Congressman Robert Pittenger

Representing the 9th District of North Carolina
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Executive Overreach

President Obama campaigned as a champion of transparency, yet he increasingly rules as an unaccountable monarch.

Ignoring the Constitution he once taught as a law professor and the obligations of his oath of office, President Obama attempts to create and change laws with his phone and his pen, misusing the privilege of executive orders to circumvent Congress and the American people’s elected Representatives.

Our Founding Fathers carefully considered each word of our Constitution, developing a radical new form of purposefully divided government, with a separation of powers and a delegation of specific responsibilities to the federal government and to the states.  Three distinct branches of government were designated to serve as a system of checks and balances.

In order to uphold my oath to protect and defend this marvelous Constitution, and to force President Obama to acknowledge the wise restrictions on his office set forth by the Constitution, I supported H. Res. 676, which authorizes the House of Representatives to sue President Obama.

  • This lawsuit isn’t “Republicans versus Democrats.”
  • House Republicans are focused on upholding the Constitution.
  • President Obama has refused to act within his prescribed powers, and we will ask the courts to intervene on behalf of ordinary Americans.

To ensure the best chance of success, the lawsuit must be focused on specific instances.  We have chosen President Obama’s unilateral actions to change his own health care law . . . the same one Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said must be passed to know what was in it.

After forcing Obamacare through with procedural gimmicks, President Obama found it was full of problems and has more than once violated the Constitution by altering this law with unilateral action.  He has acted to create law with the stroke of his pen.  Yet according to the Constitution, Congress creates the laws, and the President is responsible for enforcement.

Rewriting Obamacare has not been President Obama’s only instance of executive overreach and a lack of transparency.  President Obama’s decision to not enforce existing immigration law through his “Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals” program (DACA) led many Central American parents to believe they could send their children on a dangerous journey, unaccompanied, have them smuggled illegally across the border, and the children would then be allowed to remain in the United States.  This summer, I helped pass H.R. 5272, which freezes and defunds DACA, and also helped pass H.R. 5230, which provides funding for increased National Guard patrols along the border, accelerated judicial proceedings for these young illegal immigrants, and appropriate humanitarian care until they can be returned home.

The American people have grown tired of our Commander-in-Chief repeatedly claiming to learn of major scandals within his own Administration from the press, and House Republicans continue to call him to task for his actions.

This year I supported the establishment of the House Select Committee on Benghazi (H.R. 567), chaired by my colleague, Congressman Trey Gowdy.  The loss of four American lives is tragic and the American people deserve to know the truth.

Ignoring our long history of not negotiating with terrorists, President Obama “traded” five senior Taliban leaders for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl.  President Obama also ignored his legal duty to inform Congress prior to the swap, incurring strong bipartisan criticism, including from Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Diane Feinstein (D-CA).

Closer to home, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse both received highly-questionable scrutiny by the IRS in apparent retaliation for the organizations’ public support for traditional marriage, adding to a long list of conservative organizations targeted by the IRS based on their ideology.  Congress is actively investigating these abuses of power and the highly-suspicious loss of e-mails from former top IRS official Lois Lerner.

As your Congressman, I am committed to defending the Constitution, ending President Obama’s executive overreach, and fighting every time he attempts to circumvent Congress and due process.  If you have any questions about these ongoing efforts, please call my Washington office at 202-225-1976.


More than a dozen times, the United States Supreme Court has unanimously rejected President Obama’s attempts to violate and act outside his Constitutionally-prescribed authority.  Repeatedly, President Obama has maneuvered to grow the size of the government and increase the reach of the Executive Branch, and repeatedly, the Supreme Court has ruled 9-0 that he cannot do so.

The Supreme Court has ruled that President Obama cannot

  • Undermine the Senate’s “advice and consent” responsibility mandated by the Constitution
  • Restrict the rights of private landowners to challenge harsh penalties from Executive Branch agencies
  • Limit the applications of the establishment and free exercise clauses guaranteeing Freedom of Religion

Even Supreme Court Justices appointed by President Obama have ruled against his attempts to circumvent the Constitution and concentrate more power in the Oval Office.

Arguably, President Obama’s most blatant power grab was his attempt to make unconstitutional appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).  As union membership continually decreases, unions have used the NLRB to protect and prop them up.  The Senate, asserting its power    to act as a “check” against the President, would not confirm President Obama’s chosen pro-union NLRB appointments.

To circumvent the normal process of Senate confirmation, President Obama made what he called “recess appointments,” even though the Senate was in active session.  President Obama tried to extend the historical power and purpose of recess appoints to mean he had ultimate, final decision of when the Senate was and wasn’t in recess, thereby giving him monarch-like control over when he could make appointments with or without the Constitutionally-mandated “advice and consent” of the Senate.

The President tried to erase decades of historical precedent and undue the significant, Constitutionally-required balance of powers.  Fortunately, our Founding Fathers had the forethought to create multiple checks and balances, and President Obama’s own judicial appointees joined a unanimous Supreme Court in telling President Obama “no.”

More on Executive Overreach

Jan 25, 2017 Press Release
During his final month in power, President Obama provided $261 million U.S. tax dollars to the Palestinian Authority.
Jan 9, 2017 Press Release
Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) and Congressman Richard Hudson (NC-08) urged the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to reject North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s illegal proposed Obamacare expansion.
Jun 23, 2016 Press Release
Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) had this statement following the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold a lower court ruling that President Obama’s amnesty plan for illegal immigrants is unlawful:
Jun 1, 2016 Press Release
In response to media reports that Human Rights Campaign is pressuring the Federal Aviation Administration to withhold money from North Carolina over HB2, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) announced he will introduce an amendment to block that threat.
May 26, 2016 Press Release
Congressman Robert Pittenger took action to block President Obama’s bullying of North Carolina.
May 13, 2016 Press Release
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest announced the Obama Administration will not withhold funding from North Carolina while HB2-related lawsuits are decided in federal court.
Mar 17, 2016 Press Release
Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) joined the U.S. House of Representatives in authorizing House Speaker Paul Ryan to file an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case of United States v. Texas, which addresses the constitutionality of President Obama’s November 2014 “Deferred Action for Parents of Americans” (DAPA) executive order.
Jan 14, 2015 Press Release
This morning, Congressman Robert Pittenger joined the U.S. House of Representatives in passing the DHS Appropriations Act (H.R. 240), which provides for the largest operational force in the history of the Customs and Border Protection Agency, enhances efforts to combat child exploitation and human trafficking, and increases cybersecurity operations.
Jan 12, 2015 Press Release
Following through on his promise to take action on President Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty plan as soon as Republicans controlled both the House and Senate, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) became one of the first Members of Congress to co-sponsor the Repeal Executive Amnesty Act of 2015 (H.R. 191).
Dec 4, 2014 Press Release
This morning, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) addressed the U.S. House of Representatives in support of H.R. 5759, the Preventing Executive Overreach on Immigration Act, which Congressman Pittenger co-sponsored.