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Tipsheet

Grassley to DOJ: How About Some Transparency on Obama's Executive Orders?

Late last week President Obama released 12 new executive orders without the consent of Congress. The orders came on the same day of Obama's 2014 State of the Union address, when he threatened to go around Congress and the American people whenever necessary to "get things done."

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Now, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley is asking for transparency on the orders and has sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder expressing concerns about Obama's lack of law enforcement for policies of which he disagrees.

"I am gravely concerned that the system of checks and balances enshrined in the Constitution is threatened by the President’s determination to take unilateral action if he cannot persuade Congress and the American people of the merits of his ideas. In short, while the President recently remarked that he has a pen and a phone, we have a Constitution that places limits on his use of them to issue Executive Orders," Grassley wrote. "My concern about the President’s proposed use of these orders is heightened by the Administration’s record of failing to discharge its constitutional duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” either by declining to enforce laws with which it does not agree or delaying or waiving portions of other laws to suit its convenience."

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Grassley has requested Holder direct the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel to publicly disclose opinions, analyses and conclusions regarding the legality of all the Executive Orders to be issued by President Obama.

During President Obama's tenure, the Department of Justice has refused to enforce certain laws the administration disagrees with, rather than legally change them. For example, in 2011 Holder announced the Department would no longer enforce the Defense of Marriage Act. In addition, we've seen President Obama change parts of the Affordable Care Act without Congressional approval.

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