President.
The President also announced last week that he will make additional cuts to the military and defense budget (in addition to the cuts that Republicans already agreed to last year). While the President says these cuts – which include a reduction of ground troops by 10%-15% – will create a leaner and meaner military, the reality is, our new military will be forced to reject 70 years of strategy since they will no longer be able to fight two wars simultaneously. Bill Krystal of the Weekly Standard said these cuts would "decimate our military, and weaken the United States of America." He stated further that these cuts are "unbelievably irresponsible." This is another unwise decision by our President that makes us weaker as a nation, and an increasingly favorable target of our enemies.
We need a new President in January 2013. The future of our country depends on it.
Glen Meakem is a successful technology entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and conservative talk radio show host, who offers information and insights on how individuals and our nation can be more successful. Glen’s unique perspective has been shaped by his experiences as founder, chairman and CEO of the B2B internet success Freemarkets Inc – which he founded in 1995, took public in 1999, and sold to Ariba in 2004. In 2005, Glen co-founded Meakem Becker Venture Capital, a firm that invests in early stage start up companies. Concerned about the liberal political agenda that has gripped the United States and his home state of Pennsylvania, Glen launched "Glen Meakem on the Weekend" in 2008. Glen served as an officer in the United States Army Reserve and is a veteran of the First Gulf War. He also earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard and his MBA from Harvard Business School. For more information about Glen and his radio program, or to read his blog, please visit http://glenmeakem.com.
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