SYSTEM OF CHECKS AND BALANCES IS AT RISK; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 81
(House of Representatives - May 15, 2019)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.


[Page H3795]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                SYSTEM OF CHECKS AND BALANCES IS AT RISK

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Green) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. GREEN of Texas. Madam Speaker, and still I rise because I love my 
country. And still I rise because there is a crisis that has to be 
addressed.
  Madam Speaker, the system of checks and balances that we have 
instilled within our government, a system that the Framers of the 
Constitution devised such that there would not be a concentration of 
power in the hands of the chief executive officer of the government, in 
fact, is to prevent a concentration of power in any aspect. There is 
power that is spread across the government.
  There are three branches of the government. I want to focus this 
morning, if I may, on two--the executive and the legislative--because, 
Madam Speaker, this morning, as I stand before you, a proud American, I 
must inform all that the system of checks and balances is at risk.
  It is at risk because we now have a President who does not believe 
that he can or will be impeached. We have a President who refuses to 
allow Congress to perform its constitutionally accorded oversight 
responsibilities.
  When you have a President who does this, Madam Speaker, you lose the 
power of Congress. It becomes concentrated in the President. The 
Presidency becomes a place where power is concentrated because the 
President has no fear:
  He doesn't believe that there are consequences for his going beyond 
what the Constitution allows;
  He will engage in conduct that Article II, Section 4 of the 
Constitution would prohibit; and
  He will engage in impeachable offenses because he knows that the 
Congress will not impeach him.
  It is impeachment that is the ultimate guard against a reckless, 
ruthless, lawless President; and if we do not exert our authority, this 
President, knowing that we won't, is capable of doing things that we 
cannot imagine.
  Madam Speaker, it is up to us, the Members of this Congress, to 
assure that this government continues to have the checks and balances 
that the Framers of the Constitution intended. If we do not, if 
Congress does not fulfill its responsibility, we won't have a 
Presidency. The power will be so concentrated that we will have a 
monarchy.
  The Framers of the Constitution never intended for a President to 
just totally disregard the Congress. And notwithstanding all that might 
happen in the courts, notwithstanding all of the subpoenas that may be 
taken to court and have them litigated properly, the ultimate check on 
a President is Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution, and that is 
impeachment when he commits impeachable acts.
  We have the Mueller report. It speaks for itself. And there are many 
constitutional scholars who have said there has been an obstruction to 
take place.
  There are many lawyers who have worked in the Justice Department. 
They number hundreds now, the lawyers who have signed on, indicating 
that the President should be beneath the law just as everyone else is, 
or the law should apply to him. He shouldn't be above the law.
  They are indicating that, if we don't act, we are showing the 
President that he is above the law. He then becomes a monarch, and we 
then become a weaker form of government.
  So I call upon this Congress: Let us do what is expected of us. The 
Framers of the Constitution gave us the way. They have shown the way. 
We but only have to have the will, and it is worth it for us to do this 
because the country is at stake in the sense that the government is at 
risk.
  Madam Speaker, I love my country.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Members are reminded to refrain from 
engaging in personalities toward the President.

                          ____________________