Washington, D.C. – The House Judiciary Committee today approved by voice vote a resolution authorizing a specialized task force to examine the historic increase in presidential power and executive overreach, which is distorting the fundamental system of checks and balances the framers enshrined in our nation’s founding document, the Constitution.
The Task Force on Executive Overreach is authorized for six months and will study the impact the increase in presidential and executive branch power has had on the ability of Congress to conduct oversight of the executive branch, the lack of transparency that furthers unchecked executive power, and the constitutional requirement of the President to faithfully execute the law. Additionally, the task force will review the tools at the disposal of the Congress to restore the proper balance of powers and hold the executive branch accountable. It will also make recommendations where there are deficiencies, including legislative solutions.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) issued the following statement on today’s vote authorizing the task force.
Chairman Goodlatte: “The Constitution is clear: it is the role of Congress to make all laws, the Judiciary to interpret the laws, and the President to enforce the laws. This system was wisely set in place by our country’s framers over 200 years ago because they knew first hand that the concentration of power in the same hands was a threat to individual liberty and the rule of law. In recent decades, however, presidents of both parties have aggrandized their power and usurped Congress to legislate from the Oval Office. This is not a partisan issue; it’s an American issue and touches the very core of our system of government.
“The House Judiciary Committee’s Task Force on Executive Overreach will study this troubling trend and also look for solutions to prevent the executive branch from exceeding its constitutional authority. The separation of powers and its checks and balances are designed to protect individual liberty and we must ensure that it is preserved for future generations. Much work is to be done on this issue and I look forward to the task force’s upcoming hearings.”
Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) will chair the task force and Republican members of the task force are Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Ted Poe (R-Texas), Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), Ken Buck (R-Colo.), and Mike Bishop (R-Mich.). Chairman Goodlatte will serve as an ex officio member of the task force.
Representative Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) will serve as the Ranking Member of the task force and Democratic members of the task force are Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), Judy Chu (D-Calif.), Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), Cedric Richmond (D-La.), and Scott Peters (D-Calif.). Ranking Member Conyers will serve as an ex officio member of the task force.
Read Chairman Goodlatte’s op-ed in USA Today on the task force here.