Don’t believe a single word of what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says about President Trump’s recent emergency relief measures — after repeatedly backing Barack Obama’s dodgy executive orders, she is the last person in Washington who should lecture the White House about separation of powers.
President Trump’s recent decision to end the partisan stalemate in Congress by authorizing emergency economic relief through a series of executive orders did not sit well with some prominent Democrat lawmakers, including Pelosi. Just hours after the announcement, the Speaker began showering the President with criticism, arguing that the Trump administration’s actions are “unconstitutional.”
Of course, the recent executive orders fall well short of the usurpation of power that Pelosi is proclaiming them to be. Rather, they are targeted measures that cleverly utilize existing statutory authority to break the logjam in Congress and force the Democrats to negotiate in good faith on a relief package.
Anyone who is remotely familiar with Nancy Pelosi’s enthusiastic support for Obama’s executive overreach knows just how shockingly hypocritical she sounds.
Keep in mind, this is the same Nancy Pelsi who enthusiastically backed Obama’s questionable 2014 executive order raising the minimum wage for federal workers, praising the White House for “taking strong action on behalf of hard working Americans.”
“With this executive order and the action increasing the minimum wage for federal contract workers, the President has once again reaffirmed the bedrock promise of America: that if you work hard and play by the rules, you will get a fair shake, a decent wage, and the opportunity to build a better future for yourself and your family,” she said at the time.
This is the same Nancy Pelsi who also lauded Obama for bypassing Congress by issuing an executive order on LGBT employment privileges.
“Today, we reaffirm the great promise of our nation: E pluribus unum. ‘Out of many, we are one,’” Pelosi said in a statement, adding that “The President’s executive order represents long-awaited progress for LGBT Americans.”
This is the same Nancy Pelsi who proudly commended the Obama administration for issuing an ineffectual directive to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, calling it a “deliberate and responsible” action.
This is also the same Nancy Pelosi who repeatedly praised Obama’s unconstitutional executive order known as DACA, and who delivered an eight-hour-long rant in 2018 encouraging lawmakers to build on Obama’s legacy of protecting illegal aliens.
“As members of Congress, we have a moral responsibility to act now to protect Dreamers who are the pride of our nation and are American in every way, but on paper,” she remarked two years ago, adding that “There’s nothing partisan or political about protecting Dreamers.”
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We can argue about Obama’s policies, but there is nothing “partisan or political” about helping American workers recover from the global coronavirus pandemic. Pelosi, though, only supports executive action when it conforms to her ideological agenda or helps to advance her political interests. When a Democrat occupied the White House, she insisted that Congress was essentially obligated to rubber-stamp his decrees; now that Donald Trump sits in the Oval Office, she’s suddenly concerned about the role of Congress.
Pelosi’s interpretation of the Constitution shifts with political circumstances, rendering her criticisms of President Trump nothing more than partisan opportunism.
Charlie Kirk is the founder and executive director of Turning Point USA, an advocacy group for young conservatives.