Paul legislation to receive hearing Print
FOR RELEASE: October 22, 1999

Paul legislation to receive hearing Measure restricts power of president to legislate with pen

WASHINGTON, DC -- Next week, a subcommittee of the House of Representatives will hold a hearing on legislation introduced by US Rep. Ron Paul (R, TX) that would restrict the power of presidents to legislate by Executive Order.
The Committee on the Judiciary's Subcommittee on Commerce and Administrative Law will hold the hearing on Thursday, October 28, 1999, in room B-353 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The legislation is HR 2655, the Separation of Powers Restoration Act. Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde (R, IL) issued the formal invitation for Rep. Paul to testify on behalf of the legislation.
"The American public has grown increasingly weary of the use of Executive Orders, as presidents have used them to bypass Congress and legislate from the Oval Office," said Rep. Paul. "Presidents must be able to direct their employees, but this power must be closely confined by the laws which they are constitutionally and legislatively empowered to execute."
Former Clinton Advisor Paul Begala was quoted in the New York Times on July 5, 1998, as saying of Executive Orders, "Stroke of the pen. Law of the Land. Kinda cool."
But the US Constitution does not give presidents this power, said Rep. Paul.
"I'm pleased the Judiciary Committee has decided to hold hearings on this important issue which affects every American."
HR2655 would limit the scope of the Executive Orders a president can issue to only directing his staff and executive branch employees in carrying out authorized activities. It would also give legal standing to Members of Congress and average citizens to bring court cases against an administration if an Executive Order deprives them of their rights or harms them economically. It also repeals the 1973 War Powers Resolution, returning exclusive authority to Congress to declare national emergencies, while repealing all "national emergencies" currently on the books -- most dating from the late 1970s and early 1980s.
The legislation currently has nine cosponsors, including Don Young (R, AK), chairman of the Committee on Resources.