As the Affordable Care Act continues to implode and the news is daily filled with stories about violations of the Constitution of the United States that Barack Hussein Obama swore to uphold at his two inaugurations, there is more and more talk about his impeachment.  It is obvious that many people do not understand the constitutional provisions for the removal from office of a president.  It is a two step process.  First the House of Representatives impeaches (this is analagous to an indictment by a grand jury)  and then the president is tried before the Senate.  Only upon conviction by the Senate on a two-thirds vote can the president be considered removed from office.  Here are the pertinent passages of the Constitution:
Article 2,  Section 1
5:  The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.
Article 2, Section 4
The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
Article 3.
6:  The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.  When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation.  When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside:  And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.
7:  Judgment in Cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States:  but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.
Recently  a friend wrote to my Congressman about impeachment of Obama and Congressman Blake Farenthold responded as you can read below.  I share Congressman Farenthold’s view on the futility of impeaching Obama, with this difference.  While I believe that impeaching Obama prior to the seating of the next Congress would be futile.  No Democrat-controlled Senate will ever convict Obama and impeachment without conviction and removal from office is not only futile, it is counter productive.  President Clinton is very active in campaigns for democrats and we can imagine he will be even more active if his wife is a candidate in 2016.  An impeached and convicted/removed Obama would be disgraced and much less likely to be involved in the 2016 elections.
What will be much more desirable for those who seek Obama’s impeachment now is for them to expend their energy and treasure in ensuring that the Republican Party candidates for the United States Senate are elected this year so that the next Congress will no longer have a Democrat controlled Senate.
– Abyssum

Dear X:

Thank you for contacting me to share your views on the impeachment of President Obama.

This is one of the top issues people write me about. The calls to impeach the President have grown recently due to reports of troubling actions surrounding this Administration and its agencies. Namely: the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) subjecting certain conservative groups to extra scrutiny regarding their tax status; the Administration’s actions in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya; the failure of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to keep track of the firearms involved in the Fast and Furious operation; and the Administration authorizing the National Security Agency (NSA) to collect private citizens’ phone and Internet records as a means to investigate terrorism.

Moreover, those in favor of impeaching President Obama say he has breached his duty to the American people by evading Constitutional Checks, and Advice and Consent accountability through one or more of the following actions:

  • Changing the implementation of key sections of the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, without Congressional oversight. For example: the Administration’s decision to delay the employer mandate of Obamacare until 2015. The President doesn’t have the power to go around Congress and unilaterally change the law. The President’s health care law also imposes an individual mandate that is unconstitutional by forcing Americans to inform the IRS of their health care choices.
  • Violating the Constitution by appointing Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) during a pro forma session of the Senate. The President decided to make his own rules for the Senate and violate the Recess Appointments Clause in an unprecedented manner to get his way. This heavy-handed decision violated the Senate’s Constitutional right to determine its own proceedings and its duty to provide or withhold advice and consent on important presidential nominations. The result undermined constitutional checks and balances and deprived citizens of their only opportunity to influence the CFPB;
  • Violating the Constitution when he assigned three members; Sharon Block, Terence Flynn, and Richard Griffin to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) during a pro forma session of the Senate. With little patience for Constitutional processes, the President couldn’t wait for the regular order of the Senate;
  • Recess-appointing Donald Berwick to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to implement his massive health care takeover before the Senate had even held a hearing on the nomination, depriving the American people, through their elected representatives, of having a say in who heads this agency that affects nearly all Americans’ health care;
  • Unilaterally reforming No Child Left Behind by issuing waivers to let states bypass the law’s requirements. States had to adopt reforms formulated and mandated by the Department of Education, not Congress, in order to receive a waiver. President Obama effectively changed education law without congressional approval;
  • Circumventing Congress by making changes to the federal student loan program by allowing student loan borrowers to reduce payments from 15% of their discretionary income to 10% and permitting a new form of loan consolidation;
  • Allowing the EPA to unilaterally expand its Clean Water Act powers to include jurisdiction over all “waters of the U.S.,” not just “navigable waters” covered by the law and forging ahead with rules to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act, despite even a Democratic Congress under Nancy Pelosi blocking “cap-and-trade” legislation to limit these emissions;
  • Allowing the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a new, unaccountable bureaucracy created in the President’s health care law, to issue rules to reduce Medicare spending. The law mandates that a majority of board members must consist of economists and similar “experts,” not practicing doctors, nurses, or other medical providers. Its name to the contrary, IPAB is not simply an advisory board. Its members will make rules to reduce Medicare spending, which will be binding unless overturned by a supermajority of both houses of Congress. The power given to the unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats has resulted in a constitutional challenge to the board;
  • Instructing his Attorney General to stop enforcement of part of the Defense of Marriage Act;
  • Allowing the Department of Homeland Security to implement the policy goals of the DREAM act, a law that passed in the House, but failed in the Senate, when it instructed Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to exercise “prosecutorial discretion” in determining whether to deport or detain illegal aliens. This decision to grant temporary reprieve to young undocumented immigrants was made without congressional approval;
  • Rejecting an interpretation of the War Powers Act by his own Departments of Justice and Defense, because he wanted to ignore the law. The President asserted last year that U.S. military operations in Libya did not amount to hostilities because they “do not involve sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces, nor do they involve the presence of U.S. ground troops, U.S. casualties or a serious threat thereof;”
  • Allowing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) expanded regulation of the internet, despite a prior federal court ruling that it had no authority to do so. President Obama praised this controversial extension of the regulatory state, without regard for the harm the regulations would do to the tech industry.

Hypothetically speaking, if the House of Representatives would take up a resolution to impeach the President, I believe that there would be enough votes to pass the resolution out of the House. However, I also believe there is no chance at all he would be convicted in the Democrat controlled Senate. Moreover, the press fury surrounding the impeachment proceedings would distract people from the President’s failed policies and the serious issues currently facing our nation.

Past impeachments that have gone nowhere in the Senate, like the impeachment of President Clinton, have changed America for, in my opinion, the worse. President Clinton’s impeachment changed our cultural beliefs about lying about sex and, for that matter, what constitutes sex. A failed Obama impeachment would vindicate the Administration’s unconstitutional acts and embolden both Obama and future presidents to violate Separation of Powers, and other legal constitutional principles. The political reality is inescapable. If Congress were to vote to impeach President Obama, it would most likely not lead to conviction. The overall result would be damaging to our country and would send the wrong message to the American people.

There are other ways to challenge the President’s unconstitutional acts. Among them, conducting Congressional hearings, like I am involved with on the Government Oversight and Reform Committee, to shine the light on the President’s agencies’ outrageous behavior. In addition, both, states and Congress are filing suits in federal courts, like states’ Attorneys General did with Obamacare and Congress did with the Defense of Marriage Act and is doing with respect to contempt of Congress against Attorney General Eric Holder. Unfortunately, resorting to a judicial remedy is time consuming and costly to taxpayers. In my opinion, the best and most likely way to stop a president’s unconstitutional acts is for those who disapprove of the Executive Branch to exercise their rights as citizens to vote.

Again, thank you for sharing your views on this important issue. For more information about this, and other legislative priorities, please visit www.Farenthold.House.Gov and sign up for my weekly newsletter.

With warm personal regards,


Blake Farenthold
Member of Congress

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About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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