(WASHINGTON) — President Obama’s tenure is becoming “increasingly lawless” with his embrace of executive orders, which are “creating a dangerous trend which is contrary to the Constitution,” House Budget Committee Chair Rep. Paul Ryan said Sunday on ABC’s This Week.
“It’s not the number of executive orders, it’s the scope of the executive orders. It’s the fact that he’s actually contradicting law, like in the health care case [when Obama delayed provisions of the Affordable Care Act], or proposing new laws without going through Congress, George, that’s the issue,” Ryan told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on This Week.
“We have an increasingly lawless presidency where he is actually doing the job of Congress, writing new policies and new laws without going through Congress. Presidents don’t write laws, Congress does,” the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee said.
Despite his criticism, Ryan dismissed the idea of impeaching the president when asked whether he thought that was an option.
During the State of the Union address, Obama announced he would sign an executive order raising the minimum wage for federal contract workers to $10.10 an hour, and asserted he would circumvent Congress in certain situations.
“Wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do,” President Obama said.
As controversy continues to swirl around New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie over the closure of highway lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge, which created traffic jams in a city where a Christie opponent is mayor, Ryan defended his potential 2016 presidential rival.
Ryan said he is “confident” Christie can continue to run the Republican Governors Association and be an effective spokesman for the party.
“I am confident. I consider Chris Christie a friend. I think he’s been a fantastic governor. Right now, all we know is one person’s word against another. You can’t base any conclusion on such a thing,” Ryan said, in reference to allegations from former Port Authority official David Wildstein.
Wildstein claims “evidence exists” that Christie knew about the George Washington Bridge lane closures as they were happening last September, a charge that Christie denies.
“And so unless something else is known or made clear, I don’t see why you would change what’s going on right now,” Ryan added. “I don’t think he should step down, because nothing has been proven. And you always give a person the benefit of the doubt in those kinds of situations in my judgment.”
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
David Goldman, CNN
Stephen Collinson and MJ Lee, CNN
Daniella Diaz, CNN
Frank Pallotta, CNN