Steve King rips State of the Union executive order
By: Mackenzie Weinger
January 28, 2014 08:01 AM EST
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) on Tuesday called President Barack Obama’s plan to sign an executive order to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers a “constitutional violation.”
King told CNN’s “New Day” that the news from the White House that Obama will announce during Tuesday night’s State of the Union address that he’s raising the minimum wage for employees under new federal contracts to $10.10 an hour is a clear example of the president going beyond the bounds of the Constitution.
“I think it’s a constitutional violation,” King said. “We have a minimum wage. Congress has set it. For the president to simply declare ‘I’m going to change this law that Congress has passed,’ is unconstitutional. He’s outside the bounds of his Article II limitations.”
“This threat that the president is going to run the government with an ink pen and executive orders, we’ve never had a president with that level of audacity and that level of contempt for his own oath of office,” King added.
CNN’s Chris Cuomo then noted that President Bill Clinton “signed a lot more executive orders than President Obama has, but if you want to stay with your line of reasoning, it could be a little bit of a dangerous game.”
“How invested are you in this, representative, because if he really is abusing his constitutional powers, some might say that’s ground for action against the president, maybe even an impeachable offense. Is that what you’re saying?” Cuomo asked.
“You know, I’ve stayed away from that word, although it does come to me on the streets of America consistently,” King replied. “I think instead, this Congress should lay out the violations that the president has had. And there are many.”
White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, meanwhile, told CBS on Tuesday that “rather than sit and wait for Congress to take action, we’re going to go ahead and roll out on our own, using the president’s authority.”
“Nobody who works full time and works hard at their job should live in poverty,” he said. “We think $10.10 an hour will allow them to do that.”
The White House will “look to work with Congress where we can,” McDonough said, “but I think as we’ve seen over the last several years now, Congress sometimes is a little slow to action.”
“We’re not going to wait for that, because we believe the American people are looking for concrete, realistic proposals to see the kind of progress and opportunity for everybody,” he said.
King, however, said on CNN that Obama is aware of his limitations under the Constitution and that the president “knows better” — “It’s Congress’s job to pass the laws. He knows that. And we need to take our oath seriously and defend the Constitution,” he said.