- 1 Presidents Who Have Been Impeached
- 2 Impeachment Overview
- 2.1 Oath of Office
- 2.2 Constitutional Duties
- 2.3 Precedent for Impeachment
- 2.4 Strongest Precedents
- 2.5 Other Precedents
- 2.6 Circumstances Needed for Impeachment
- 3 Basis for Obama's Impeachment
- 3.1 Executive Overreach
- 3.2 Spying/Stealing Information
- 3.3 IRS Abuse
- 3.4 Public Dishonesty
- 3.5 Conspiracy to Commit Murder
- 3.6 Bribery
- 3.7 Obstruction of Justice
- 3.8 Defaming Congress
- 3.8.1 No GOP Healthcare Bills
- 3.8.2 GOP Jobs Bills
- 3.8.3 Blocking Bills to Help Middle Class?
- 4 Conclusion
- 5 External Sources
- 6 References
Presidents Who Have Been Impeached
Andrew Johnson, a southern Democrat who gained the presidency following Abraham Lincoln's assassination, was impeached for abuse of executive authority by the 'Radical Republicans' who ran Congress at the time. After passing a Tenure of Office Act to restrict Johnson's abuse of executive authority, Johnson bypassed Congress to violate the new legislation by removing the Secretary of War without Congressional approval, triggering the impeachment proceedings.
|“|| "After Lincoln’s assassination, the Radicals at first welcomed Andrew Johnson as president. But Johnson quickly indicated his intention to pursue Lincoln’s lenient Reconstruction policies. The Radicals turned on him, formed the Joint Committee of Fifteen to assure congressional rather than presidential control of Reconstruction, and passed a number of measures for the protection of Southern blacks over Johnson’s veto. Johnson attempted to break the Radicals’ power by uniting all moderates and by going on an extensive speaking tour during the 1866 congressional elections. But the strategy failed, and the Radicals won a resounding victory. They then showed their displeasure with Johnson by passing the Tenure of Office Act, restricting the president’s ability to remove civil officers. When Johnson proceeded to remove his secretary of war in violation of the Tenure of Office Act, the House of Representatives voted to impeach him, and the Senate failed by just one vote to remove him from office."
- See also Impeachment of Andrew Johnson
The articles of impeachment all specifically related to Andrew Johnson's violation of the Tenure of Office Act, and bypassing Congress to unilaterally reject Constitutional legislation:
- Article 1 claims that Johnson, being "unmindful of the high duties of his office, of his oath of office, and of the requirement of the Constitution that he should take care that the laws be faithfully executed, did unlawfully and in violation of the Constitution and laws of the United States issue and order in writing for the removal of Edwin M. Stanton from the office of Secretary for the Department of War..."
- Article 2 says Johnson "without the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States... without authority of law, did, with intent to violate the Constitution of the United States and the act aforesaid, issue and deliver to one Lorenzo Thomas a letter of authority..."
- Article 3 claims Johnson "without authority of law... did appoint one Lorenzo Thomas to be Secretary for the Department of War, ad interim, without the advice and consent of the Senate, and with intent to violate the Constitution of the United States..."
- Article 4 accuses Johnson of being "unmindful of the high duties of his office, and of his oath of office, in violation of the Constitution and laws of the United States" because he "did unlawfully conspire... to hinder and prevent Edwin M. Stanton, then and there, the Secretary for the Department of War, duly appointed under the laws of the United States, from holding said office of Secretary for the Department of War, contrary to and in violation of the Constitution of the United States, and of the provisions of an act..."
- Article 5 claims Johnson did "unlawfully conspire with one Lorenzo Thomas, and with other persons in the House of Representatives unknown, to prevent and hinder the execution of an act" because he "did attempt to prevent Edwin M. Stanton, then and there being Secretary for the Department of War, duly appointed and commissioned under the laws of the United States, from holding said office..."
- Article 6 says Johnson "did unlawfully conspire with one Lorenzo Thomas, by force to seize, take, and possess the property of the United States in the Department of War, and then and there in the custody and charge of Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary for said Department, contrary to the provisions of an act... with intent to violate and disregard an act..."
- Article 7 says Johnson "did unlawfully conspire with one Lorenzo Thomas with intent unlawfully to seize, take, and possess the property of the United States in the Department of War, in the custody and charge of Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of said Department, with intent to violate and disregard the act..."
- Article 8 accuses Johnson of "intent unlawfully to control the disbursements of the moneys appropriated for the military service and for the Department of War..."
- Article 9 accuses Johnson of acting "in disregard of the Constitution and the laws of the United States... with intent thereby to induce said Emory, in his official capacity as Commander of the department of Washington, to violate the provisions of said act..."
- Article 10 levels the charge "That said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, unmindful of the high duties of his office and the dignity and proprieties thereof, and of the harmony and courtesies which ought to exist and be maintained between the executive and legislative branches of the Government of the United States, designing and intending to set aside the rightful authorities and powers of Congress, did attempt to bring into disgrace, ridicule, hatred, contempt and reproach the Congress of the United States, and the several branches thereof, to impair and destroy the regard and respect of all the good people of the United States for the Congress and legislative power thereof, (which all officers of the government ought inviolably to preserve and maintain,) and to excite the odium and resentment of all good people of the United States against Congress and the laws by it duly and constitutionally enacted... Which said utterances, declarations, threats and harangues, highly censurable in any, are peculiarly indecent and unbecoming in the Chief Magistrate of the United States, by means whereof the said Andrew Johnson has brought the high office of the President of the United States into contempt, ridicule and disgrace, to the great scandal of all good citizens..."
- Article 11 concludes "That the said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, unmindful of the high duties of his office and of his oath of office, and in disregard of the Constitution and laws of the United States, did, heretofore, to wit... declare and affirm in substance, that the Thirty-Ninth Congress of the United States was not a Congress of the United States authorized by the Constitution to exercise legislative power under the same; but, on the contrary, was a Congress of only part of the States, thereby denying and intending to deny, that the legislation of said Congress was valid or obligatory upon him, the said Andrew Johnson, except in so far as he saw fit to approve the same... did, unlawfully and in disregard of the requirements of the Constitution that he should take care that the laws be faithfully executed, attempt to prevent the execution of an act entitled 'An act regulating the tenure of certain civil office,' passed March 2, 1867, by unlawfully devising and contriving and attempting to devise and contrive means by which he should prevent Edwin M. Stanton from forthwith resuming the functions of the office of Secretary for the Department of War..."
All 11 impeachment articles were successfully passed by the House, but the first 3 articles when voted on all came up 1 vote shy of the 36 needed for impeachment, 35-19. Following this the Senate abandoned the impeachment process. Historian David O. Stewart has presented evidence showing some of the votes for acquittal were likely the result of bribery. In 1926 the Supreme Court declared the Tenure of Office Act unconstitutional, claiming the president has a right to fire federal officials.
In a successful 1972 election year in which he received over 60% of the popular vote (receiving a massive 520 electoral votes to McGovern's 17), Richard Nixon committed one of the most infamous crimes in U.S. history. On June 17th, 1972 five burglars were caught sneaking into Democratic National Committee headquarters with electronic equipment for spying. This occurred after a previous May break-in that resulted in stealing copies of top-secret documents and bugging office phones.
|“|| "The prowlers were connected to President Richard Nixon’s reelection campaign, and they had been caught while attempting to wiretap phones and steal secret documents. While historians are not sure whether Nixon knew about the Watergate espionage operation before it happened, he took steps to cover it up afterwards, raising 'hush money' for the burglars, trying to stop the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from investigating the crime, destroying evidence and firing uncooperative staff members."
-The History Channel
Nor was this an isolated case of Nixon using the presidency to spy for his own political agenda.
|“|| "Those activities had started in 1970 after The New York Times revealed a secret bombing campaign against neutral Cambodia in Southeast Asia was being conducted as part of the American war effort in Vietnam. Following the revelations, Nixon ordered wiretaps of reporters and government employees to discover the source of the news leaks.
In 1971, the Pentagon Papers were published in The New York Times, detailing the U.S. Defense Department's secret history of the Vietnam War. A 'Plumbers' unit was then established by Nixon aides in the White House with the sole purpose of gathering political intelligence on perceived enemies and preventing further news leaks. A team of burglars from the 'Plumbers' then broke into a psychiatrist's office looking for damaging information on Daniel Ellsberg, the former defense analyst who had leaked the Pentagon Papers to the press.
In 1972, as part of Nixon's re-election effort, a massive campaign of political spying and 'dirty tricks' was initiated against Democrats, leading to the Watergate break-in to plant bugs (tiny audio transmitters) inside the offices of the Democratic National Committee."
-Philip Gavin, The History Place
- See also Impeachment of Richard Nixon
While only 3 articles of impeachment were created against Richard Nixon, this was because he resigned, more were in the process of being created pending said resignation. The articles accused Nixon of unlawful theft of political intelligence, lying about this to officers of the United States/the public and withholding data/evidence, giving misleading testimony to Congress and the courts, interfering with investigations, misusing the CIA/Department of Justice/IRS/FBI/Secret Service to discriminate and steal information, bribery for false testimony, harming the constitutional right to a fair trial, not executing laws faithfully, and misusing executive power to interfere with Congressional investigation.
- Article 1 claimed "Richard M. Nixon, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has prevented, obstructed, and impeded the administration of justice, in that: On June 17, 1972, and prior thereto, agents of the Committee for the Re-Election of the President committed unlawful entry of the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in Washington, District of Columbia, for the purpose of securing political intelligence. Subsequent thereto, Richard M. Nixon, using the powers of his high office, engaged personally and through his subordinates and agents in a course of conduct or plan designed to delay, impede and obstruct investigations of such unlawful entry; to cover up, conceal and protect those responsible and to conceal the existence and scope of other unlawful covert activities. The means used to implement this course of conduct or plan have included one or more of the following:
(1) Making or causing to be made false or misleading statements to lawfully authorized investigative officers and employees of the United States.
(2) Withholding relevant and material evidence or information from lawfully authorized investigative officers and employees of the United States.
(3) Approving, condoning, acquiescing in, and counseling witnesses with respect to the giving of false or misleading statements to lawfully authorized investigative officers and employees of the United States and false or misleading testimony in duly instituted judicial and congressional proceedings.
(4) Interfering or endeavoring to interfere with the conduct of investigations by the Department of Justice of the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the office of Watergate Special Prosecution Force and congressional committees.
(5) Approving, condoning, and acquiescing in, the surreptitious payments of substantial sums of money for the purpose of obtaining the silence or influencing the testimony of witnesses, potential witnesses or individuals who participated in such unlawful entry and other illegal activities.
(6) Endeavoring to misuse the Central Intelligence Agency, an agency of the United States.
(7) Disseminating information received from officers of the Department of Justice of the United States to subjects of investigations conducted by lawfully authorized investigative officers and employees of the United States for the purpose of aiding and assisting such subjects in their attempts to avoid criminal liability.
(8) Making false or misleading public statements for the purpose of deceiving the people of the United States into believing that a thorough and complete investigation has been conducted with respect to allegation of misconduct on the part of personnel of the Executive Branch of the United States and personnel of the Committee for the Re-Election of the President, and that there was no involvement of such personnel in such misconduct; or
(9) Endeavoring to cause prospective defendants, and individuals duly tried and convicted, to expect favored treatment and consideration in return for their silence or false testimony, or rewarding individuals for their silence or false testimony."
- Article 2 claimed Nixon "has repeatedly engaged in conduct violating the constitutional rights of citizens, imparting the due and proper administration of justice and the conduct of lawful inquiries, or contravening the laws governing agencies of the executive branch and the purposes of these agencies. This conduct has included one or more of the following:
(1) He has, acting personally and through his subordinated and agents, endeavored to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposes not authorized by law, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigation to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.
(2) He misused the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secret Service, and other executive personnel, in violation or disregard of the constitutional rights of citizens, by directing or authorizing such agencies or personnel to conduct or continue electronic surveillance or other investigations for purposes unrelated to national security, the enforcement of laws, or any other lawful function of his office; he did direct, authorize, or permit the use of information obtained thereby for purposes unrelated to national security, the enforcement of laws, or any other lawful function of his office; and he did direct the concealment of certain records made by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of electronic surveillance.
(3) He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, in violation or disregard of the constitutional rights of citizens, authorized and permitted to be maintained a secret investigative unit within the office of the President, financed in part with money derived from campaign contributions to him, which unlawfully utilized the resources of the Central Intelligence Agency, engaged in covert and unlawful activities, and attempted to prejudice the constitutional right of an accused to a fair trial.
(4) He has failed to take care that the laws were faithfully executed by failing to act when he knew or had reason to know that his close subordinates endeavored to impede and frustrate lawful inquiries by duly constituted executive; judicial and legislative entities concerning the unlawful entry into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, and the cover-up thereof, and concerning other unlawful activities including those relating to the confirmation of Richard Kleindienst as attorney general of the United States, the electronic surveillance of private citizens, the break-in into the office of Dr. Lewis Fielding, and the campaign financing practices of the Committee to Re-elect the President.
(5) In disregard of the rule of law: he knowingly misused the executive power by interfering with agencies of the executive branch: including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Criminal Division and the Office of Watergate Special Prosecution Force of the Department of Justice, in violation of his duty to take care that the laws by faithfully executed.
In all of this, Richard M. Nixon has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Wherefore Richard M. Nixon, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office."
- Article 3 says that Nixon "failed without lawful cause or excuse, to produce papers and things as directed by duly authorized subpoenas issued by the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives, on April 11, 1974, May 15, 1974, May 30, 1974, and June 24, 1974, and willfully disobeyed such subpoenas. The subpoenaed papers and things were deemed necessary by the Committee in order to resolve by direct evidence fundamental, factual questions relating to Presidential direction, knowledge or approval of actions demonstrated by other evidence to be substantial grounds for impeachment of the President. In refusing to produce these papers and things, Richard M. Nixon, substituting his judgement as to what materials were necessary for the inquiry, interposed the powers of the Presidency against the lawful subpoenas of the House of Representatives, thereby assuming to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the sole power of impeachment vested by Constitution in the House of Representatives.
In all this, Richard M. Nixon has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice, and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Wherefore, Richard M. Nixon, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial and removal from office."
Nixon, facing inevitable impeachment, ultimately resigned rather than be impeached, the first president to do so, which led to Congress dropping the impeachment proceedings. His successor and former Vice President, Gerald Ford, then pardoned him.
Early scandals marred the Clinton presidency after his victory in the 1992 elections. While the Lewinsky affair is what typically comes to mind, there were actually a number of scandals that harmed relations between Clinton and Congress.
|“|| "Additionally, a barrage of political and personal scandals plagued the Clinton administration in its first term. The most damaging issue surrounded charges that the Clintons had illegally profited from their involvement with a failed savings and loan that had dealings in Arkansas real estate on the Whitewater River. Charges swirled fast and furious, specifically linking the White House to a cover-up of the Whitewater affair and the suicide of Vincent Foster, a top White House aide and close friend of Hillary Clinton. Moreover, the administration was negatively affected by allegations of suspicious commodity dealings by the First Lady (she had turned a $1,000 investment in commodities into a $100,000 profit), and the rumored sexual escapades of President Clinton while governor of Arkansas (including allegations that he had sexually harassed an Arkansas state employee, Paula Corbin Jones)."
-Miller Center, University of Virginia
Furthermore, disagreement over federal spending levels led to early conflict between the new Republican Congress, elected into power after the 1994 elections, and resulted in the government shutdowns of 1995 and 1996. Republicans insisted on balancing the budget to stop Bill Clinton's reckless spending, while Democrats depicted then-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich as a crybaby. Sharp conflict between the two sides on spending foreshadowed the coming impeachment, and John Boehner in 1996 stated "It shows us that Bill Clinton is the big-spending liberal Democrat we always thought he was. It doesn't save the solvency of Medicare, it doesn't make the changes in it that will give Medicare recipients the choices they want. It continues welfare as we know it -- there's no real welfare reform."
|“|| "Recall that it was the Clinton White House that fought Republicans every inch of the way in balancing the budget in 1995. When Republicans proposed their own balanced-budget plan, the White House waged a shameless Mediscare campaign to torpedo the plan — a campaign that the Washington Post slammed as 'pure demagoguery.' It was Bill Clinton who, during the big budget fight in 1995, had to submit not one, not two, but five budgets until he begrudgingly matched the GOP’s balanced-budget plan. In fact, during the height of the budget wars in the summer of 1995, the Clinton administration admitted that 'balancing the budget is not one of our top priorities.' And lest we forget, it was Bill Clinton and his wife who tried to engineer a federal takeover of the health care system — a plan that would have sent the government’s finances into the stratosphere. Tom Delay was right: for Clinton to take credit for the balanced budget is like Chicago Cubs pitcher Steve Trachsel taking credit for delivering the pitch to Mark McGuire that he hit out of the park for his 62nd home run."
-Stephen Moore, Cato Institute
In January 1998 Clinton's affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky came to light, and as part of grand jury testimony in a sexual harassment case filed by another woman, Paula Jones, Bill Clinton dishonestly claimed he had sex with Lewinsky, and furthermore asked Lewinsky to lie about it under oath. In 1999 a federal judge even held Clinton in contempt of court for "false, misleading and evasive answers that were designed to obstruct the judicial process" in the Paul Jones sexual harassment case. All of this culminated in the Republican Congress impeaching Clinton for perjury; lying under oath.
- See also Impeachment of Bill Clinton
Ultimately 4 articles of impeachment were presented against Bill Clinton.
- Article 1 accused Clinton of perjury and claimed "Contrary to that oath, William Jefferson Clinton willfully provided perjurious, false and misleading testimony to the grand jury concerning one or more of the following:
(1) the nature and details of his relationship with a subordinate Government employee;
(2) prior perjurious, false and misleading testimony he gave in a Federal civil rights action brought against him;
(3) prior false and misleading statements he allowed his attorney to make to a Federal judge in that civil rights action; and
(4) his corrupt efforts to influence the testimony of witnesses and to impede the discovery of evidence in that civil rights action."
- Article 2 accused Clinton of perjury in the Paula Jones case, stating he "has willfully corrupted and manipulated the judicial process of the United States for his personal gain and exoneration, impeding the administration of justice... William Jefferson Clinton willfully provided perjurious, false and misleading testimony in response to questions deemed relevant by a Federal judge concerning the nature and details of his relationship with a subordinate Government employee, his knowledge of that employee's involvement and participation in the civil rights action brought against him, and his corrupt efforts to influence the testimony of that employee."
- Article 3 involved obstruction of justice and claimed "William Jefferson Clinton, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has prevented, obstructed, and impeded the administration of justice, and has to that end engaged personally, and through his subordinates and agents, in a course of conduct or scheme designed to delay, impede, cover up, and conceal the existence of evidence and testimony related to a Federal civil rights action brought against him in a duly instituted judicial proceeding...
(1) On or about December 17, 1997, William Jefferson Clinton corruptly encouraged a witness in a Federal civil rights action brought against him to execute a sworn affidavit in that proceeding that he knew to be perjurious, false and misleading.
(2) On or about December 17, 1997, William Jefferson Clinton corruptly encouraged a witness in a Federal civil rights action brought against him to give perjurious, false and misleading testimony if and when called to testify personally in that proceeding.
(3) On or about December 28, 1997, William Jefferson Clinton corruptly engaged in, encouraged, or supported a scheme to conceal evidence that had been subpoenaed in a Federal civil rights action brought against him.
(4) Beginning on or about December 7, 1997, and continuing through and including January 14, 1998, William Jefferson Clinton intensified and succeeded in an effort to secure job assistance to a witness in a Federal civil rights action brought against him in order to corruptly prevent the truthful testimony of that witness in that proceeding at a time when the truthful testimony of that witness would have been harmful to him.
(5) On January 17, 1998, at his deposition in a Federal civil rights action brought against him, William Jefferson Clinton corruptly allowed his attorney to make false and misleading statements to a Federal judge characterizing an affidavit, in order to prevent questioning deemed relevant by the judge. Such false and misleading statements were subsequently acknowledged by his attorney in a communication to that judge.
(6) On or about January 18 and January 20-21, 1998, William Jefferson Clinton related a false and misleading account of events relevant to a Federal civil rights action brought against him to a potential witness in that proceeding, in order to corruptly influence the testimony of that witness.
(7) On or about January 21, 23 and 26, 1998, William Jefferson Clinton made false and misleading statements to potential witnesses in a Federal grand jury proceeding in order to corruptly influence the testimony of those witnesses. The false and misleading statements made by William Jefferson Clinton were repeated by the witnesses to the grand jury, causing the grand jury to receive false and misleading information."
- Article 4 states "Using the powers and influence of the office of President of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton... has engaged in conduct that resulted in misuse and abuse of his high office, impaired the due and proper administration of justice and the conduct of lawful inquiries, and contravened the authority of the legislative branch and the truth-seeking purpose of a coordinate investigative proceeding in that, as President, William Jefferson Clinton, refused and failed to respond to certain written requests for admission and willfully made perjurious, false and misleading sworn statements..."
Only 2 of the 4 articles succeeded in passing the House of Representatives. While articles 1 and 3 passed successfully, articles 2 and 4 did not.
- Article 1: Passed 228-206 in the House of Representatives at 1:25 p.m. on Saturday, December 19, 1998.
- Article 2: Failed 229-205 in the House of Representatives at 1:42 p.m. on Saturday, December 19, 1998.
- Article 3: Passed 221-212 in the House of Representatives at 1:59 p.m. on Saturday, December 19, 1998.
- Article 4: Failed 285-148 in the House of Representatives at 2:15 p.m. on Saturday, December 19, 1998.
The remaining 2 articles were sent to the U.S. Senate, where both failed to receive the 2/3 majority required for impeachment.
- Article 1: Failed 45-55 in the Senate at 12:08 p.m. on Friday, February 12, 1998.
- Article 3: Failed 50-50 in the Senate at 12:36 p.m. on Friday, February 12, 1999.
Unlike with previous impeachment efforts, the GOP suffered in public opinion polls from the Clinton impeachment attempt, likely because the impeachment was over a private incident that affected only Clinton's personal life, rather than broad criminal misconduct like with Nixon or Johnson. In actuality the decline in public approval had begun after the 1995-96 government shutdown because Clinton successfully portrayed the GOP unfavorably as supportive of the wealthy rather than average Americans.
Oath of Office
The oath of office of president is as follows:
|“||"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."||”|
This oath is specifically identified in Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution. A president is thus swearing to "faithfully execute the Office of President" and "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
As such, a president's sole purpose is to fulfill their office and preserve the Constitution. Their duties as elaborated in the U.S. Constitution are as follows:
|“|| Article II, Section 2: "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session."
Section 3: "He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States."
It is therefore evident that, first of all, the president's goal is to uphold the will of Congress in many cases. This is seen from the first paragraph of Article II, Section 2, that the president may not pardon those whom Congress has impeached, his power does not extend to overriding Congressional impeachments. It is also clarified in the second paragraph that the president may only make treaties and nominate officials (including ambassadors, public ministers/consuls, supreme court judges, and all other officers) with the approval of Congress. In the third paragraph it is evident that the president may only appoint vacancies when the Senate is in recess and unable to make the appointments itself. Finally the president's power is to "recommend" for Congressional consideration, not to override the will of Congress, as seen from Article II, Section 3.
The president's primary purpose is thus laid out in Article II, Section 3, "he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States."
Precedent for Impeachment
Grounds for impeachment of a president are specifically identified in Article II, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution:
|“||"The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."||”|
Violating Congressional Laws
Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution specifically states that the president "shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed" which is why previous impeachment proceedings specifically identified this as a violation. The very first article of impeachment filed against President Andrew Johnson, which came within one vote of impeachment, accused him of being "unmindful of the high duties of his office, of his oath of office, and of the requirement of the Constitution that he should take care that the laws be faithfully executed..." Article 2 against Johnson repeated this, stating "without the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States... without authority of law, did, with intent to violate the Constitution of the United States and the act..." Article 3 likewise reiterates that Johnson acted "without authority of law... without the advice and consent of the Senate..." All 3 articles came within 1 vote of impeachment, and thus provide some of the strongest basis for impeachment.
Article 11 against Johnson was even more specific, saying that "in disregard of the Constitution and laws of the United States" Andrew Johnson was declaring "the Thirty-Ninth Congress of the United States was not a Congress of the United States authorized by the Constitution to exercise legislative power under the same; but, on the contrary, was a Congress of only part of the States, thereby denying and intending to deny, that the legislation of said Congress was valid or obligatory upon him, the said Andrew Johnson, except in so far as he saw fit to approve the same, and also thereby denying the power of the said Thirty-Ninth Congress to propose amendments to the Constitution of the United States."
The impeachment of Richard Nixon likewise recognized the primary importance of a president to execute the laws of Congress, stating in Article 1, that Nixon was "in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed..." Article 2 against Nixon likewise accused him of "contravening the laws governing agencies of the executive branch and the purposes of these agencies..."
This was likewise repeated in the impeachment articles against Bill Clinton. Article 1, which came within 22 votes of impeachment, stated that Clinton acted "in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed..." The remaining 3 articles all repeated this same wording that Clinton had not faithfully executed the laws, including Article 3 which came within 17 votes of impeaching the president.
Thus, the strongest precedent for impeachment of a president is on the basis that he has not faithfully executed the laws passed by Congress. In each major impeachment scandal, this wording has featured prominently in the impeachment articles, as it finds its origin directly in the U.S. Constitution. The primary purpose of a president as seen from Article II of the U.S. Constitution is to uphold the laws passed by Congress, and if violating that duty should be impeached, per Andrew Johnson.
Treason is specifically identified as a basis for impeachment in Article II, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution specifically defines treason in Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution:
|“|| "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted."
Giving "Aid and Comfort" to enemies, "levying War against them", or "adhering to their Enemies" are thus basis for a treason charge. However, no charge is valid unless accompanied by the testimony of at least two witnesses or an open court confession. This Constitutional requirement is based on Biblical precepts from the Mosaic Law that noone be condemned to death apart from two or more witnesses.
|“|| Numbers 35:30 Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person to cause him to die.
Deuteronomy 17:6 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.
Deuteronomy 19:15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.
Matthew 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
2 Corinthians 13:1 This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
Hebrews 10:28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
Revelation 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
As with treason, bribery is explicitly mentioned in the Constitution as a basis for impeachment.
|“||"The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."||”|
Article 1, Section 5 of the impeachment articles against Richard Nixon accused him of bribery, accusing Nixon of "Approving, condoning, and acquiescing in, the surreptitious payments of substantial sums of money for the purpose of obtaining the silence or influencing the testimony of witnesses, potential witnesses or individuals who participated in such unlawful entry and other illegal activities." Article 1, Section 9 against Nixon likewise charged him with "Endeavoring to cause prospective defendants, and individuals duly tried and convicted, to expect favored treatment and consideration in return for their silence or false testimony, or rewarding individuals for their silence or false testimony."
Article 3, Section 4 of the impeachment articles against Bill Clinton likewise accused him of committing bribery, stating that "William Jefferson Clinton intensified and succeeded in an effort to secure job assistance to a witness in a Federal civil rights action brought against him in order to corruptly prevent the truthful testimony of that witness in that proceeding at a time when the truthful testimony of that witness would have been harmful to him."
That the Constitution necessitates the presidency upon swearing of an oath in Article II, Section 1, indicates how seriously oaths are to be taken.
|“||"Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:—'I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.'"||”|
Every major impeachment trial of a president has accused them of violating oaths:
- Johnson Articles 1-2, 4-8, 11: "unmindful of the high duties of his office, of his oath of office"
- Nixon Article 1: "Richard M. Nixon, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States... (1) Making or causing to be made false or misleading statements to lawfully authorized investigative officers and employees of the United States... (3) Approving, condoning, acquiescing in, and counseling witnesses with respect to the giving of false or misleading statements to lawfully authorized investigative officers and employees of the United States and false or misleading testimony in duly instituted judicial and congressional proceedings."
- Nixon Articles 2-3: "Richard M. Nixon, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States"
- Clinton Article 1: "William Jefferson Clinton, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States... On August 17, 1998, William Jefferson Clinton swore to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth before a Federal grand jury of the United States. Contrary to that oath, William Jefferson Clinton willfully provided perjurious, false and misleading testimony to the grand jury"
- Clinton Article 2: "William Jefferson Clinton, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States... in sworn answers to written questions asked as part of a Federal civil rights action brought against him, willfully provided perjurious, false and misleading testimony in response to questions deemed relevant by a Federal judge concerning conduct and proposed conduct with subordinate employees... On January 17, 1998, William Jefferson Clinton swore under oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in a deposition given as part of a Federal civil rights action brought against him. Contrary to that oath, William Jefferson Clinton willfully provided perjurious, false and misleading testimony in response to questions deemed relevant by a Federal judge concerning the nature and details of his relationship with a subordinate Government employee, his knowledge of that employee's involvement and participation in the civil rights action brought against him, and his corrupt efforts to influence the testimony of that employee."
- Clinton Article 3: "William Jefferson Clinton, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States... corruptly encouraged a witness in a Federal civil rights action brought against him to execute a sworn affidavit in that proceeding that he knew to be perjurious, false and misleading.
- Clinton Article 4: "William Jefferson Clinton, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States... refused and failed to respond to certain written requests for admission and willfully made perjurious, false and misleading sworn statements in response to certain written requests for admission propounded to him as part of the impeachment inquiry authorized by the House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States. William Jefferson Clinton, in refusing and failing to respond, and in making perjurious, false and misleading statements, assumed to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the sole power of impeachment vested by the Constitution in the House of Representatives and exhibited contempt for the inquiry."
Nixon impeachment Article 8 expanded criminal dishonesty from breaking of federal oaths to deceiving the American people:
|“||"(8) Making false or misleading public statements for the purpose of deceiving the people of the United States into believing that a thorough and complete investigation has been conducted with respect to allegation of misconduct on the part of personnel of the Executive Branch of the United States and personnel of the Committee for the Re-Election of the President, and that there was no involvement of such personnel in such misconduct"||”|
Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution provides a catch-all phrase of "high Crimes and Misdemeanors" as grounds for impeachment, which has been interpreted in past presidential impeachment proceedings to refer to the following:
Obstruction of Justice
A primary charge against Richard Nixon as seen from Article 1 was that he "has prevented, obstructed, and impeded the administration of justice... Subsequent thereto, Richard M. Nixon, using the powers of his high office, engaged personally and through his subordinates and agents in a course of conduct or plan designed to delay, impede and obstruct investigations of such unlawful entry; to cover up, conceal and protect those responsible and to conceal the existence and scope of other unlawful covert activities." In addition to perjury, this also included "Withholding relevant and material evidence or information from lawfully authorized investigative officers and employees of the United States", "Interfering or endeavoring to interfere with the conduct of investigations by the Department of Justice of the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the office of Watergate Special Prosecution Force and congressional committees"
Article 3 expanded upon this, stating that Nixon had refused to "produce papers and things as directed by duly authorized subpoenas."
|“||"In his conduct of the office of President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon, contrary to his oath faithfully to execute the office of the President of the United States, and to the best of his ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, had failed without lawful cause or excuse, to produce papers and things as directed by duly authorized subpoenas issued by the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives, on April 11, 1974, May 15, 1974, May 30, 1974, and June 24, 1974, and willfully disobeyed such subpoenas. The subpoenaed papers and things were deemed necessary by the Committee in order to resolve by direct evidence fundamental, factual questions relating to Presidential direction, knowledge or approval of actions demonstrated by other evidence to be substantial grounds for impeachment of the President. In refusing to produce these papers and things, Richard M. Nixon, substituting his judgement as to what materials were necessary for the inquiry, interposed the powers of the Presidency against the lawful subpoenas of the House of Representatives, thereby assuming to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the sole power of impeachment vested by Constitution in the House of Representatives."||”|
Bill Clinton was likewise accused of obstructing justice, particularly in Article 3 which claimed he "has prevented, obstructed, and impeded the administration of justice, and has to that end engaged personally, and through his subordinates and agents, in a course of conduct or scheme designed to delay, impede, cover up, and conceal the existence of evidence and testimony related to a Federal civil rights action brought against him in a duly instituted judicial proceeding."
Abuse of the Department of Justice
Impeachment Article 1, Section 7 against Richard Nixon identified abuse of the Department of Justice as another key component of obstruction of justice, declaring that Nixon was "Disseminating information received from officers of the Department of Justice of the United States to subjects of investigations conducted by lawfully authorized investigative officers and employees of the United States for the purpose of aiding and assisting such subjects in their attempts to avoid criminal liability."
The primary charge against Nixon was that he had illegitimately stolen information from DNC headquarters and used electronic surveillance that deprived Americans of their Constitutional 4th Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. As such, impeachment Article 1 against Nixon states that "agents of the Committee for the Re-Election of the President committed unlawful entry of the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in Washington, District of Columbia, for the purpose of securing political intelligence." Article 2, Section 4 against Nixon likewise states:
|“||"(4) He has failed to take care that the laws were faithfully executed by failing to act when he knew or had reason to know that his close subordinates endeavored to impede and frustrate lawful inquiries by duly constituted executive; judicial and legislative entities concerning the unlawful entry into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, and the cover-up thereof, and concerning other unlawful activities including those relating to the confirmation of Richard Kleindienst as attorney general of the United States, the electronic surveillance of private citizens, the break-in into the office of Dr. Lewis Fielding, and the campaign financing practices of the Committee to Re-elect the President."||”|
Recourse may also be made to impeachment Articles 6 and 7 against Andrew Johnson which accused him of unlawfully conspiring "by force to seize, take, and possess the property of the United States in the Department of War, and then and there in the custody and charge of Edwin M. Stanton."
Abuse of the IRS
Impeachment Article 2, Section 1 charged Nixon with abusing the IRS and using it in discriminatory fashion:
|“||"(1) He has, acting personally and through his subordinated and agents, endeavored to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposes not authorized by law, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigation to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner."||”|
Abuse of the FBI/Secret Service
Impeachment Article 2, Sections 2 and 5 accused Nixon of inappropriately using the FBI and Secret Service to violate the Constitutional rights of citizens through electronic surveillance, and then concealing the records of such actions:
|“|| "(2) He misused the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secret Service, and other executive personnel, in violation or disregard of the constitutional rights of citizens, by directing or authorizing such agencies or personnel to conduct or continue electronic surveillance or other investigations for purposes unrelated to national security, the enforcement of laws, or any other lawful function of his office; he did direct, authorize, or permit the use of information obtained thereby for purposes unrelated to national security, the enforcement of laws, or any other lawful function of his office; and he did direct the concealment of certain records made by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of electronic surveillance."
"(5) In disregard of the rule of law: he knowingly misused the executive power by interfering with agencies of the executive branch: including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Criminal Division and the Office of Watergate Special Prosecution Force of the Department of Justice, in violation of his duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed."
Abuse of the CIA
Impeachment Article 1, Section 6 against Richard Nixon identified CIA abuse as a key component of obstructing justice, and charged Nixon with "Endeavoring to misuse the Central Intelligence Agency, an agency of the United States." Impeachment Article 2, Section 3 against Nixon stated this was used to violate the 6th Amendment right to a fair trial:
|“||"(3) He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, in violation or disregard of the constitutional rights of citizens, authorized and permitted to be maintained a secret investigative unit within the office of the President, financed in part with money derived from campaign contributions to him, which unlawfully utilized the resources of the Central Intelligence Agency, engaged in covert and unlawful activities, and attempted to prejudice the constitutional right of an accused to a fair trial."||”|
Misappropriating Federal Funds
Article 8 against Andrew Johnson accused him of misappropriating federal funds "with intent unlawfully to control the disbursements of the moneys appropriated for the military service and for the Department of War."
Impeachment Article 10 against Andrew Johnson accused him of defaming Congress and the laws passed by it; in essence violating the separation of powers intended by the Constitution:
|“|| "That said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, unmindful of the high duties of his office and the dignity and proprieties thereof, and of the harmony and courtesies which ought to exist and be maintained between the executive and legislative branches of the Government of the United States, designing and intending to set aside the rightful authorities and powers of Congress, did attempt to bring into disgrace, ridicule, hatred, contempt and reproach the Congress of the United States, and the several branches thereof, to impair and destroy the regard and respect of all the good people of the United States for the Congress and legislative power thereof, (which all officers of the government ought inviolably to preserve and maintain,) and to excite the odium and resentment of all good people of the United States against Congress and the laws by it duly and constitutionally enacted; and in pursuance of his said design and intent, openly and publicly and before divers assemblages of citizens of the United States, convened in divers parts thereof, to meet and receive said Andrew Johnson as the Chief Magistrate of the United States, did, on the 18th day of August, in the year of our Lord 1866, and on divers other days and times, as well before as afterward, make and declare, with a loud voice certain intemperate, inflammatory, and scandalous harangues, and therein utter loud threats and bitter menaces, as well against Congress as the laws of the United States duly enacted thereby, amid the cries, jeers and laughter of the multitudes then assembled in hearing...
Which said utterances, declarations, threats and harangues, highly censurable in any, are peculiarly indecent and unbecoming in the Chief Magistrate of the United States, by means whereof the said Andrew Johnson has brought the high office of the President of the United States into contempt, ridicule and disgrace, to the great scandal of all good citizens, whereby said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, did commit, and was then and there guilty of a high misdemeanor in office."
Circumstances Needed for Impeachment
Filing articles of impeachment requires only a simple majority vote in the House for passage. Once passed, the House articles are voted on by the Senate in a form of trial, where witnesses are called and evidence presented. An article must receive 2/3 vote of U.S. Senators present for the president or other official in question to be impeached. Because the GOP currently has 247 seats in the House of Representatives to the Democrats' 188 (56.8%) it can essentially pass any articles of impeachment it wishes.
However, Senate passage of those articles of impeachment will require a 2/3 majority, in all likelihood 67 votes, or if 1 Senator should be absent, then 66. The GOP currently has only 54 Senators to the Democrats' 46, leaving Republicans 13 short of the necessary amount required for impeachment. Thus the GOP would need at least 12 and probably 13 Democrat Senators to vote with them on an impeachment article for impeachment to occur. Recently 6 Democrat Senators criticized Obama's actions on immigration, yet even if all 6 were to vote with Republicans on impeachment, this would still leave Republicans 7 short of the necessary 67 needed. Republicans would thus be well-advised to pursue impeachment proceedings of Barack Obama only after probing to see whether at least 10 Democratic Senators can be found willing to vote for impeachment on a given issue.
Basis for Obama's Impeachment
Having thus shown what precedents are justification for impeachment, it can be readily evinced that Barack Obama has clearly and repeatedly imitated the same unlawful, unconstitutional actions for which previous presidents were impeached, and indeed done so to a much greater extent than any of his predecessors.
Andrew Johnson was impeached for breaking a single law, the Tenure of Office Act. Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution clearly states that a president's primary function is faithful execution of laws passed by Congress, yet Obama has repeatedly shown willingness to bypass Congress and act with utter disregard for Constitutionally-passed laws.
Immigration Executive Order
Obama dishonestly claimed, not once but 25 times, that he lacked the executive authority to act unilaterally on immigration. Obama, once the 2014 elections ended, has now reversed position now that there are no electoral consequences for his dishonesty, and is showing once again that he is the most dishonest politician in the world. Obama has since lied that Reagan and Bush passed similar executive orders in defending his unconstitutional actions, but in actuality they were both acting in accordance with legislation passed by Democrat-run Congresses, not unilaterally to skirt Congress.
Reagan's order for example was based on and consistent with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, whereas Bush's was likewise based on that earlier law, and was quickly followed by the Immigration Act of 1990. Saturday Night Live afterwards parodied Obama's tyrannical actions. Later polling showed 48% disapproval of the unilateral action to just 38% support. If Obama is consistent about one thing, it is in being consistently dishonest. Since backtracking on his previous opposition to using executive authority to pass immigration reform, Obama has lied about his previous lies.
Therefore, Obama is in the unusual position of having admitted, not once, but 25 different times, that an immigration executive action would be unconstitutional. Having now taking the action he once claimed he would be wrong in taking, his own words condemn him as worthy of impeachment 25 times over.
Libya War Without Congressional Approval
Obama on the campaign trail promised to meet with Congress before taking military action.
|“|| "I will call for a standing, bipartisan consultative group of congressional leaders on national security. I will meet with this consultative group every month and consult with them before taking major military action."
-Barack Obama, 2007
However there have been many examples of Obama taking military action without approval from Congress, Libya for example. Obama knew his actions were unconstitutional and took them anyway.
|“|| "The Obama administration argued Wednesday that its nearly three-month-old military involvement in Libya does not require congressional approval because of the supporting role most U.S. forces are playing there, a position that puts it at odds with some Republican leaders and the antiwar wing of its own party."
-Scott Wilson, the Washington Post
Obama furthermore lied to the public about his actions on Libya. Despite publicly insisting there would be no U.S. troops on the ground in Libya, "Obama signed a secret finding authorizing the C.I.A. to provide arms and other support to Libyan rebels" and "small groups of C.I.A. operatives have been working in Libya for several weeks as part of a shadow force of Westerners that the Obama administration hopes can help bleed Colonel Qaddafi’s military" according to the New York Times.
Unilateral Obamacare Changes
Obama has significantly altered the Affordable Care Act at least 42 times so that the bill no longer resembles the one that passed Congress. What is particularly disgusting is that many of these were delays to extend key deadlines beyond political election dates to avoid the political consequences of the bill's most egregious changes; conspiracy to deceive the American people.
|“|| "Yesterday, the Department of Treasury announced it was further delaying imposition of Obamacare’s “Employer Shared Responsibility” provisions (aka, the employer mandate). These provisions were supposed to take effect at the beginning of this year. Last summer, however, the Administration pushed back the requirement until 2015. Yesterday, the requirement was pushed back another full year for companies with 50-99 employees and the 2015 requirements were relaxed for larger employers. (Employers with fewer than 50 employees are exempt.) Administration officials say this new delay is designed to help employers adjust to the law’s requirements, but many observers see more political motivations. As Juliet Eilperin and Amy Goldstein reported, 'By offering an unexpected grace period to businesses with between 50 and 99 employees, administration officials are hoping to defuse another potential controversy involving the 2010 health-care law, which has become central to Republicans’ campaign to make political gains in this year’s midterm election.' 'Not coincidentally, the delays punt implementation beyond congressional elections in November,' notes Ron Fournier."
-Jonathan H. Adler, Washington Post
As noted by the Wall Street Journal, "Amid one more last-minute regulatory delay, number 38 at last count, the mandate forcing nuns to sponsor birth control is more or less the only part of ObamaCare that is still intact. On Tuesday evening, the Health and Human Services Department announced that the six-month open enrollment period for ObamaCare insurance that began in October 2013 and was supposed to end on the last day of March would be extended indefinitely. As long as people self-attest and check a box that they had some difficulty signing up on with the 36 federal insurance exchanges, the deadline will no longer pertain."
Disgust over Obama's illegal delays and changes of Obamacare has reached such a level that Republicans are now suing the Obama administration over the lawless unilateral changes to major legislation.
Violating WARN Act
To avoid potentially damaging military job cuts becoming public news just before the 2012 presidential election, Obama issued waivers to defense contractors, telling them to break the WARN Act that requires employers to provide workers with 2-month layoff notification. This resulted in a major contractor, Lockheed Martin, declining to issue layoff notices to thousands of employees just days before the presidential election, in violation of U.S. law.
Ironically when on the election trail Obama campaigned on extending the WARN Act's 60 day requirement to 90 days, saying "the least employers can do when they’re anticipating layoffs is to let workers know they’re going to be out of a job and a paycheck with enough time to plan for their future." The Obama administration even offered to pay legal fees incurred by companies violating the law.
|“|| "But the Labor Department continues to advise defense contractors that they do not need to observe the law, and the White House Office of Management and Budget has said it would reimburse companies that are sued by employees for breaking the law. 'That’s right: the Obama administration is telling employers to ignore the law and forcing taxpayers to pick up the tab,' Rep. Tim Walberg, the Michigan Republican who chairs the House Education and the Workforce subcommittee on workforce protections, said Thursday during a hearing to examine the issue."
-Tim Devaney, The Washington Times
According to a public statement by John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Kelly Ayotte, "The Obama Administration is cynically trying to skirt the WARN Act to keep the American people in the dark about this looming national security and fiscal crisis. The president should insist that companies act in accordance with the clearly stated law and move forward with the layoff notices." The unlawful violation of a law passed by Congress most definitely warrants impeachment.
National Labor Relations Board Appointments
Obama violated the Constitution's Recess Appointments clause (Article 2, Section 2) by making 'recess appointments' to the National Labor Relations Board without the approval of Congress when Congress was in session. The Supreme Court unanimously ruled in 2014 that Obama's actions were unconstitutional. The decision affects more than 100 appointments.
|“|| "For the twelfth time in five years, the Supreme Court has unanimously rejected a case made by the Obama administration. This was one of Obama’s worst: The White House took the position that it could decide when the Senate was in recess, in blatant violation of the constitutional order and the ancient tradition that a legislature sets its own rules. The White House wished the Senate to be in recess when in fact it was holding pro forma sessions, because Obama wanted to push through the nominations of three members of the National Labor Relations Board whom the Senate would not approve."
Signing Statements to Bypass Congress
Obama on the campaign trail pledged to "not use signing statements to nullify or undermine congressional instructions as enacted into law." Obama broke this promise, just one example would be the use of a signing statement to trade terrorists for Bowe Bergdahl.
|“|| "Already, Mr. Obama has had to reconcile his campaign-trail criticism of Mr. Bush for excessive use of so-called signing statements to bypass parts of legislation with his own use of such tactics. After a bipartisan furor in Congress last year, Mr. Obama stopped issuing such signing statements, but aides said last month that he still reserves the right to ignore sections of bills he considers un-constitutional if objections have been lodged previously by the executive branch.”
-Peter Baker, The New York Times
Richard Nixon was impeached for spying on and stealing information from a single building, Democratic National Committee headquarters, yet Obama has overseen and defended spying on hundreds of millions of people, including world leaders. In essence he has committed breach of the 4th Amendment on a global scale.
The National Security Agency under the Obama administration has abused privacy of both Americans and citizens worldwide to a degree never before witnessed, hacking the Google and Yahoo servers to steal information not only from hundreds of millions of Americans but those outside the United States as well. The Snowden documents revealed that over a 30-day period the NSA stole over 186 million documents from the Google and Yahoo servers. This has resulted in the widespread dissemination of American data to federal agencies including the CIA, IRS, and FDA.
|“|| “The National Security Agency has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world, according to documents obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and interviews with knowledgeable officials. By tapping those links, the agency has positioned itself to collect at will from hundreds of millions of user accounts, many of them belonging to Americans. The NSA does not keep everything it collects, but it keeps a lot.”
-Barton Gelman and Ashkan Soltani, Washington Post
The NSA furthermore hacked the phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, resulting in national controversy and loss of trust with America’s allies. The United States similarly spied on 35 world leaders, and monitored the calls of millions of people worldwide, including in France, Spain, Mexico, Great Britain, and Germany. The NSA even went so far as to spy on European Union offices in Brussels and Washington. A number ofcountries expressed outrage including Brazil, France, Spain, and Germany. Brazil’shead of state, President Dilma Rousseff, went so far as to cancel her planned visit to the White House because of the NSA revelations. As always, Obama denied responsibility or even awareness that this had occurred.
|“|| “The United States is scrambling to soothe some of its closest allies, angered as one report after another details vast American spying — including gathering data on tens of millions of phone calls in Spain in a single month. The latest report, published Monday in the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, said that the National Security Agency had collected information on 60 million calls in that country last December. It followed reports in the last week that the United States spied on leaders of at least 35 countries, and even bugged the personal cellphone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.”
-Andrea Mitchell and Erin McClam, NBC News
DOJ Seizing Phone Records of Journalists
Holder's Department of Justice secretly seized two months of phone records without notification from the Associated Press, one of the largest international organizations of journalists. The White House has even forced changes to press pool reports, altering the news as it pleases.
Obama's Obstruction of Justice
The fact that Obama defends such spying and obstructs attempts to stop it, speaks volumes.
|“|| "I think the American people understand that there are some trade-offs involved. It's important to recognize that you can't have 100 percent security and also then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience. We're going to have to make some choices as a society. And what I can say is that in evaluating these programs, they make a difference in our capacity to anticipate and prevent possible terrorist activity."
-Barack Obama, June 2013
Obama claimed the NSA was not abusing its powers, stating:
|“||"If you look at the reports, even the disclosures that Mr. Snowden's put forward, all the stories that have been written, what you're not reading about is the government actually abusing these programs and, you know, listening in on people's phone calls or inappropriately reading people's e-mails. What you're hearing about is the prospect that these could be abused. Now part of the reason they're not abused is because they're — these checks are in place, and those abuses would be against the law and would be against the orders of the FISC [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court]."||”|
However, a NSA audit has discovered the NSA violated privacy rules or court orders 2,776 times in less than a year's time, from April 2011 to March 2012. Nor was Obama's claim a one-time statement, he made this claim repeatedly to various news organizations, a systematic pattern of deliberate dishonesty. As observed by Salon's David Sirota, "But he's too smart not to understand the truth... I don’t buy that a constitutional lawyer and legal scholar didn’t know that the FISA court is secret — aka the opposite of 'transparent.' I don’t buy that he simply didn’t see any of the news showing that spying is happening in the United States. And I don’t buy that he didn’t know that there is evidence — both public and inside his own administration — of the NSA 'actually abusing' its power."
CIA Hacking of Senate Computers
The CIA hacked Senate computers without permission to spy on Senate information. Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has expressed outrage at the CIA's abuse. After initially denying the claims, CIA Director John Brennan has since admitted the illegal espionage took place.
Nixon was impeached in part for abusing the IRS, and using them in a discriminatory fashion for his own ends. What Obama has done is on a far greater scale of abuse than anything Nixon ever did, however.
Targeting of Conservative Groups
From 2010 to 2012 the IRS targeted conservative groups, helping Obama maintain control of Congress and win reelection. The scandal led to the resignation of the IRS Commissioner Steven Miller after the previous Commissioner Douglas Shulman left, as well as the retirement of Lois Lerner, a key official involved in the corruption scandal. Lerner pleaded the Fifth Amendment to avoid self-incrimination.
Obama dishonestly denied any corruption whatsoever in the IRS scandal to obstruct justice during the investigations, claiming there was "not even a smidgen of corruption" and admitted the head of the IRS Doug Shulman had been to the White House over 100 times, but said he didn't remember any of the conversations.
|“|| "If there were not even a 'smidgen of corruption,' as Obama insisted, it is hard to understand what outraged him, or at least seemed to, when news of the IRS scandal first broke. 'It’s inexcusable, and Americans are right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it,' Obama said in May 2013. Obama routinely expressed anger when some new scandal erupted on his watch — IRS, the failed ObamaCare website, the VA scandal, Fast and Furious — but never before had he shoved a scandal down the memory hole so quickly. And how could Obama know there wasn’t a smidgen of corruption before the investigation was even over? Perhaps because the administration knew that any proof of that was gone with deleted emails and destroyed hard drives?"
-Jack Cashill, The New York Post
However, the IRS a few months later paid $50,000 to the National Organization for Marriage to settle a lawsuit over the IRS leaking a confidential donor list to homosexual activists. Meanwhile, Lois Lerner, the IRS official at the heart of the scandal, has refused to testify unless given immunity, pleading the Fifth Amendment after admitting the IRS subjected groups to additional scrutiny if they had the words "tea party" or "patriots" in their names. While Democrats have attempted to dishonestly claim liberal groups were targeted as well as conservative groups by the IRS, the overwhelming majority were clearly conservative. As noted by John D. McKinnon of the Wall Street Journal, "Of the 298 applications that were collected and put on hold by the Internal Revenue Service between mid-2010 and mid-2012, 248, or 83%, were right-leaning, while 29, or 10%, were left-leaning."
|“|| “George also noted that while 16 groups with ‘progressive’ in the name showed up among the 298 cases, that represented just 30 percent of all ‘progressive’ applications. That is in stark contrast to groups with ‘tea party,’ ‘patriot,’ or ‘9/12’ in their name, of which 100 percent saw their applications held up. Finally, George said his investigation found ‘multiple sources of information corroborating the use of tea party and other related criteria ... we found no indication in any of these other materials that ‘progressives’ was a term used to refer cases for scrutiny for political campaign intervention.’”
-Steve Contorno, PolitiFact
Thousands of emails relevant to the investigation were allegedly lost by the IRS, which is absurd given that multiple hard drives would have to be purposely destroyed to prevent the recovery of said emails from them, not just that of the sender but of those receiving them as well. Despite the efforts of Democratic strategists to portray the scandal as targeting liberal groups as well, this claim is misleading since only 30% of progressive cases were singled out by the IRS to 100% of conservative ones.
Evidence for Obama's Involvement
Despite Obama's assertions that he did not know about the IRS scandal, 2,500 taxpayer documents were sent from the IRS to the White House. Obama has continually opposed release of the returns. That so many tax returns were shared with the White House by the IRS, and that the Obama administration continues to oppose their release, shows Obama was behind the IRS scandal.
- See also Obama Lies
Bill Clinton's lies, however prominent, affected mainly his own private life; his sex with Monica Lewinsky, for example, appears to have been consensual. Obama's lies on the other hand have resulted in millions of Americans losing their healthcare coverage because of deliberate dishonesty on Obama's part, lies made repeatedly and intentionally. Ultimately there have been dozens of issues that Obama has lied about to the public however, these are just a few of the more egregious cases.
You Can Keep Your Healthcare
David Hilzenrath of the Washington Post pointed out back in August of 2009 that Obama's claim “if you like your plan you can keep it” was dishonest, yet Obama continued to make this assertion until it was ultimately labeled “Lie of the Year” by PolitiFact in 2013. According to the Associated Press, 4.7 million Americans received cancellation notices stating their insurance would no longer be offered, contrary to Obama’s dishonest claim that if people liked their doctor and insurance plan they would be able to keep their coverage. Further analysis has discovered as much as 69% of employer-based plans, affecting 41 million Americans, could be canceled under Obamacare.
Tony Rezko Donations
Obama distorted the details of his relationship with convicted felon Tony Rezko, falsely portraying him as a one-time fundraiser and repeatedly lying about how much money Rezko fundraised for him.
|“|| "Mr. Obama has portrayed Mr. Rezko as a one-time fund-raiser whom he had occasionally seen socially. But interviews with more than a dozen political and business associates suggest that the two men were closer than the senator has indicated."
-Christopher Drew and Mike McIntire, The New York Times
Obama and Tony Rezko have been friends since 1990. A notable fundraiser for both Obama and Governor Blagojevich, Rezko was convicted on 16 of 24 charges by the federal government for money laundering, mail/wire fraud, and corrupt solicitation, though he was acquitted for attempted extortion. Rezko, a real estate developer, stacked state boards with members loyal to him, and used this power to negotiate $7 million in kickbacks for himself.
In 2005, the longtime friends Obama and Rezko purchased adjoining lots next to one another, with Obama buying the house at $1,650,000, $300,000 below the asking price. Obama was also questioned by the Chicago Sun-Times on the fundraisers done by Rezko, with Obama stating Rezko had raised $50,000-$60,000 for him. It has since emerged that Obama lied about the amount Rezko fundraised for him.
Details of the case:
- Both Tony Rezko and Barack Obama bought their houses on the same day.
- After Rezko got indicted, Obama from 2006-2008 contributed to charity at least $150,000 worth of Rezko campaign contributions to deflect potential criticism.
- Obama in 2008 revised earlier lies about what Rezko donated up to $250,000.
- Obama denies ever meeting with the money launderer for Tony Rezko, Auchi.
- In 2010 details from the Blagojevich case revealed Obama may have further lied about the specific conversations he had with Tony Rezko, which if accurate means Obama was involved with Rezko's money laundering and the corruption of the Blagojevich administration.
Conspiracy to Commit Murder
Born Alive Lies
- See also Obama born alive controversy
Obama not only repeatedly opposed medical care for newborn children, but led an effort by Illinois Planned Parenthood to conceal the votes of Illinois Senators so Illinoisans would not know their representatives were voting against bills to protect newborn babies outside the womb. He has since lied repeatedly about his voting record until revelations in 2008 revealed that, contrary to his repeated denials, he had indeed while an Illinois State Senator voted against a bill identical to the federal Born Alive Infant Protection Act which had passed the U.S. Senate unanimously. Obama’s representative then claimed he had “misspoke” despite the fact that he had repeatedly made this assertion a number of times from 2004-08.
Bonuses for CEOs of Bankrupt Companies
Obama in 2008 promised to "protect the jobs and benefits of workers and retirees when corporations file for bankruptcy by telling companies that they cannot issue bonuses for executives during bankruptcy while their workers watch their pensions disappear." The promise has since been entirely abandoned leading to a "Promise Broken" rating from PolitiFact. In fact the Obama administration shattered this promise by giving billions through the Department of Energy to green energy companies that provided millions of dollars in bonuses to CEOs before collapsing. Rather than keeping his promise, Obama actually gave billions in taxpayer dollars to liberal special interest groups, green energy companies, that used the money to reward themselves with hefty kickbacks. Rather than honesty, Obama pursued hypocritical cronyism.
Obstruction of Justice
Obama campaigned on transparency, and in 2011 said "We pledge to be more transparent at every level – because more information on government activity should be open, timely, and freely available to the people." Obviously this promise has been broken repeatedly by the most secretive administration in history. Obama has repeatedly sought to oppose accountability for public officials caught in scandals including Eric Shinseki during the VA Scandal, Kathleen Sebelius during the ACA website scandal, Lois Lerner during the IRS Scandal, and Eric Holder during the Fast and Furious Scandal.
Democrat Voter Fraud
Obama in April 2014 attempted to obstruct justice on voter fraud laws by falsely claiming "The real voter fraud is people who try to deny our rights by making bogus arguments about voter fraud." However, contrary to Obama's lies, Democrat voter fraud has been pervasive and consistent under his administration. The Republican National Lawyers Association has catalogued nearly 200 cases of Democrat voter fraud just since 2011. Some of the more prominent examples of Democrat voter fraud in recent years include:
- Four Indiana Democrats charged with election fraud for helping put Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on the ballot in Indiana in 2008.
- Wendy Rosen, a Democrat running for Maryland's 1st Congressional District, resigned in September of 2012, and pled guilty in 2013 to voting illegally in two elections. Rosen was sentenced to five years’ probation and a $5,000 fine.
|“|| “Today, we have a new example of just how far prominent people will go to commit voter fraud. Wendy Rosen, who until last September was the Democratic nominee in Maryland’s Eastern Shore congressional district, was just indicted for voting in both Florida and Maryland since at least 2006. Each of the two counts she was indicted on carry a possible sentence of up to five years in jail and a fine of $2,500. Nor is Rosen the only candidate for Congress who has become, shall we say, personally involved in stuffing the ballot box. A few years ago, former Democratic congressman Austin Murphy of Pennsylvania pleaded guilty to illegally entering nursing homes and overly ‘assisting’ incapacitated voters with filling out ballots.”
-John Fund, National Review
- The 2008 ACORN national scandal had numerous cases of Democrat voter fraud across the United States leading to 18 convictions. In Philadelphia alone 1,500 fraudulent voter registrations were submitted.
- Al Franken, the Senator who gave Democrats their supermajority in 2009, won through a recount where 12,000 absentee ballots were thrown out. According to the New York Times, “Mr. Franken won by 312 votes, while state officials rejected 12,000 absentee ballots.” Despite trailing at the end of the election, thousands of mysterious absentee ballots emerged after the elections had closed to given Franken the victory and Democrats complete control of Congress, allowing them to pass any legislation they wanted without Republican votes.
|“|| “But the team's real goldmine were absentee ballots, thousands of which the Franken team claimed had been mistakenly rejected. While Mr. Coleman's lawyers demanded a uniform standard for how counties should re-evaluate these rejected ballots, the Franken team ginned up an additional 1,350 absentees from Franken-leaning counties. By the time this treasure hunt ended, Mr. Franken was 312 votes up, and Mr. Coleman was left to file legal briefs.”
-The Wall Street Journal
- The Chief of Staff for Florida State Representative Joe Garcia, Jeffrey Garcia (no relation) resigned on May 31st, 2013 for manipulating the 2012 Florida elections with hundreds of fake absentee ballots.
- James Webb Baker of Seattle pleaded guilty to one count of voter intimidation and one count of identification fraud for sending fake letters to 200 Republican Party donors in Florida warning them they would be arrested if voting.
- The son and Director of Field Operations for Democrat Representative Jim Moran resigned from his campaign in October of 2012 after being caught on video explaining how to use voter fraud to help Obama win the election. The Congressman’s son Patrick Moran can be seen on recorded video saying “Bank statement would obviously be tough, but they can fake a utility bill easily enough, you know?” Moran's son endorsed a scheme to fraudulently vote on behalf of 100 people.
- A Democrat State Representative in Massachusetts, Stephen Smith, pled guilty to charges of voter fraud in December of 2012. Smith used fraudulent absentee ballots in both 2009 and 2010. According to the FBI's report Smith's plea agreement required that he resign from office on January 1st, 2013, and he will not be eligible to run for office for five years afterward.
- In March 2013 a Democrat poll worker, Melowese Richardson, was indicted for voting illegally at least six times in the 2012 elections, along with illegal votes in both 2008 and 2011. Richardson defended her illegal actions by saying, “I'll fight it for Mr. Obama and Mr. Obama's right to sit as president of the United States.” Also indicted for illegal voting were Marguerite Kloos and Russell Glassop. A year later Al Sharpton honored Melowese Richardson at a rally after she was released early from a 5-year prison sentence, going so far as to hug her for committing voter fraud to help Obama win.
- In February 2014 a Philadelphia election worker was arrested for tampering with voting machines during the November 2013 election. Dianah Gregory, a Democrat, forced her way into an election booth to write her name on another voter’s ballot for the position of election judge, and wrote her name on the side of the booth. She has since been sentenced to 15 months’ probation, fined $5,000, and is required to perform 15 hours of community service.
- Eight different Democrat officials stand accused of voter fraud in the 2009 Working Families Primary, and as of January 2012, four of them had pleaded guilty to falsifying absentee ballots. Hundreds of faked ballots, as well as forgery instruments, were uncovered by the investigation.
- In September 2012 Democrat State Representative Hudson Hallum pleaded guilty to bribing voters with chicken dinners and cheap vodka for their absentee ballots in a 2011 election. Also pleading guilty were two other Democrats, his father Kent Hallum and West Memphis City Councilman Phillip Wayne Carter; as well as a West Memphis Police Officer named Sam Malone. Hallum was ultimately sentenced to three years’ probation including nine months of home confinement, fined $20,000, and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service.
Unsurprisingly, Obama showed no interest in keeping his campaign promise to "sign the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act into law and charge the Voting Rights Section with vigorously enforcing that law and the provisions of the Voting Rights Act. The act will will enable investigations into deceptive and fraudulent practices. It establishes significant, harsh penalties for those who have engaged in fraud, and it provides voters who have been misinformed with accurate and full information so they can vote." Given how Democrats including Obama have benefited from voter fraud, it should be hardly surprising there was little desire on Obama's part to keep such a pledge.
Air Force One
Most recently the administration refused to provide information about use of Air Force One, for example. Because so much of Obama's travel is international rather than within the United States, or to his home state of Hawaii, the total cost appears to be more than it was for George W. Bush.
Fast and Furious
Obama dishonestly claimed Fast and Furious began under the Bush administration to deflect criticism of his administration's corruption, but it clearly began under his administration.
White House Visitor Logs
|“|| "Will amend executive orders to ensure that communications about regulatory policymaking between persons outside government and all White House staff are disclosed to the public."
-Barack Obama, 2008
The White House refuses to disclose phone calls or emails and only provides visitor logs on a voluntary basis - in other words the really controversial visits the White House doesn't want people to know about aren't mentioned. This completely contradicts past campaign promises.
Andrew Johnson was impeached in part for defaming Congress, yet Obama has sought to attack the House of Representatives repeatedly. If those accusations were at least accurate that would be one thing, but he has outright lied repeatedly on the subject.
No GOP Healthcare Bills
Contrary to Obama's false accusations that the GOP did not have ideas or bills on healthcare, the GOP introduced a series of their own healthcare bills as alternatives to Obamacare. Because Democrats had a Supermajority, complete control of both the House and Senate so that they did not need any Republican votes to pass healthcare bills, Republican bills were not considered by the Democrats. However, Republicans continued to advocate for their alternatives to Obamacare as late as February 2010, just before Obamacare passed. It should also be pointed out that Obama lied and claimed he had not accused the GOP of not having ideas (which he clearly and repeatedly did).
Byron York of the Washington Examiner reported in September that media bias was preventing coverage of Republican healthcare bills, and that a search of the Lexis-Nexis database of media reports found 3,000 mentions of the major House Democrat bill, H.R. 3200 over the past 6 months, but GOP bills were mentioned far fewer times. H.R. 3400, introduced by Tom Price, got only 60 mentions. Paul Ryan's bill, H.R. 2520, had been mentioned just 12 times. And H.R. 3217 and 3218, both by John Shadegg, had only a combined 20 mentions by the media.
|“|| “The virtual embargo on reporting Republican legislation has allowed Democrats and their allies in the media to keep up the 'Republicans have no plan' attack. Just hours after the president’s speech, for example, the Democratic National Committee released a new commercial claiming that Republicans 'refuse to offer a plan' to reform the health care system.”
-Byron York, Washington Examiner
Barack Obama claimed at the time that the healthcare bill creation process was bipartisan, and that Democrats had included 160 Republican amendments in the bill. However, PolitiFact debunked this claim as “Mostly False.” In essence, Republicans proposed hundreds of amendments to Obamacare after Obama accused them of not having ideas, but Democrats took only the minor ones that did not substantially alter the core of the bill, including the abortion agenda generating such opposition, so that they could then make a pretense of bipartisanship without ever working with Republicans or including Republicans in the bill creation process. The bill creation itself was made behind closed doors solely by Democrats without Republican input.
|“|| “White House officials have shown little interest in Republicans, with the exception of Senator Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, whom they have wooed assiduously, and one or two others.”
Robert Pear and Sheryl G. Stolberg
-New York Times
In October 2009, Eric Cantor said Obama had cut off all communication with Republican leaders, and John Boehner confirmed GOP leaders hadn’t been invited to the White House since late April. As of November, the Obama administration was continuing to outright ignore Republicans. Democratic leadership pointedly ignored Republicans for nearly a year while the health care bill was being created and even famously changed the locks on committee room doors in October 2009 to keep Republicans from holding a vote on the corruption of Democrats Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad.
|“|| “I've not talked to him. We haven't been to the White House since late April, early May. No discussions about healthcare. No discussions about Afghanistan. No discussions about all their spending and debt. And so there's nothing bipartisan coming out of this White House, and there's nothing bipartisan that's come out of the Democrat leadership here in the House. Nothing.”
-John Boehner, October 2009
The election of Senator Scott Brown in the January 19th election meant that Democrats would soon lose their seven-month supermajority which had allowed them to pass bills without any Republican votes. Brown was officially sworn into office on February 4th, ending the Democrat supermajority. As observed by CNN at the time, “Democrats huddled to try to figure out a way to get their health care bill passed before Brown is seated and ends their 60-seat filibuster-proof ‘supermajority’ in the Senate.” Republican Senator Lamar Alexander optimistically speculated “Now that we have 41 votes maybe the administration will decide it wants to sit down and work with us in the middle rather than trying to say 'We won the election, we'll write the bill.'"
|“|| “Senior Democratic sources say Democrats are prepared to short-circuit the traditional legislative process of a formal conference committee comprising House and Senate members to exclude their Republican counterparts during final congressional health care deliberations.”
-Dana Bash, CNN
Now that Republicans finally had the ability to filibuster legislation again, Obama met with a frustrated GOP caucus on January 29th, 2010 for the first time. Mike Pence accused Obama of smearing Republicans, declaring that “Republicans are going to continue to stand on the principles that we were elected to advance. We're going to remind him that despite the 'party of no' smear of the last year; we've offered substantive alternatives on every single major issue facing the economy, facing the country.” Obama's pretense at bipartisanship was met with skeptical criticism from Republicans, particularly Jason Chaffetz.
At every stage, Democrats refused to remove their controversial abortion agenda, to compromise with Republicans, designed the bill in back rooms contrary to Obama's campaign promises, and ultimately passed Obamacare without a single Republican vote.
Patients Choice Act
On May 20th, 2009 Reps. Paul Ryan and Devin Nunes with Sens. Tom Coburn and Richard Burr introduced H.R. 2520, a 248-page bill entitled the Patients Choice Act, giving the GOP an alternative to the Democrat healthcare proposals. The Ryan plan sought to operate through the private insurance market through use of tax credits, guaranteed insurance access for those with pre-existing conditions, required insurers to meet the same standards on healthcare plans as the plans given to members of Congress, provided auto-enrollment by employers and DMVs, included state insurance exchanges, improved preventive care with disease prevention subsidies, and sought to move low-income citizens out of Medicaid and into private insurance by having government subsidize their healthcare costs.
Empowering Patients First Act
On July 30th, 2009 Reps. Tom Price and Dan Burton introduced H.R. 3400, a 268-page bill known as the Empowering Patients First Act. Price's bill focused on improving the private insurance market and employer coverage, allowing insurers to pool coverage across different states, increased tax incentives for private insurance purchases, provided refundable tax credits for low-income consumers to purchase coverage, addressed coverage of pre-existing conditions through offering states incentives such as federal block grants to create high-risk pools, implemented tort reform via caps on non-economic damages, and proposed a voucher system so Medicaid and SCHIP recipients can purchase private insurance. The Empowering Patients First Act was reintroduced as H.R. 4910 on March 22nd, 2010, as H.R. 4944 on March 25th, 2010, as H.R. 105 on January 5th, 2011, and as H.R. 3000 on September 21st, 2011. It died in committee each time.
Common Sense Health Care Reform... Act
On November 6th, 2009 Reps. Dave Camp and John Boehner introduced a 220-page substitute healthcare bill in the form of an amendment, H.R. 4038, titled the Common Sense Health Care Reform and Affordability Act. The Boehner alternative included pooling of coverage across state lines to provide healthcare at reduced cost, verification of citizenship or immigrant qualification, improved health savings accounts, allowed minors to stay on parent plans until age 24, implemented tort reform by capping rewards on medical liability lawsuits, and added a prohibition on taxpayer-funded abortion in healthcare plans with exceptions for rape and life of the mother. On May 27th, 2010 the bill was reintroduced as H.R. 4038 and on January 24th, 2011 as H.R. 397 as a replacement when repealing Obamacare, but it died in committee both times.
Patient Centered Healthcare Savings Act
On December 15th, 2011 Rep. Sean Duffy introduced the 212-page Patient Centered Healthcare Savings Act, H.R. 3682, as a replacement for Obamacare. Duffy's bill included tort reform caps on lawsuit damages, expansion of health savings accounts, removal of restrictions on pre-existing conditions, coverage for children to stay on parent healthcare plans until age 23, increased penalties for Medicare fraud, state-run high-risk insurance pools, state incentives to reduce the number of uninsured, and reauthorized Medicaid health opportunity accounts. Duffy's bill, reintroduced in November 2013 as H.R. 3622, died in House committees.
American Health Care Reform Act
On September 8th, 2013 Republicans introduced a comprehensive 182-page bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, H.R. 3121 the American Health Care Reform Act. The bill revolved around a $7,500 deduction for individuals and $20,000 for families that purchase coverage through state healthcare exchanges, while increasing government funding to high-risk pools for those with pre-existing conditions. Other features include pooling of policies across state lines by insurers and small businesses, caps on medical liability lawsuit awards, and expansion of health savings accounts. Obama threatened to veto the bill if it were passed.
GOP Ideas in Obamacare
Obama falsely accused Republicans of not having ideas even as he quietly put some of the most popular Republican ideas in Obamacare, taking credit for them. Examples include tort reform grants to states, allowing children to stay on their parents' plans until age 26, automatic employer enrollment in health insurance, and community mental health centers. State exchanges allowing insurers and small businesses to pool coverage across state lines were also originally a Republican idea. However, Democrat leadership refused to compromise on the core of the bill, government taking over the healthcare industry with an abortion agenda so extreme even pro-life Democrats of their own party rallied to stop it. Republicans never opposed healthcare reform, and indeed had previously passed the largest expansion of Medicare in U.S. history, the 2003 Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act.
GOP Jobs Bills
Democrat Senate Not Passing Legislation
Obama has falsely accused the GOP of blocking jobs legislation and not producing their own. However it is the Democrat-controlled Senate which is passing legislation at historic lows. Nor did this even start after the Republican takeover of the House after the 2010 elections. The number of bills passed by the Senate dropped drastically once Harry Reid took control of the Senate in 2007, from 204 bills in the 109th Congress (2005-06) to just 112 bills in the 110th Congress (2007-08) when and all the way down to 72 bills in the 111th Congress (2009-10). The Senate passed just 82 bills in 2011-12 and 76 thus far in 2013-14. In other words, Harry Reid stopped the Senate from passing legislation even before Republicans took control of the House. The House on the other hand continues to pass over 300 bills per year, consistent with historical norms, unlike the Senate.
|CONGRESS||YEARS||HOUSE BILLS||SENATE BILLS|
|HARRY REID BECOMES SENATE LEADER|
The Democrat-controlled Senate is ignoring hundreds of bills passed by the GOP. As rightly observed by Philip Bump of the Washington Post, "You'll notice a big drop-off in the number of bills that the Senate passed over to the House."
GOP Jobs Bills Stuck in Senate
Republicans point out that they have passed over 40 jobs bills which are stuck in the Democrat-controlled Senate. As such, PolitiFact gives a "Pants-on-Fire" rating to those who claim the GOP has produced no jobs bills. Now it can be contested how well they would create jobs, but for Obama to accuse Republicans of not passing jobs legislation or being a "do nothing Congress" is an outright lie. It is the Democrat-controlled Senate that has by and large stopping legislation, not the GOP House, which will become apparent when Republicans take control of the Senate in January 2015.
Blocking Bills to Help Middle Class?
Obama ridiculously claimed in 2014 that "So far this year, Republicans in Congress have blocked every serious idea to strengthen the middle class." However, the Washington Post Fact Checker has excellently pointed out a number of bills the GOP has passed such as the Farm Bill, Home Heating Emergency Assistance Through Transportation Act and the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act. Obama even congratulated Congress for passing the Water Resources Reform and Development Act for creating thousands of new jobs, saying "During my State of the Union address, I asked Congress to pass this bill by the summer, and I congratulate this outstanding crew for getting it done." The Fact Checker awards Obama three pinocchios for his dishonest rhetoric.
In an excellent article, the Washington Post Fact Checker dismantles Obama's obviously flawed claim that Republicans "have filibustered about 500 pieces of legislation that would help the middle class," awarding Obama all four pinnochios for his falsehood. The Fact Checker first points out that while 527 cloture motions have been filed since 2007, only 133 were successful, and many of those motions were "simply dropped, never actually voted on, or 'vitiated' in the senatorial nomenclature." On top of this, many of the cloture motions are to judicial/executive appointments; for example in the 113th Congress 83 of the 136 cloture motions were for nominations not legislation. The cloture motions do not even necessarily represent different bills, as one bill can be subject to 3 different clotures. Finally, the Fact Checker notes that Obama is including two years, 2007-08, when he was still a Senator, and that during that time Obama himself used the same cloture motions/filibusters he is now criticizing 8 different times. Obama is actually accusing the GOP of filibusters he himself participated in, during a time period (2007-08) when Democrats ran Congress the last 2 years under Bush.
Andrew Johnson was impeached for a single instance of executive overreach, and ignoring a single law, the Tenure of Office Act, but Obama commits such actions routinely. Richard Nixon was impeached for inappropriately spying on a single office; Obama has spied on hundreds of millions of people, both globally and in the United States. Bill Clinton was impeached for a lie that affected only him, but Obama has lied in order to kill newborn children and trick millions of Americans out of their private health insurance coverage. The case for Obama’s impeachment is greater than for any other president, and the corruption of this administration is at a historic level.
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