Obama’s Abuses of Power

“You’ve grown up hearing voices…warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices…Because what they suggest is that we can’t be trusted.”

–President Barack Obama, May 6, 2013

Over the last two weeks, an unprecedented abuse of power has illustrated the lawless nature of the Obama Administration. They have ignored the law, the Constitution, and Congress, and have engaged in behavior for which President Nixon faced articles of impeachment. The American people deserve full accountability on all fronts, and I will not rest until that is done.

Our government is in crisis – from the IRS’s intimidation of political opponents; to the continuing cover-up in the Benghazi investigation; to an assault on our First Amendment right to a free and independent press; to Secretary Sebelius’s solicitation of private donations to implement Obamacare. We must remember the words of James Madison, who said that “the truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted.” These events prove what many of us have long feared — that the current Administration has sharply rejected our Constitutional principles of limited government in favor of unbridled liberalism.

The politicization of the Internal Revenue Service is Nixonian in its means and un-American in its ends. Respect for the rule of law is the foundation of our Republic, and the Administration’s complete disregard for it is frightening. I am actively working with other Members of Congress to find those responsible, hold them accountable, and make sure that this cannot happen again. I have already contacted Treasury Secretary Jack Lew asking for answers about the scandal. Additionally, I have cosponsored the Taxpayer Nondiscrimination and Protection Act, which reaffirms the Constitutional right of political expression and makes it a federal crime for the IRS to discriminate in this manner.

It’s much the same situation with the cover-up in Benghazi. New evidence is steadily emerging that State Department officials knew of the terrorist threat to our diplomatic corps and ignored and covered up the situation for political reasons. Our government has a duty to those who serve our country—it should protect them to the greatest extent possible and move heaven and earth to rescue them when they are in danger. What happened in Benghazi is inexcusable. I am a lead coauthor of legislation calling for a select congressional committee with subpoena power to investigate the situation, prosecute the guilty, and most importantly, to prevent failures like this one.

Additionally, the media has reported that Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has solicited financial donations for non-profits that are working to enroll individuals in the Obamacare exchanges. Federal regulations specifically prohibit federal employees from fundraising in their official capacity. The solicitations that have been reported in the news appear to be improper, and this week I led a letter with 33 of my colleagues to the Department of Health and Human Services asking for answers about this scandal.

Finally, the Department of Justice’s investigation into Associated Press reporters is just another incident in a long train of abuses from Eric Holder’s out-of-control agency. From the Fast and Furious program, where a plan to give guns to known criminals resulted in the death of a Border Patrol agent, to classifying a terrorist attack at Ft. Hood as an incident of “workplace violence” and denying benefits to the victims’ families, to this overreach into our free and independent press, the Department of Justice is only out to enforce a partisan agenda. There is no excuse for this, and I will continue to press for answers and hold people accountable.

No one is above the law and there is no excuse for this type of overreach by any individual or agency. It will be a long and uphill battle, but please know that I will do everything in my power to make sure that all of these abuses of power are investigated and those responsible are brought to justice.


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