When the Founding Fathers created the structure of the federal government, they wisely included the principles of separation of powers and checks and balances so that each branch of the national government would be limited in its scope of powers.
In its most basic form, this meant that the legislative branch wrote the laws. The executive branch enforced the laws. And the judicial branch ruled on the constitutionality of laws.
In general, this system has worked well for the past 240 years in limiting the power of the executive branch in particular. After all, the entire point of the American Revolution was a fight against a power-hungry king who felt he could trample upon the rights of the American colonists.
However, after more than two centuries of this governing process, it seems as if a small but powerful group of congressional representatives and a bevy of far-left interest groups would rather scrap this system for one in which the president can make and enforce laws, regardless of Congress’ input.
Nowhere is this mindset more demonstrable than in the recent release of the Congressional Progressive Caucus’ Executive Action Agenda 2022.
According to the document, “Democrats made important and significant progress in 2021. Throughout a global pandemic, economic recession, and rebuilding from the Trump years, we were able to: create 6.4 million jobs, raise wages, bring unemployment down to its lowest rate since 1969, lower hunger across the country by 32 percent and child poverty by half, and bring 4.2 million more people health insurance. But the work is far from done.”
Funny how the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) failed to mention that Democratic control of Congress and the White House has also produced the worst inflation in 40 years. Or that gas prices are higher than ever. Or that crime is out-of-control. Or that the Southern border is a sieve. Or that drug overdose deaths surpassed 100,000. Or that 11.3 million jobs remain unfilled, the most ever.
So, what exactly is CPC advocating that Biden should do via executive authority?
- “Lower Health Care Costs: The coronavirus pandemic laid bare the devastating disparities in our health care system. Our recovery from the pandemic must include lowering crushing health care costs to put money back in people’s pockets. And since the pandemic won’t be over until it’s over everywhere, we must continue to work toward global equity in recovery.”
- “Raise Wages and Expand Worker Power: The workers of this country are done being mistreated, underpaid, and undervalued. The Biden administration has advanced some of the most pro-labor policies in decades.”
- “Address Climate Change and Reduce Dependence on Fossil Fuels: There is no people-centered agenda that doesn’t include aggressive, bold climate action and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. While the executive branch has made progress, there is more to do to meet this moment and lower costs by transitioning to clean energy.”
- “Cancel Federal Student Loan Debt: 45 million Americans are stuck in the student debt trap, preventing them from buying homes, starting families, and investing in their communities. This crisis disproportionately affects Black and Brown borrowers, who are seeing student debt drag down their finances even past retirement age. The CPC is calling on the Biden administration to put money in millions of people’s pockets by using existing authorities to cancel federal student loan debt.”
- “Advance Immigrants’ Rights: The pandemic underscored how critical immigrants are — as essential workers who kept the country running, and as neighbors in our communities. But too many are still living without legal protections, and under systems that exploit their labor. While Congress continues to fight for a roadmap to citizenship, we must begin by ensuring immigrants’ and their families’ rights are protected.”
- “Deliver on the Promise of Equal Justice Under the Law: For decades, grassroots activists have been pushing for a just criminal legal system: one that would protect, rather than criminalize, the humanity of the people who interact with it, and that doesn’t have a separate set of rules for the wealthy and large corporations. As Congress pursues legislation, the administration can act now to advance racial and economic justice and fairness in our justice system.”
- “Invest in Care Economy Jobs and Standards: Caregiving in America has almost always been provided by women, especially Black and Brown women, working for poverty wages without protection or recourse. We must build an economy that respects this essential work and treats it with dignity, and ensures children get the care they need, allowing parents to return to the workforce.”
- “Regulate for Economic and Tax Fairness: For too long, our economy and tax system have been rigged to favor those at the top and crush those at the bottom. Delivering for everyone who calls this country home must include restoring tax fairness.”
CPC writes, “While Congress continues to work for a robust reconciliation package to deliver as much of President Biden’s economic agenda as we can, we know that people need relief from rising costs now. Working families want to see a government that delivers for them. The CPC’s agenda for executive actions will do exactly that. These policies can have an immediate and meaningful impact for families across the country.”
That is simply not true. Almost all of the policies pushed by CPC would not provide relief for rising costs. In actuality, they would increase costs further.
For example, when the government arbitrarily raises wages, the costs of good and services rises accordingly. Businesses simply pass these costs on to consumers.
Or, as CPC also advocates, if we cut fossil fuel production further and increase our reliance on renewable energy, expect the cost of energy to keep going up.
In fact, almost every single executive action CPC supports would make life worse for hard-working Americans.
CPC says they are concerned with “delivering for working people.” However, their Executive Action Agenda would deliver for working people more inflation, government dependence, and so-called “equity.”
If CPC was actually concerned with the plight of the working people, they would be advocating for more energy production, less government regulation, and lower taxes for all Americans.
Moreover, CPC should be less interested in handing more power to the executive branch while working to build coalitions in Congress that can find common ground to solve the issues that matter most to working people, namely record-high gas prices and out-of-control inflation.