VIDEO – Rep. Tom Graves: Words Matter


VIDEO – Rep. Tom Graves: Words Matter

Your Georgia – GA 14 – Desk

From Congressman Tom Graves 

Words Matter

Today, Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) spoke on the House floor in support of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill and the amendments that prohibit any funds from being used to carry out the president’s unlawful executive actions.

A full transcript of Rep. Graves’ remarks is below.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to read to you a few quotes.

First, “With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed… Congress passes the law. The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws.”

“The problem is that I’m the president of the United States, I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.”

“I can’t do it by myself. We’re going to have to change the laws in Congress.”

“I am president, I am not king. I can’t do these things just by myself.”

“I’m not a king.  You know, my job as the head of the executive branch ultimately is to carry out the law.”

“I’m bound by the Constitution; I’m bound by separation of powers.  There are some things we can’t do. Congress has the power of the purse, for example.

These are the words and statements of the President of the United States.

And, words matter.

But, even after the president said all of this, in a politically motivated action last November, he pursued a course that could allow up to 5 million undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States illegally and without consequence.

And, like my constituents, I am outraged.

President Obama defied the will expressed by the American people last November and blatantly contradicted his own statements about the limits of the Executive Branch.                                       

But, now let’s be clear, lest others confuse this issue today, this is not a debate about immigration.

That’ll come later.

But, this is about the rule of law.

This is about the constitutional separation of powers.

This is about the respect we owe the American people.

In this Appropriations bill, we’re exercising the power of the purse, and we’re taking a strong, narrow approach that will, first and foremost, provide security to our homeland.

And secondly, deny any funds whatsoever from being used to carry out the president’s unwise – and, in my opinion, unconstitutional – actions.

Now, I have to say, the president was right about a couple of things: he is not an emperor and he is surely not a king.

And House Republicans are united in making sure he doesn’t get away with acting like one either.

And, yet, before the debate even begins, last night the president is already issuing threats.

He is threating to shut down the Department of Homeland Security because this bill prevents him from implementing his own ideology.

But make no mistake: A veto threat is a threat to our national security.

A veto threat is an open invitation to our enemies.

And in the wake of the horrific terrorist attack last week in France, is the president really willing to compromise the safety of 320 million Americans to appease his base and score political points?

God, help us if that is the case.

Today, it is up to us in the House.


Let’s vote to defend the constitutional role of the legislature.

Let’s vote to stop the president’s blatant overreach.

And let’s vote to secure our homeland.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I yield back.

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