GOP moves afoot to rein in Obama’s executive powers

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Republicans in Congress are mulling moves to rein in President Obama’s ability to bypass legislative intent by issuing executive orders — though what action members want to take is still up in the air.

One spark that reignited a long-running debate on Capitol Hill between the legislative and executive branches was the president’s recent push to take administrative — rather than congressional — action on immigration, The Hill reported.

Mr. Obama’s recent notion of fixing Obamacare glitches and compelling insurance coverage changes with executive orders also left many — mostly Republicans — alternately steaming and skeptical.

Speaker of the House John Boehner said he doubted Mr. Obama could fix the health insurance cancellation dilemma in a way that was “legal and effective” without going through Congress, The Hill reported.

“I just don’t see, within the law, their ability to do that,” Mr. Boehner said.

Yet Mr. Obama held a press conference just a short time later to detail his executive plan — a change in law that didn’t involve congressional approval.

“I know there’s a lot of discussion about the validity of the president just unilaterally changing the law,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Utah Republican, told The Hill. “There are a lot of us that are very concerned about it.”

Rep. Trent Franks, Arizona Republican, said in The Hill that members of Congress were “exploring options to try to somehow try to rein in this president’s total disregard for the Constitution.”

As if a lawsuit is a viable option, Mr. Franks said “there’s no question we should do that.”

“That’s something that we talked about a lot,” he told The Hill, adding that he couldn’t be more specific.

“Maybe I could if we had our act together, and were really clear what we’re going to do,” Mr. Franks said.

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