Congressman Tom Graves: Words Matter

Congressman Tom Graves (R-GA-14) spoke in favor of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill and amendments that would prohibit funds to be used for the recent executive orders issued by President Barack Obama on immigration. You can watch the remarks that Congressman Graves gave on the House floor:

Or, you can read the full transcript below the fold:

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to read to you a few quotes.

First, “With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed… Congress passes the law. The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws.”

“The problem is that I’m the president of the United States, I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.”

“I can’t do it by myself. We’re going to have to change the laws in Congress.”

“I am president, I am not king. I can’t do these things just by myself.”

“I’m not a king. You know, my job as the head of the executive branch ultimately is to carry out the law.”

“I’m bound by the Constitution; I’m bound by separation of powers. There are some things we can’t do. Congress has the power of the purse, for example.

These are the words and statements of the President of the United States.

And, words matter.

But, even after the president said all of this, in a politically motivated action last November, he pursued a course that could allow up to 5 million undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States illegally and without consequence.

And, like my constituents, I am outraged.

President Obama defied the will expressed by the American people last November and blatantly contradicted his own statements about the limits of the Executive Branch.

But, now let’s be clear, lest others confuse this issue today, this is not a debate about immigration.

That’ll come later.

But, this is about the rule of law.

This is about the constitutional separation of powers.

This is about the respect we owe the American people.

In this Appropriations bill, we’re exercising the power of the purse, and we’re taking a strong, narrow approach that will, first and foremost, provide security to our homeland.

And secondly, deny any funds whatsoever from being used to carry out the president’s unwise – and, in my opinion, unconstitutional – actions.

Now, I have to say, the president was right about a couple of things: he is not an emperor and he is surely not a king.

And House Republicans are united in making sure he doesn’t get away with acting like one either.

And, yet, before the debate even begins, last night the president is already issuing threats.

He is threating to shut down the Department of Homeland Security because this bill prevents him from implementing his own ideology.

But make no mistake: A veto threat is a threat to our national security.

A veto threat is an open invitation to our enemies.

And in the wake of the horrific terrorist attack last week in France, is the president really willing to compromise the safety of 320 million Americans to appease his base and score political points?

God, help us if that is the case.

Today, it is up to us in the House.

Let’s vote to defend the constitutional role of the legislature.

Let’s vote to stop the president’s blatant overreach.

And let’s vote to secure our homeland.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I yield back.


  1. MattMD says:

    Then present a bill, moron! I cannot believe such uninspiring men get elected to Congress. It is a disgrace.

        • TheEiger says:

          Just wanted to know and wanted to make sure that you weren’t a chiropractor, nutritionist or psychologist. Do you call your patients hicks and morons?

          • MattMD says:

            Occasionally, but my language is often more blunt. For example, what would you say to a diabetic who does not control his disease in any manner whatsoever yet has 3 young girls and no life insurance policy?

            If I had the money, I would try to take care of all the children I encounter who suffer from their parents bad decisions but I don’t have that kind of jack. That will give you an abrasive edge real quick.

            • Noway says:

              Not to speak for Eiger, Matt, but his point is that you are often pretty brusque with folks you don’t agree with.

              • TheEiger says:

                Yes, his bedside manner could use some work. I love debating politics and policy, but it gets old and tiresome when the response is you are a moron or a dumb hick.

              • MattMD says:

                Yeah, I need to work on that.

                But the language of Graves seemed like grandstanding and not really helpful in solving problems. We don’t have the logistical capability to deport millions of people. It is also surprising that he didn’t understand an Emperor is above a King.

            • TheEiger says:

              I mainly just wanted to know if you are an actual doctor. That is all. Thank you for being a primary care doc. We need more.

              • MattMD says:

                I promise that I did not just stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. Although sometimes I wish I would have with the government and insurance companies telling me what is approved or not. Reimbursement is a horrible word!

                • Noway says:

                  My Dad was a GP back in the 50’s and 60’s. Guess what he used to deliver a baby for? I hope you’re sitting down…$25.00! You’re getting screwed on your reimbursements, Matt, and that ain’t right.

                  • MattMD says:

                    See, that is back it the old days where you could do almost everything. Now you deal with labs, radiology, specialists (when you don’t need them), etc.

                    I will never argue about health care cost inflation, it’s insane. It costs around (average) 4K to deliver a baby at Kennestone. There is no reason for that, hell, the mother does most of the work!

  2. romeman says:

    This would have been a great speech given before the vote before the $1.1 trillion CROmnibus spending bill was approved. That was the time to defund both Obama’s executive action on amnesty and Obamacare.
    Tom Graves actions are to late. Obama is not scared to shut down the DHS or the government for that matter. Neither will the Senate have the votes to override his veto on a bill to stop his unconstitutional overreach. Even though Obama is the worst President in history he has a backbone that neither Tom Graves nor John Boehner (whom Tom voted for) have. Thanks for more smoke and mirrors, and the John Boehner issued talking points. This is one voter Tom Graves is not fooling.
    Words also matter to me and Tom Graves is not living up to his words either.

  3. gcp says:

    Meanwhile back to the issue, has Obama ever explained why he said so many times he could not change the law before he finally decided he could change the law?

  4. Dave Bearse says:

    Looks as if Graves grandstanding practice from a balcony of his Methamphetamine Six motel is paying off.

  5. Andrew C. Pope says:

    Honest question, how many of the carpet barons in Dalton really want to see us round up and deport all the illegal immigrants? Graves should probably take a moment to reassess just whose shoulders are carrying the economy of a good portion of his district.

    As MattMD brusquely noted, this is just the latest show pony routine by a GOP representative. You want to stop DACA and DAPA? Quit talking and pass a bill that doesn’t operate on the flawed assumption that we have the capability to locate, detain, and deport every undocumented worker in this country.

    The actions are constitutional and they’re hard to “defund,” since DACA and DAPA will pay for themselves through application fees. Quit tilting at windmills and just do your jobs. You’re making 174k a year, at least act like you’re providing us with some kind of ROI

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