(Newsmax) – President Barack Obama’s vow to use executive power to pass sweeping immigration reform would be “a shredding of the Constitution,” says Sen. David Vitter, deputy whip of the U.S. Senate.
“This would clearly, absolutely clearly, be going way beyond the president’s authority under the Constitution,” Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, said Thursday on “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.
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“This would be acting contrary to all sorts of statutes that exist on the law. Presidents have significant powers, including executive authority but they fill in the blanks of statutes.
“They can’t do things contrary to statutes, contrary to law. That’s what this would be doing.”
Vitter’s comments came after Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican expected to become Senate majority leader, said an executive action by Obama on immigration would be like “waving a red flag in front of a bull.”
Vitter, a member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, agreed that such an act by the president would kill any prospect of “cooperation on a whole host of issues.”
“We’re going to have to really have a clear, aggressive plan in terms of reacting strongly to this because it would be a serious, serious constitutional overstep,” he said.
Vitter also said he was alarmed by reports that the White House got the media to agree to not report on suspected Ebola cases in the United States — until they are confirmed.
“If any media outlets are taking order or direction from any president, that’s bad news for democracy,” he said.
Reacting to the president’s call for $6 billion in funding to combat the deadly virus, Vitter said:
“I absolutely agree with attacking this epidemic at its source and sending plenty of reinforcements to attack it where it exists in Africa.
“But what has to go hand in hand with that is measures to contain it there, including significant travel restrictions. That combination is exactly what worked in the 1970s in a previous Ebola outbreak in Africa.
“There were significant quarantines, restrictions, and travel restrictions and that worked and both of those things have to be done again hand in hand.”