Dave Kinskey, R-Wyoming Senate
Unwinding the Obama legacy will take time, but doing so is critical to the future of Wyoming and this great nation.
There are three layers of federal overreach to be rolled back: laws, regulations and executive orders.
Repealing laws created over the past eight years will take months—perhaps years. Let’s hope the Trump “drain the swamp” mandate unifies the Republican Congressional majorities behind quick action.
Reversing burdensome regulations is the Executive branch wheelhouse. This, too, can be a slow process. President Reagan’s was the last administration to reduce the number of federal regulations in place in the United States. Since the Reagan era of the 1980s, the federal rule book has continued to grow, even under Republican presidents.
Like Reagan, Trump was impelled into office by the frustration of ordinary Americans with ossified government. His staff should, even now, be readying the levers to throw the rule making machine of Washington into hard reverse.
The third front of the Obama rollback is executive orders. Executive orders direct federal departments as to how to interpret and administer acts of Congress. Here a President can act quickly—from his first day in office.
Executive orders are a long-standing tradition, and when done property, are written with care to respect both the Constitution and the intent of the legislation they seek to enact.
That is a tradition President Obama savaged. Frustrated by Congress three years ago, President Obama issued his “I’ve got a pen” manifesto, making clear his intent to ignore Congress anytime it refused to bend to his will.
And use that pen he did, in a breathtaking onslaught of federal overreach. He ignored Constitutional creation of three coequal branches of government. The doctrine of separation of powers was intended to prevent a president from assuming monarchical authority.
Challenged in court, his actions very often fail to pass legal scrutiny. Had Hillary Clinton won the presidency, her appointees to vacant Supreme Court seats no doubt would have found ways to approve Obama’s orders.
But Clinton didn’t win. President-elect Trump did.
On his first day in office he, too, will have a pen. And he can use that pen to unilaterally repeal President Obama’s executive orders.
Wyoming will be one of the biggest beneficiaries. Among the first to go should be Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which has had a devastating effect on the coal industry.
Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Tribe, an ardent environmentalist, has criticized the Clean Power Plan as unconstitutional.
“Burning the Constitution should not become part of our national energy policy,” Tribe wrote.
With the stroke of a pen, President Trump can help save Wyoming coal jobs, while upholding respect for the Constitution.
Dave Kinskey represents Wyoming Senate District 22 which consists of Johnson County and eastern Sheridan county. A businessperson and former Mayor of Sheridan, Kinskey can be reached at Dave.Kinskey@WyoLeg.gov or cell (307) 751-6428