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Attorneys general to Biden: 'Principal political control' of government lies with Congress

The president is 'limited under the constitution,' they argue

Published: January 29, 2021 5:30pm

Updated: January 30, 2021 12:56pm

Half a dozen state attorneys general wrote in a letter to President Joe Biden this week that the president's role in the U.S. is "limited" by the Constitution, and that the primary political power of the national government lies in Congress, not the executive office. 

The letter, signed by the attorneys general of Texas, Mississippi, West Virginia, Arkansas, Montana and Indiana, sought to stress the "limited presidential power" the office of the presidency enjoys within the American framework of government. 

"Under the Constitution, the principal political control of our government is entrusted not to the President, but to the carefully constructed Congress which serves as both sail and anchor of the federal ship of state," they wrote. "Congress writes the laws and the President and his officers are limited under the Constitution to the role of faithfully carrying them out."

Noting that the divided structure of the U.S. government "makes it quite difficult to enact significant legislation," the attorneys general wrote that "it is just as important to respect the absence of legislation as its passage."

"[A] president is not a Prime Minister or a King and must respect that his constitutional office is a limited Chief Executive not the supreme authority of the state," they wrote, arguing further that "overreaching and defying Congress will not be rewarded or succeed."

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