[Ed. – Raises a valid question about the scope of executive authority.]
“After four years of Donald Trump,” declared Senator Amy Klobuchar in a statement on Tuesday, “a new president can’t wait for a bunch of congressional hearings to act.” To that end, the Minnesota Democrat, who hopes to become the new president in January 2021, issued a 16-page list of all the “concrete steps she will take in her first 100 days” if she is elected to the White House.
But do Americans really want their government to operate on the basis of unilateral presidential decrees? When Klobuchar dismisses any thought of waiting “for a bunch of congressional hearings” before upending the government’s priorities and principles, what she is really dismissing is the constitutional order, which puts Congress, not the president, in charge of changing US law. There is nothing ambiguous about Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution. “All legislative powers,” it begins, “shall be vested in a Congress of the United States.” All — not just the ones a president isn’t too impatient to wait for. Yet Congress is almost an afterthought in Klobuchar’s approach.