Skip to comments.Bachmann: Obama Exceeding Constitutional Authority in Ordering BP to Surrender Funds--'Extortion'
Posted on 06/16/2010 10:54:35 AM PDT by jazusamo
Bachmann, who was speaking to a gathering of bloggers held at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., criticized the administrations response to the massive oil spill in the Gulf.
The conservative from Minnesota said she was particularly bothered by the call President Obama made Monday--later reiterated in his Oval Office address Tuesday night--for BP to set aside money for reimbursements to victims of the Gulf oil spill that would be administered independently, taking control of the money away from the company.
The president just called for creating a fund that would be administered by outsiders which would be more of a redistribution-of-wealth fund, and now it appears were going to be looking at yet one more gateway for more government control, more money to government, she said. If theres a disaster, why is it that government is the one who always seems to benefit after a disaster?
The proposed fund that the administration wants BP to create would go to reimburse individuals and businesses along the Gulf Coast that make claims as a result of the oil spill. But the money, which belongs to BP stockholders, would be taken out BP's control and the administration has not clearly stated what due process of law would be observed in distributing the money.
The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified specifically to prevent the government from taking or redistributing private property without due process of law. The amendment says: "No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."
Bachmann said the press has not reported enough on the federal goverment's expanded control of the economy over the past two years, which she described as a stunner story.
The jurisdictional issue has been, I think, one of the most underreported issues that has gone on in the last 18 months, because this is a shocking story, whats happened in the last 18 months, she said.
Bachmann acknowledged the problem began under President George W. Bush with the creation of the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP).
Now just because we dont own an industry doesnt mean that we dont effectively control it, because we are in a lot of ways, she said.
Bachmann said Obamas non-stop castigation of BP, the administrations consideration of the escrow fund, and Democrats use of the crisis to push cap-and-trade legislation are all distractions from the task at hand.
When are we ever going to talk about actually capping this hole? she asked quizzically.
For over 50 days, that should be the only story that we write about and that we talk about: What is the next engineering genius that we could bring on board to actually cap the hole? Thats it. You know, we can talk about restitution, we can talk about all the rest, but right now, it is capping the hole.
What strikes me is that it seems that every response thats come out of the White House--and its in excess of 50 days--has been about the White House. Its been about them. It doesnt seem like its really been about stopping the hole and dealing with the devastation thats going on down there in the Gulf.
The following is a transcript of Rep. Bachmanns exchange with CNSNews.com:
CNSNews.com: You mentioned the president castigating BP over possibly creating a fund. We saw sort of the same thing with Secretary Sebelius and Wellpoint insurer. They hiked their rates and she demanded an explanation. Whats your reaction to this pattern of holding private companies accountable to the executive branch?
Rep. Michelle Bachmanm (R-Minn.): Well, private companies need to be held accountable but not necessarily to the executive branch. It seems to me theres a misreading of the constitution and a misunderstanding of jurisdictional limits from this White House on what the extent of executive power is. They dont seem to understand that and itnow it seems that its all about extortion and that that what they want to do is create a pot of money for themselves that they can control and thats not what the Executive is supposed to do.
Theres a real misreading of jurisdictional limits and they continue to stretch those limits beyond all bounds. And, really, I also fault the Democrat leadership in the Congress for not doing more to hold the White House accountable to the extent of those jurisdictional limits, because that really is then for the Congress to get upset about that and say, Wait a minute, you know were the ones that have oversight and we have the power of the purse, not you.
Its a good question though. The jurisdictional issue has been, I think, one of the most underreported issues that has gone on in the last 18 months, because this is a shocking story whats happened in the last 18 months, because an economist from Arizona State University has calculated that in 18 months time, beginning unfortunately under a Republican president with the generation of the TARP fund, the federal government effectively--we have gone from 100 percent ownership of the private economy in private hands to 51 percent ownership of the private economy directly owned or controlled by the federal government. That is the stunner story that has been very underreported. Now just because we dont own an industry doesnt mean that we dont effectively control it, because we are in a lot of ways -- and just with what youre seeing happening with financial services and now cap-and-trade, that could boost that closer up into the 70 percentile. I dont see any effort from this administration to unwind and back off of the government control or ownership of any of these private industries.
And theres just a story that came out on AIG on how much this--the federal government takeover efforts and ownership of AIG has done to hurt the economy because it sent signals to the business community of the federal governments willingness to cross jurisdictional lines and to--to trample in areas that are not reserved to the executive.
Yes, I agree.
However, historically no Congress has acted to correct such misuse bu the President on issuance of executive Orders.
Then again, I do not believe other presidents use of EO’s have been this egregious and blatantly unconstitutional.
And why didn’t BP have a lawyer with its execs today to say “this isn’t constitutional” to Obummer?
As a BP stockholder, I am outraged that my company is not managing our own funds.
The Board will hear of this.
However warranted, or justified, this is a very bad precedent!
He overstepped it two-three years ago. Besides, the Constitution is only for the little people. Hussein doesn’t need no stinkin’ Constitution.
I believe Jamie Gorelock was retained by BP and thought she would be there.
Being BP seems to be going to establish $20 billion escrow account they must be doing it for the PR.
It’s all good. Algore has more room in the lock box now.
Obama trampling all over the US Constitution with his cohorts in congress is probably THE most underreported story since he was sworn in as POTUS!
This administration is a runaway juggernaut, unconstrained by the rule of law.
And no one wants to admit that this emperor has no clothes...
Amen to that. There's laws on the books to cover this and the Executive branch stepping in sets a very bad precedent.
1st word that came to mind here too.. Extortion
Jesse Jackson has never been this successful with a shake down.
More money for the Democrat warchest.
Obama is violating the Constitution by occupying the office of the President. After that, everything else is icing. I guess they figure that if he got that far, illegally then what the hell, go for broke. Their actions speak that very loudly.
Gorelick isn’t a lawyer? How could she be a possible candidate for Attorney General if she isn’t a lawyer? Even if she is a loser.
Now THERE is a remarkable politician, and thinker. Not to mention GUTS.
Where are the Republicans in the House & Senate?
COWARDS to the core!!
They should be screaming bloody murder over Obama!! He is going to STEAL a good chunk of this “shakedown” money.
This president’s default reaction is to threaten, look for lawsuits to file, and demand payoffs.
He does not have the first idea what it means to organize and delegate to solve a problem.
This is what happens when you hire someone to run your country that could not run a convenience store. You would not hire him to do anything practical, because you know he has no practical ability at all. He has never done anything that didn’t involve threatening, intimidating, running his jaw, extorting payoffs, and suing people. Why would he be any different as a president?
And the answer is, he isn’t. A real president would have called BP’s president and said, what do you need? And helped to organize whatever they needed, helped to knock down any regulatory barriers to getting what they needed. He would have called the governors and asked what do you need? And again, moved heaven and earth to see that they got it.
In many cases being a leader is about making sure the people handling a problem get what they need. It isn’t about your histrionics in front of the camera. If the president was doing his job well there would be no need for him to get in front of a camera at all. He doesn’t know that, because he has never been a leader.
BP has a lease for the well site ~ and that lease is full of all sorts of things. I doubt they'll will ever be able to claim a Fifth Amendment "taking" because, alas, it's not their land, not their well ~ and they do owe a functional equivalent of a "deposit" for the use.
The evil doer in this case is Obama for not getting the hole plugged sooner, as well as just letting the oil flow all over the place because he didn't want to give an emergency exception to the Jones Act. BP must pay whatever penalties have been established, either through law, or through the terms of the lease. The poor people of the Gulf are deserving of compensation for their losses, and I don't care if it's BP or the US government that pays!
We need to remove ALL of Obama's supporters from the government this November.
Yep, Obama and his thugs will control the money no matter that he says they'll be an independent administrator.