Fox News host Chris Wallace zinged the White House chief of staff, Denis McDonough, during a televised interview, asking the presidential mouthpiece during discussion of executive orders: What ever happened to the notion of Article One, in the Constitution?
That’s the one that reads, in part: “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”
Wallace asked: “Whatever happened to [that]?”
McDonough, as Mediaite reported, “first answered by basically taking a victory lap, touting how this time last year the White House was being asked if [President] Obama’s just ‘done’ for the rest of his term,” a reference to the lame-duck session a president generally enters during his last year in office.
But Wallace wouldn’t let the matter drop, asking McDonough again about “what the Constitution says” in regards to the rights of the legislative branch, versus the powers of the executive.
McDonough then said the president’s use of executive orders, most recently to enact gun control, aren’t “self-executing powers” and that Obama was simply pressing for better enforcement of laws already in place.
His answer seemed to mirror what Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett just said about the gun control executive orders issued by her boss. As WND reported, Jarrett denied the orders circumvented Congress.
“Let’s be specific,” Jarrett said to CNN in the lead-up to Obama’s presser on the executive orders. “The president is not circumventing Congress. They have made it very clear they are not going to act [and] the president is doing what is well within his executive authority to do.”
Wallace also raised the potential for Obama to close Guantanamo Bay via executive order, despite the fact Congress has turned down such action several times. And McDonough’s response?
As Mediaite reported, he said Obama’s been trying to work with Congress on the matter, and expressed willingness to continue that path before making a decision to act unilaterally or not.