May 15, 2019 - Issue: Vol. 165, No. 81 — Daily Edition116th Congress (2019 - 2020) - 1st Session
SYSTEM OF CHECKS AND BALANCES IS AT RISK; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 81
(House of Representatives - May 15, 2019)
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[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. ____________________