Todd McKinley was a 2018 Republican Candidate for Congress in TN-01, he's a retired Army Paratrooper, Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, and Presidential Service Badge recipient. He’s served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as well 6 ½ years at the White House Communications Agency & White House Military Office. He’s served as an Advance Representative for the Trump Administration, and as an Advance Representative for the 2020 Trump Campaign. Follow Todd: ; ; ; ;

MY title for this article poses a simple but dramatic question, has Congress abdicated its Constitutional Responsibilities?

For those who’ve followed me or known me long enough, my answer is a resounding YES. In fact, this is something I spoke about during my 2018 campaign at length and will make sure to speak out on in the future. Now, before you say that I’m painting every current or former Member of Congress with a broad brush, I must point out that there are many exceptions.

The Congressional Oath of Office: “Words have Meaning”

Before I get into how I’ve come to my conclusion, let me remind everyone of the Congressional oath of office. While the oath has changed over time, the current oath has been in place since 1966 and prescribed by in Title 5, Section 3331 of the United States Code.

It reads as follows:

I, (insert name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

The verbiage of the oath is short, to the point, but important. It’s also important to note that the “duties of the office on which” they are “about to enter” is that of Legislator. Merriam-Webster defines a Legislator as “one that makes laws especially for a political unit.” Sometimes Merriam-Webster gives multiple definitions for one word, the word Legislator is one of the few exceptions, as defining a Legislator and their duties are simple. Therefore, simply put, it is their obligation to make and repeal laws. There is no provision for Congress to abdicate its legislative role to the Executive or Judicial Branches.

As the White House website points out, “the Cabinet and independent federal agencies are responsible for the day-to-day enforcement and administration of federal laws” not making them.

The Evidence is Obvious

As I mentioned, I believe Congress has abdicated their Constitutional responsibilities. But, before I continue, I must state that I’m not hanging a scarlet letter around the necks of every past or present Member of Congress. In fact, there are many who’ve served and many who presently serve in Congress who take their Constitutional roles seriously, but this is a duty that’s been shirked by far too many Members for too long.

Congress has been supplanted by Bureaucrats and Bureaucracies in the Executive Branch, not by accident or by force from the Executive Branch but by design. By sidestepping their Constitutional role, it has allowed members of Congress to play the “protagonist” or “good guys” while turning the Executive Branch Agencies into the “antagonist” or “bad guys.” The evidence is observable daily by watching interviews Members give to the media while walking in the Halls of Congress, on the nightly or weekend shows and especially while on the “stump” every election cycle. This abdication allows Members to blame not only the Executive Branch but also the other party for their own lack of inaction, gridlock and bad decisions. Members of Congress have done this to rile up their base and those effected by horrible decisions that flow like wine out of Washington to garner their support and votes.

The Legislative-Executive

The legislative gridlock created by all the partisan bickering, political gamesmanship, and fear of taking a stance has given the Executive Branch more power and has made them a quasi-legislative Branch whereby they enact rules & regulations that have the effect of law and by virtue of being the Executive Branch they still play their traditional “enforcement” role.

Additionally, the Executive Branch in recent decades have played the role the Judicial Branch should play, whereby when the rules and regulations they’ve set are “violated” they “essentially” find a person or company guilty then slap a large fine on them. Once a fine is imposed, it’s usually a substantial one but rarely is it worth the cost of fighting it in open court as doing so would cost many millions more and often drag on for years. This is one of those situations where the old saying goes, “you can’t fight City Hall” fits.

Deep State

Not to be outdone, the “Deep State” is also taking advantage of this Congressional abdication. In fact, calling it an abdication is to nice, it really should be called a lack of a spine. This lack of a spine has created a situation in which the Deep State actors can truly have a major negative influence over our society, often without being noticed as Congressional oversight is now a joke. In fact, Congress has been focused on going tit for tat against President Trump and continuing to push the “Russia Collusion” narrative that the Deep State (with the Obama Administration’s approval) cooked up in the first place.

Many Recognize the Problems (Few Do Anything to Fix It)

Many Americans realize the issues created by a Congress that’s abdicated their role as Legislators. According to a recent Gallop poll “more than 1/3 of Americans or 35% believe that government, poor leadership” or more particularly “politicians are the greatest problem facing the U.S.” With all the problems caused by those in Washington coupled with Congress’ dismal approval rating, it’s alarming that their re-election rate is 90-95%.

Bottom line, to begin to remedy the damage done by career politicians, we need to enact Term Limits which would limit the harm one person can have on society or “We the People” need to support and vote for real Citizen Legislators. Until then, our society will continue to move drastically left and down into managed decline. If we don’t want to live in a country and a world being pushed by the Left, then we need to come together and elect those who have no fear taking a stand for what is right and to legislate using common-sense conservatism.

Finally, since I brought up President Trump, I close by saying that Congress needs to stop the nonsensical games it is playing hoping to find a way to impeach him.

We need to elect real conservatives to Congress who will fight back against the left and support the President’s agenda to put America first.

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