Disappointed with President Obama's State of the Union address

Editor's Note: Here is the weekly message from Congressman Ron DeSantis, the Republican from St. Augustine, representing the 6th district that includes greater Daytona Beach...Congressman Ron DeSantis

I was disappointed at how dismissive the President was about those of us who are critics of ObamaCare.

Millions of Americans are chafing under higher health insurance premiums, millions have lost their insurance, and millions are losing access to their preferred doctors -- despite the President's repeated promises to the contrary.

To suggest that these Americans do not deserve to have their voices heard in this debate is absurd. As much as the President would like to distract from these problems, the fact remains that the law was passed on false pretenses and Americans are increasingly becoming painfully aware that they have been sold a bill of goods.

Congress needs to get to work protecting people from the harmful effects of this law, including protecting taxpayers from being forced to bail out insurance companies (which is actually required under ObamaCare).

2. The Economy

The President delivered a contradictory message regarding the economy: he claimed his policies are working and that the economy is healthy yet he proposed a flurry of government spending initiatives that belied his claims. To me, I think our nation still has some serious economic challenges.

First, for those at the bottom of the income ladder, government policies tend to trap people in their current circumstances and do not incentivize upward mobility. Government's role is necessarily limited in this area -- and a range of cultural factors are surely critical -- but at a minimum policies at the federal, state, and local level should reward those seeking to get ahead.

Second, many middle class families are able to get by, but they have little margin for error -- largely because they face high costs for health care, energy, and higher education.

There are a number of simple reforms -- replace ObamaCare, expand domestic energy production, and reforming college accreditation to lower tuition costs -- Congress can make to help in this regard.

Unfortunately, the President's proposals -- doubling down on ObamaCare, supporting cap-and-trade, and rewarding colleges for raising tuition -- will only exacerbate these problems.

Finally, the growth of the scope and power of the federal government has created a system of artificial privilege in which those businesses which are politically connected in Washington get policy twisted in their favor at the expense of would-be competitors and consumers.

Given this state of affairs, it is no accident that six of the 10 wealthiest counties in the entire country are in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Congress should pass welfare reform and should start with corporate welfare reform.

3. Foreign Affairs

YouTube video upload / For Headline Surfer® 
The day after he delivered the official tea party response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) aggressively challenged Attorney General Eric Holder on the constitutional basis for the executive orders Obama announced in his speech.

During the 2012 presidential campaign, the President used to brag about he "decimated" Al Qaeda; now he says he has degraded the "core" leadership of Al Qaeda, which is an attempt to redefine success given the dramatic expansion of Al Qaeda fighters throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The bottom line is that Al Qaeda has a larger footprint today than at any time since 9/11/2001.

Also, the President pledged to veto additional sanctions against Iran even though these sanctions are supported by huge bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress. Iran is likely to construe the relaxation of sanctions as a sign of weakness, and will likely be emboldened to continue the pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Finally, I have been a frequent critic of the President for failing to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed" as is required by the Constitution. Some have sought to justify the President's actions by citing the record of previous presidents and the number of executive orders they have issued (which for recent presidents has been more than those issued by Obama).

The problem with this is not the number of executive orders issued; it is whether the executive actions are proper in the first place.

An executive order can legitimately be issued vis-a-vis the operations of the executive branch, but the executive cannot issue edicts that apply to the public at large without any basis in law and cannot alter or suspend laws already enacted.

On Wednesday, Sen. Mike Lee questioned Attorney General Eric Holder about the constitutional basis for President Obama's recent actions. Holder's responses were insufficient (Watch the video posted above).

This week, I introduced the Faithful Execution of the Law Act, which would expand current law by requiring executive branch officials to inform Congress when an executive branch official refuses to enforce a federal statute, whether it be for constitutional reasons or policy reasons.

Under current law the Attorney General is required to inform Congress when the executive branch stops enforcing a law due to constitutional concerns.

As can be seen from Holder's answers, more transparency is needed in this regard. 

You can reach Congressman Ron DeSantis, R-St. Augustine, through the following social media contacts: 
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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.