Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) gave an impassioned speech on the House floor on Friday during debate on funding the Department of Homeland Security and President Barack Obama’s un-Constitutional executive actions on immigration.
Gohmert accused Obama of usurping Congress by ‘speaking’ laws in to effect—not even bothering to write anything—that are then enacted from thin air by means of a Homeland Security memorandum without any involvement by Congress.
While Gohmert didn’t say so, the image of Yul Brynner as the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses in the film The Ten Commandments comes to mind. One of Brynner’s memorable lines was when he would make law for Egypt simply by speaking his dictate followed by, “So let it be written, so let it be done.”
Text of Rep. Gohmert’s speech as transcribed by Kristinn Taylor.
“Thank you, Madam Speaker. I appreciated so much my friend Mr. Scott bringing that oath. It does mean a lot taking that oath–to serve in the Army for four years taking basically the same oath; to be a prosecutor in Texas; to be a judge in Texas; to be a chief justice in Texas and now to be in Congress–it means something.
“And protecting the Constitution means that if we don’t preserve the balance of power then this little experiment in democracy or the ‘Republic, madam’ as Benjamin Franklin referred to will be lost.
“So I appreciated what my friend from Maryland said and I wrote it down because it was profound and I quote, “We gave up the opportunity to act responsibly.”
“And I would humbly submit Madam Speaker that that’s been going on for the last six years. Now some of it went on during the Bush administration as the president used executive orders and took powers that probably shouldn’t have been his.
“But in talking to people that have been in Congress over the last thirty-five years or so, they’ve told me that whether it was Gerald Ford, or Richard Nixon—Goldwater went down Pennsylvania Avenue—Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton or George W. Bush there was a willingness on both sides of the aisle to get in a car together and go down Pennsylvania and say, “Mr. President, you have usurped far too much power. We can’t let you destroy the Constitution any further. We are taking a stand.”
“And we have missed that opportunity to act responsibly but fortunately it’s not yet too late. This will act respon-(glitch in video)-say and if you don’t know what irresponsibility is then look at Judge Hanen’s opinion he spells it out.
“This president didn’t even have the gumption to write an executive order and sign it. He spoke his new amnesty law in to being and then Jeh Johnson did a memo. That took the power of Congress away from us.
“So the question on acting responsibly is, “Do we make that message clear? We’re not having laws spoken in to being in this country and having some bureaucrat—unelected—come around with a memo that undoes laws by different Congresses all these years, signed by different Presidents with a memo?”
“Come on. It’s time to act responsibly. Now is the time, please, I know party divisions run deep but stand with us for the Constitution.
“I yield back.”