In a weekend debate regarding where President Barack Obama gets the authority to delay key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, Rep. Xavier Becerra of California and Sen. Mike Lee of Utah weighed in on the matter.
Both men were questioned by Chris Wallace about their positions on the subject, according to media. Becerra, in a a Mediaite story about the debate which took place on Fox News Sunday, was asked why Congress is allowing Obama to do this. Senator Lee was asked why Republicans do not take the president to court over these ACA provision delays.
Said Rep. Becerra:
“If this were against the Constitution, someone would have sued by now. The reality is, the president has used his executive powers less often than almost every president before him.”
That is true, according to FoxNews:
"Obama has used executive order less than modern U.S. presidents -- 167 times so far, compared to 238 for President Carter and 256 for President Reagan."
Senator Lee, however, called Obama’s actions “a shameless act, a shameless power grab.”
But when Wallace told Lee that Obama has only used executive orders "less than the last four two-term presidents," and then asked why the president cannot be taken to court, the Senator stated that “it’s difficult” to find a plaintiff who might "assert standing" to bring a case against the president before a court.
Wallace also wondered why a legislator cannot "demonstrate standing by insisting that Obama is ignoring existing law," and Lee just stated it was “wrong” for the president to be reinterpreting law, according to the mediate piece.
When Wallace insisted that the Constitution says the president does not have the authority to reinterpret law as broadly as Obama appears to be doing, the California Representative replied:
“I would hope that we would never have a chief executive who would twiddle his thumbs because Congress can’t get its act together.”