- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sen. Mike Lee, Utah Republican, said Thursday that President Obama had about as much right to rule by executive privilege and bypass due congressional process as the queen of England — and that Congress should rein him in quickly.

Mr. Obama “doesn’t have the power to legislate on his own … anymore than the Queen of England has the right to legislate here,” Mr. Lee said, The Hill reported. “I don’t care if you are Republican or Democrat … the office that we occupy here requires us, compels us, to defend our constitutional prerogative. We must protect it.”

Mr. Lee said that Republicans are dragging on Mr. Obama’s recent nominations to key executive and judicial seats because of the Democrat-controlled Senate’s recent change of filibuster rules. The change in rules let some nominees get an up-and-down vote, a speedy process that bypasses much of the normal congressional review of candidates. Specifically, the rule change means that only 51 senators — rather than 60 — are needed to end filibusters on most nominations.

“We must not facilitate the prez in his on-going effort to aggregate power,” Mr. Lee said, The Hill reported. “That’s why we must stand up against the president on some of these nominees.”