The Supreme Court deadlock that led to the defeat of President Barack Obama’s plan to shield millions of people from deportation was just the latest judicial check on the ambitions of his administration.
Earlier this week, a federal judge in Wyoming blocked an Interior Department rulesetting stricter standards for hydraulic fracturing on public lands. That decision followed another Supreme Court ruling in February suspending a major regulation limiting carbon emissions from power plants.
In October, a federal appeals court halted an Environmental Protection Agency regulation that would bring more waterways and wetlands under federal protection.
Critics of Mr. Obama have characterized his efforts on immigration and the environment as excessive and illegal. Administration officials have described his agenda as entirely necessary to solving the nation’s problems in the face of congressional inaction.
All presidents push on the boundaries of presidential power, in part because it is a fluid thing, as Justice Robert H. Jackson wrote in his 1952 concurring opinion in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, which still stands as the most authoritative statement about the scope of executive authority.
When a president acts with express or implied authorization of Congress, his authority is at its zenith, but when he acts against the will of the legislative branch, his power is at its “lowest ebb,” Justice Jackson wrote.
He added that there is a middle area—“the zone of twilight”—where presidents act without congressional approval or disapproval. Presidents can issue executive directives, which are legally binding orders, and rules and regulations. Courts analyze executive orders on a case-by-case basis, using Justice Jackson’s framework.
“Many of these questions about whether the president violated the law are technical. They turn on the meaning of statutes and constitutional provisions that are not widely litigated or discussed,” said Nicholas Bagley, a law professor at the University of Michigan and former Justice Department lawyer. “It can be very difficult to cut through the thicket.”
In the Youngstown case, the Supreme Court held that President Harry Truman exceeded his authority when he seized steel mills to avoid a strike he believed would disrupt weapons production during the Korean War.
Thursday’s 4-4 split on the legality of Mr. Obama’s immigration directive—which would offer temporary protection against deportation and authorize work permits to more than four million immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally, most of them parents of U.S. citizens— preserved the ruling of the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which blocked the program in November. It ruled the Immigration and Nationality Act, passed by Congress in 1952, “flatly does not permit the reclassification of millions of illegal aliens as lawfully present and thereby make them newly eligible for a host of federal and state benefits, including work authorization.”
While the Obama administration has suffered setbacks in recent days, such rulings aren’t unusual. “These kind of disputes between the president and others are common, and they have been common for decades now,” Mr. Bagley said, though he added that partisan polarization may be stoking more conflicts now than in the past.
Mr. Obama had issued 242 executive orders as of May 20, compared with President George W. Bush’s 291, according to the American Presidency Project, a group that tracks presidential actions.
The Supreme Court tore up Mr. Bush’s plans to try Guantanamo Bay detainees before military commissions, ruling in 2006 that neither federal law nor international law permitted them as conceived. The following year, the high court held that the Bush administration was required to regulate greenhouse gases unless it had a scientific basis for its refusal.
“There is sometimes the view that the president is the CEO of the country,” said Tom C.W. Lin, a law professor at Temple University. But the “way our founders set up the government means that no one individual, no one branch, can dictate the national agenda and can make laws unchecked.”Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Congressman Tom Rice (SC-07) today announced four upcoming public events across South Carolina’s Seventh Congressional District being held on Friday, June 17th. These events are a key part of his outreach and constituent service. Constituents will have the opportunity to meet with Congressman Rice and discuss federal issues and upcoming legislation. All events are free and open to the public and press.
FRIDAY, JUNE 17
Coffee with Your Congressman
8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Big E’s Seafood & Barbeque
Longs, SC 29568
Coffee with Your Congressman
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Nichols Town Chambers
514 West Mullins Street
Nichols, SC 29581
Coffee With Your Congressman
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Latta Town Chambers
107 NW Railroad Avenue
Latta, SC 29565
Coffee With Your Congressman
2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
150 South Dargan Street
Florence, SC 29506Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Congressman Tom Rice (SC-07) today introduced the Immigration for a Competitive America Act of 2016, H.R. 5398, legislation that would allow America to be more globally competitive by fixing its flawed immigration system.
Unlike most countries, the United States awards the majority of admissions based on family relationships rather than skills and education. According to the Congressional Research Service, 65 percent of the more than one million immigrants admitted into the United States annually are selected based on family ties, while only 16 percent are selected because of their education and skills. To make America level with other developed nations, H.R. 5398 cuts family-based visas in half while increasing employment-based visas by 80 percent.
“Our current immigration system is uncompetitive and is in desperate need of reform,” said Rice. “Unlike most industrialized countries in the world, the United States awards the majority of admissions based on family relationships rather than skills and education. As a result, our country is far less competitive globally.
“An immigration policy geared toward admitting more skilled immigrants rather than family-sponsored candidates will generate growth, economic opportunity and new jobs that America needs. H.R. 5398 makes critical changes to our immigration system that will ultimately restore America’s competitiveness with international competitors,” Rice concluded.
In addition to easing skilled-based immigration, Congressman Rice’s legislation establishes a mandatory E-verify system, denies certain tax credits for individuals not legally authorized to work in the United States, and redirects U.S. foreign aid that goes to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador to be used instead to protect our borders.
H.R. 5398 also expands guest-worker visas for temporary non-agricultural workers and streamlines the guest agricultural worker program. In light of recent terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, Congressman Rice’s legislation prohibits any increases in visas for United States admission until the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department can determine that all immigrants are properly screened. Furthermore, this legislation requires authorities to take a closer look at the potential security risks within our immigration system and report to Congress with recommendations.Read More
Florence, S.C.—Rep. Tom Rice (SC-07) released the following statement today in regards to the expansion of Harbor Freight Tools and their $60 million dollar investment in South Carolina’s 7th Congressional District:
“I was thrilled to learn that Harbor Freight Tools has decided to expand in our district. This is good news for everyone- for Dillon County, Marion County, Marlboro County, the 7th district, and for South Carolina. This $60 million dollar investment in our community is a multi-county initiative and will create as many as 200 jobs, will spur economic growth, and bring an influx of capital to the district. I am proud to represent a right-to-work state that is consistently attracting new business and will continue to do so because South Carolinians, our business community, and our state’s leaders all share the same free market values.
“I will continue to encourage our pro-business climate and will continue to do everything I can to grow our community, create more jobs, and attract new business because when one community thrives, the entire state thrives. Thank you Harbor Freight Tools for your investment in Dillon, Marlboro, and Marion Counties; in our district; and in our state.”Read More
Washington, DC- Rep. Tom Rice (SC-07), issued the following statement on the President’s State of the Union Address today.
“It is no surprise that President Obama delivered another lofty, grandiose speech tonight,” said Rice. “The President is a gifted orator, and we have heard this type of rhetoric in every one of his State of the Union Addresses, but we have had enough rhetoric. It is time for leadership.”
“In his 2009 address to the nation, the President vowed to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term – last year we had a $1.1 trillion deficit,” Rice said. “In his 2010 address, Obama pledged that ObamaCare would allow Americans to keep their health insurance – earlier this month the Congressional Budget Office estimated that seven million Americans will be forced off their employer-based insurance due to ObamaCare. Then, in 2011, the President assured us that he would get rid of regulations that hurt job growth – but in 2012, over-reaching federal bureaucrats added more than $236 billion in new regulations. Finally, in last year’s address, Obama assured us that he would work to develop every source of American energy – the EPA’s proposed regulations on Coal Ash will cost more than $75 billion and countless jobs due to the closure of more than 300 coal power plants.”Read More
Washington, DC- Rep. Tom Rice (SC-07), was appointed by Transportation & Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (PA-09) today to the following Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittees: Subcommittee on Highways and Transit; Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment; and the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. The Transportation & Infrastructure Committee will meet later today to formally approve Rep. Rice’s subcommittee assignments.
“I am pleased that Chairman Shuster appointed me to subcommittees that will have a direct impact on some of the most vital infrastructure issues in the Seventh Congressional District,” said Rice. “Serving on the Subcommittees on Highway and Transit, Water Resources and Environment, and Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, I will have a seat at the table to fight for the greatest infrastructure needs – I-73 and dredging of the Georgetown Port – in our district.”
“I look forward to working with Congressman Rice on the Committee,” said Chairman Shuster. “I know that South Carolina’s 7th Congressional District, like the nation, depends on an effective and efficient transportation network. I know Tom will be a tireless advocate as Congress works to address our critical infrastructure needs.”
“I am eager to work with Chairman Shuster on projects that are paramount to our nation’s competitiveness and will fight to make sure the infrastructure needs for the 7th District are addressed,” concluded Rice.
The Subcommittee on Highways and Transit has responsibility for the development of national surface transportation policy, construction and improvement of highway and transit facilities, implementation of safety and research programs, and regulation of commercial motor vehicle operations. Within this scope of responsibilities, the Subcommittee has jurisdiction over many U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) programs.
The foremost legislative product of the Subcommittee is the reauthorization of the Federal surface transportation programs. The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21)—the latest reauthorization of these programs—was enacted in the summer of 2012. MAP-21 reauthorizes Federal surface transportation programs through September 30, 2014, and builds on the foundation established by the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA), the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA 21) enacted in 1998, and the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) enacted in 2005. This legislation represents an investment in the nation’s infrastructure that translates into safer travel, more efficient commerce, faster project approval and delivery, and the creation of thousands of jobs.
Issues and agencies under the jurisdiction of the Highways and Transit Subcommittee include:
The jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment consists generally of matters relating to water resources development, conservation and management, water pollution control and water infrastructure, and hazardous waste cleanup. A number of agencies administer programs that address one or more of these issues; two agencies in particular, the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), oversee the larger programs of concern to the Subcommittee.
Through its Civil Works Program, the Corps constructs projects for the purposes of navigation, flood control, beach erosion control and shoreline protection, hydroelectric power, recreation, water supply, environmental protection, restoration and enhancement, and fish and wildlife mitigation.
EPA has the primary responsibility for carrying out the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, commonly known as the Clean Water Act. This act provides for a major federal/state program to protect, restore, and maintain the quality of the nation’s waters. Although EPA is responsible for carrying out the Act, significant parts of the program may be administered by the states if approved by EPA.
Issues and agencies under the jurisdiction of the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee include
The Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation has jurisdiction over the activities of the United States Coast Guard, including its duties, organization, functions, personnel, the Coast Guard Academy, and the Coast Guard Auxiliary.
The Coast Guard enforces the laws of the United States on waters under U.S. jurisdiction and on the high seas. The service’s many missions include search and rescue, illegal drug and migrant interdiction, oil spill prevention and response, maritime safety and security, maintaining aids to navigation, icebreaking, and enforcement of U.S. fisheries and marine pollution laws.
The Subcommittee also has jurisdiction over regulation of ocean shipping and the merchant marine, except as it relates to national security.
Issues and agencies under the jurisdiction of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee include:
For more information, visit http://transportation.house.gov.
Washington, DC- Rep. Tom Rice (SC-07), issued the following statement today after President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden took their oaths of office on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol today, marking the 57th Presidential Inaugural Swearing-in Ceremony.
“It was a privilege to witness one of our country’s most revered ceremonies today,” said Rice. “Since 1789, Americans have gathered to observe our country’s peaceful transition of power which is paramount to maintaining the freedoms we hold dear. I congratulate the Obama and Biden families and wish them well throughout their next term.”
“As the President took his Oath of Office with his children by his side today, I am reminded of why we are here in Washington,” Rice said. “We are here to fight for a better tomorrow for our children, grandchildren, and generations to come. I look forward to working with the President and Vice President on bipartisan solutions to solve Washington’s biggest problems, so future generations will have every opportunity to achieve the American Dream.”
Washington, DC- Rep. Tom Rice (SC-07), issued the following statement today in response to President Obama’s press conference.
“I find it interesting that President Obama says that the debt ceiling shouldn’t be used to negotiate reductions in deficit spending,” said Rice. “When then Senator Obama was asked to raise the debt ceiling he refused to do so, saying that an increase in the debt ceiling constituted ‘a sign of leadership failure.’”
"Once again, the President has shown a failure in his leadership by refusing to discuss spending cuts or outline any sensible solutions to remedy our financial situation," Rice said. "Instead, he demanded another blank check from American taxpayers. When will the President realize that we cannot afford to kick this fiscal can any further down the road. Washington’s reckless spending habits threaten the future of this country and I will not stand by and allow the Democratic majority in Washington to keep piling debt onto our children and grandchildren."
The swearing-in ceremony for new Congressman Tom Rice, R-S.C., and other members of the 113th U.S. House began about noon Thursday, Rice said late Thursday afternoon, with the formal oath-taking happening about 3 p.m.
In the two hours after that, Rice took his first four votes as the first representative of South Carolina’s new 7th Congressional District. The first, he said, was to vote for the reelection of John Boehner as Speaker of the House. The other three involved House rules.
The vote on Boehner was closer than Rice thought it would be. The overall experience? “I’m in awe of the responsibility,” he said. “I’m in awe of the honor, of the privilege of representing the 7th District.”.
The Sun News asked Rice several questions. His answers:
1. If you had been in the 112th Congress, how would you have voted on the fiscal cliff compromise?
I would have voted against it. This fiscal cliff is just the latest in a series of continuing “emergencies” that will continue until we address the underlying issues, the major one being overspending. The problem with what we’re doing by just being totally reactionary is that we have no plan. People don’t know what to plan on. Until we do that, I think business is going to be at a stalemate.
2. The current debt ceiling will need to be raised by March or federal budgets must be cut to keep the debt within the current limit. Do you support raising the debt ceiling, cutting federal budgets or something else?
I’m not going to vote to raise the debt ceiling until we have a credible plan in place to get our spending under control. Congress and the president didn’t take the time available to work on this plan in the last 1 1/2 years because there was an election coming up. I hope we can get out of that phase and get into a more proactive phase.
3. The fiscal cliff compromise delays mandated federal budget cuts - sequestration - until March. What do you think should be done?
I think we need to find ways to cut our spending. The Republican Congress has passed alternative cuts. We’ll have to look at that pretty hard and figure out what we can do.
4. An August poll by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal found that 82 percent of Americans disapprove of the job Congress is doing. That is an all-time high. Do you see that improving in the next two years and why or why not?
It’s not just Congress. It’s the president. As long as people focus on political things instead of what’s important to the country, I don’t see numbers improving.
This article was authored by Steve Jones and originally appeared in The Sun News on January 3, 2013.
Washington, DC- House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO), today named Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC), Chairman of the Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access Subcommittee for the 113th Congress.
“As a businessman and tax attorney, Congressman Rice is a great fit for the Committee, and I’m very happy to welcome him,” Graves said. “Small business owners are facing major challenges, and it’s a real benefit that Tom Rice has the knowledge and background to contribute from day one.”
The Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access Subcommittee evaluates the operation of the financial markets in the United States and their ability to provide needed capital to small businesses. In addition, the Subcommittee reviews federal programs, especially those overseen by the SBA, aimed at assisting entrepreneurs in obtaining needed capital. Since tax policy plays an integral role in access to capital, this Committee also examines the impact of federal tax policies on small businesses.
“I am honored to receive the appointment as Chairman of the Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access Subcommittee,” said Rice. “As a tax attorney for 28 years and small business owner, I understand the challenges entrepreneurs encounter when launching a new business venture. Together, my colleagues and I will work to limit government overreach, enact serious tax reform, and lower the cost of doing business in America, so our small business owners—America’s economic engine—can compete in our economy and the global marketplace.”
325 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
A resident of Horry County since the age of 4, Tom Rice has a deeply rooted connection to the Grand Strand and Pee Dee areas. Tom entered Congress with a commitment to spur economic development, a drive to implement real tax and spending reform, and a passionate belief that limited government will better serve the needs and growth of the Seventh Congressional District of South Carolina by protecting its unique entrepreneurial spirit.
Tom serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means where he works to advance bold solutions to some of the most pressing issues facing our country. With his experience as a tax attorney, accountant, and businessman for over 25 years, Tom is uniquely qualified to serve on Ways and Means and work as an advocate for real solutions to benefit residents of the Seventh District and the country. He understands the challenges Americans are facing in relation to our tax code and will use his experience to enact serious tax reform, create more jobs to get people back to work, and restore America’s competitiveness with the rest of the world.
After graduating from high school in Myrtle Beach, Tom attended the University of South Carolina where he earned a Masters in accounting and a law degree. Tom then went to work for the worldwide accounting and consulting firm Deloitte & Touche in Charlotte and earned his CPA certificate. In 1985, Tom returned to his home town of Myrtle Beach to practice Tax Law with the Van Osdell Law Firm, and in 1997 he established his own practice- the Rice & MacDonald Law Firm.
Before being elected to the United States Congress in November 2012, Tom was the Chairman of Horry County Council where his main focus was job creation. By reviving the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation, Tom increased jobs in the area through his ability to build consensus with county council and community leaders. Tom worked to implement an effective government by strengthening the council’s relationship with the various municipalities and legislators in order to develop a more unified strategy. Under Tom’s leadership, Horry County Council put in place a lean Six Sigma plan for quality, customer service and efficiency that is still thriving today. Tom strived to shape Horry County Council into a more efficient governing body focused on constituent service. He plans to further that charge in the United States Congress, working towards a more efficient federal government.
Tom has been fortunate to serve his community through many charitable and civic organizations including the Myrtle Beach Haven Homeless Shelter (President), Boy Scouts, Grand Strand Sertoma Club (Secretary, President), Ocean View Foundation (President), Trinity Episcopal Church (Vestry), YMCA, and York Place. He has had the opportunity to sit on several community advisory boards as well, from the Horry County Probate Court Advisory Committee and the Myrtle Beach Board of Zoning Variances (Chairman), to the Blue Ribbon Committee to Study Emergency Services for the City of Myrtle Beach, and the SC Department of Natural Resources Conservation Education & Communication Advisory Board. Tom also participated in Leadership Grand Strand VIII- a community education initiative designed to develop future business leaders for the coastal area.
Tom has been the recipient of numerous certificates and awards for his professional achievements. In 1994 he was awarded, and continues to hold, an AV (Preeminent) legal rating by Martindale Hubble. From 1994 until 2009, he was certified by the Supreme Court of South Carolina as a specialist in Tax Law, Estate Planning, and Probate Law, and has been included in Best Lawyers in America since 2006.
Tom and his wife, Wrenzie, were married in 1982 and reside in Myrtle Beach. They are the proud parents of three grown sons- H.T., Jacob, and Lucas. In his free time Tom enjoys fishing, hunting, golfing, and spending time with his friends and family.
Friendly Reminder to #SC07 residents: Join my Telephone Town Hall happening tonight at 5:30 pm. Call 877-229-8493 & enter pin 111642 to join
Last week at Coffee with Your Congressman we discussed the 3 top issues in our district: jobs, jobs & jobs. https://t.co/tL6rYbDmbi
When I visited Nichols last week I was reminded of what makes our district so special. Members of this great community, from the mayor to city
Unfortunately for the President, there's this pesky thing called the Constitution..
The Supreme Court in a 4-4 deadlock upheld the challenge of 26 states to Obama's executive order granting amnesty to 5 million illegal aliens.
My staff and I enjoyed the warm welcome at Coffee with Your Congressman in #Latta. We had the pleasure of meeting Erika Owens who is selflessly
I'm on the floor of the House of Representatives. We were supposed to have a long day debating and voting on an appropriations bill and 70 proposed