December 6, 2016

Trump Should Reverse Obama’s Executive Actions-7 Areas to Start

Obamas-PenUnder the U.S. Constitution, Congress, not the president, creates the laws. Article I of the Constitution grants enumerated legislative powers to Congress. The Constitution assigns the executive the duty to enforce the law, and Article II, Section 3 requires that the president “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”

However, throughout the last eight years, we have seen the Obama administration continually abuse the power of the executive branch by issuing unconstitutional, unilateral executive actions to push its agenda. The “old days” of Congress creating our laws have become a distant memory.

President Barack Obama even went so far as to announce his unilateralism, saying, “We’re not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help they need. I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone.”

Well, it appears that American voters have their own pens, too, and they’ve put them to their ballots now in a stunning and decisive way. On Tuesday, the American people elected Republican outsider Donald J. Trump to serve as the 45th president of the United States.

Now, with control of the presidency, both chambers of Congress, and soon the Supreme Court, conservatives across the country are looking forward to repairing some of the damage Obama has inflicted on our constitutional system.

As long promised, Trump should use the first 100 days of his administration to repeal every illegal executive action the Obama administration has issued while in office.

Here is a list of the seven areas with the most damaging executive actions signed during the Obama administration that must be repealed:

  1. Crony Exemptions to Obamacare. While Trump works with Congress to actually repeal Obamacare, he can start by issuing an order to halt some of Obama’s executive actions that created special exemptions to Obamacare for his favored constituencies.
  2. Executive Amnesty. The new president must repeal Obama’s unilateral changes to our nation’s immigration laws, which exempted certain categories of illegal aliens from being deported. (This bar on deportations was halted by a court order, but the underlying exemption still remains on the books.)
  3. Environmental Protection Agency Overreaches. Trump must repeal Obama’s multiple illegitimate expansions of EPA rules. These new rules have imposed huge costs on society and are crippling the U.S. energy sector.
  4. Appeasement of Iran. Trump must repeal the executive order that single-handedly removed U.S. sanctions on Iran. These sanctions provided key leverage to the U.S. in negotiations with Iran, and their removal has cleared Iran’s path in developing a nuclear weapon.
  5. Climate Change Bureaucracy. Trump must repeal the executive order that purports to “prepare the United States for the impacts of climate change.” This action from Obama created manifold new justifications for government spending based on inconclusive science.
  6. Life and Religious Liberty. Trump should reverse Obamacare’s unprecedented taxpayer funding of abortion. He should also direct the secretary of Health and Human Services to undertake a rulemaking process that will end the mandate for insurance to cover abortion-inducing drugs and contraception, along with “gender transition” therapies and surgeries.
  7. “Gender Identity.” Trump should repeal the Obama administration’s Title IX guidance equating “gender identity” with “biological sex.” The Department of Justice and Department of Education have wielded this guidance to punish educational institutions for “discrimination” under Title IX, simply for having separate showers, locker rooms, and bathrooms for men and women.

By making the repeal of these executive actions a priority, the Trump administration will have an easy opportunity to right some of the wrongs of the past administration.

As Henry Ford once said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” It’s been a while since conservatives have had an opportunity like this one, and it is imperative we take advantage of it.

Brad Bishop is a senior media associate at The Heritage Foundation.

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