Interviewed by George Stephanopoulos this Sunday on This Week, Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) seemed to back down from talk of impeaching President Obama in light of his “lawless” behavior and admitted that he just doesn’t agree with him on policy issues.
They spoke of many things including the debt ceiling, immigration reform and Pope Francis, but the highlight of the interview was definitely Ryan’s retreat from impeachment rhetoric.
After playing a clip of the relevant remarks in the State of the Union Address Stephanopoulos asked, “Now you’ve had a pretty tough reaction to this. Suggesting the president is circumventing the Constitution. Do you really think his proposals are unconstitutional? You know, his rate of using executive orders is far behind President Reagan, President Bush, President Clinton.”
“It’s not the number of executive orders,” Ryan replied. “It’s the scope of the executive orders. It’s the fact that he’s actually contradicting law, like in the healthcare case, or proposing new laws without going through Congress, George, that’s the issue. So this is s big concern. We have an increasingly lawless presidency where he is actually doing the job of Congress writing new policies and laws without going through Congress.”
Stephanopoulos then asked if he was prepared to move to impeach since he considers the President to be “lawless.”
“No, I’m look, we have a difference of opinion, clearly,” he said, “and some of these are going to get fought out in court. You have some court challenges with respect to religious freedom going to the court this spring, but I am concerned about this trend, such as what he said at the State Of The Union, that ‘if Congress doesn’t give me the law I want, I’m going to go do it myself.’ That’s effectively what he said. That is not the way our Constitution works, and by the way, when we get sworn in, whether it’s a president or a congressman, you swear to uphold the Constitution, and I think these executive orders are creating a dangerous trend, which is contrary to the Constitution.”
Apparently Mr. Ryan has forgotten that following the State of the Union he said in an interview on CNN, “It sounds like to me the president looks like he is willing to circumvent the Constitution. The presidents do not write laws. That’s what Congress does. That’s Congress’ job, and if presidents try to circumvent congress by writing their own laws, then he is circumventing the Constitution.”
Watch the interview in the video below.