President Obama's amendments to Obamacare through executive actions have received much criticism from Republican pundits and politicians. The criticism is beginning to spill over to Democratic Party circles, as demonstrated on Monday's America's Newsroom, which featured liberal columnist Kirsten Powers arguing that Obama's unilateral decisions to delay parts of the bill does not "comport with the Constitution."
Powers was asked to comment after host Bill Hemmer showed a clip of Senator Mike Lee calling the President's actions shameless, and fellow guest Town Hall's Katie Pavlich, bringing up liberal law professor Jonathan Turley calling the President's 29 executive changes to the Obamacare law a constitutional crisis.
I do think Jonathan Turley is sort of an unimpeachable witness here in the sense that he did vote for Obama and he's a constitutional scholar, so I would take seriously what he says. And he points out that President Obama rightly criticized George Bush for all his signing statements, which Turley also thought was a power grab, but then he turns around and does this. So I think there is some merit in that argument. I will have to say that a lot of people say, no, this is a tax, and they have a right to do some sort of changes in the implementation. So there is real disagreement about that. But it does seem that the president has decided to ignore a lot of things he was very critical of when he was running for office.
Later Hemmer asked Powers to comment on the argument that the President needs the "flexibility to make the business of Obamacare run."
It's a fair thing to say that there needs to be some flexibility. But it does need to be legal, what they do, it does need to comport with the Constitution. It's the same kind of argument that is made when the president has a kill list and decides he is going to unilaterally kill people, note that he’s the judge, jury and executioner. Then people say, well he does need to be able to do that. That's a nice opinion, but it doesn’t really comport with the Constitution of the laws of the country.