Gardner to Obama: No Executive Tax Increases

Washington, D.C. – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) sent a letter today to President Barack Obama urging him to reject calls by some in Congress for executive actions increasing taxes. The letter further urges the President to slow the tide of unilateral executive orders on a variety of topics, arguing that these actions undermine our constitutional system of government. The letter reads, in part:

I worry that unilateral action, publicly justified by your spokesperson as a response to an obstinate Congress and dependent upon an improper expansion of executive power, is becoming standard practice under this Administration.  Recent executive actions on immigration, for example, disregard congressionally-enacted statutes.  Agency-promulgated regulations, such as a recent ban on AR-15 ammunition used for sporting purposes, are infringing upon individual rights enshrined in the Constitution.  And Supreme Court decisions rebuking the Administration and protecting the powers of the legislature, such as NLRB v. Noel Canning, seem to barely slow the inexorable march towards an unchecked executive.  Just as troubling are recent reports that your Administration is exploring ways in which it can implement new tax revenues without the support of either house of Congress. 

The power of the purse is one of the most basic powers held by our legislature and traces its roots back to the British Parliament, which held the power to levy taxes and spend money as a check against the monarchy.  Today, it is the most effective check on executive authority in this country.  By unilaterally rewriting the country’s tax code to implement your preferred policies, the executive branch would encroach upon this long-standing legislative power and undermine the separate, co-equal institutions that have served the American people well for hundreds of years.  I urge you to abandon your current course and publicly reject calls to act unilaterally on tax policy.

The full text of the letter can be read here.