Under the concept of separation of powers, the President is invited annually by the Congress to address the "State of the Union." While it is a constitutional requirement that the President provide a report or address as to the State of the Union, there is no requirement as to the form it takes. In 2013, Speaker Boehner invited the President to deliver the address:
Dear Mr. President:However, under the current circumstances of the President's unprecedented extra-legal usurpation of powers, especially, but not only with respect to illegal immigration; Speaker Boehner and soon-to-be Majority Leader McConnell should send a letter to the President that reads something like this:
As we round out the first session of the 113th Congress, we look ahead to the new year and with it the annual tradition of the president’s State of the Union address. In the coming year, Americans expect Washington to focus on their priorities and to look for common ground in addressing the challenges facing our country. In that spirit, we welcome an opportunity to hear your ideas, particularly for putting Americans back to work. It’s my honor to invite you to speak before a Joint Session of Congress on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol Building. Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to your response.
Speaker of the House
Dear Mr. President:Such action is entirely within tradition and legitimate constitutionality. The Congressional Research Service documents that:
As we look forward to the first session of the 114th Congress, we look ahead to the new year and with it the annual tradition of the President providing the Congress a report on the State of the Union address. In the coming year, Americans expect Washington to focus on their priorities and to look for common ground in addressing the challenges facing our country. However, through your executive actions that have exceeded the authority provided you under law, you have failed to include the Congress in addressing the nation's challenges. In the spirit of Constitutional observance, we welcome an opportunity to hear your ideas on addressing these issue, but not through personal appearance, rather in the form of written correspondence to be delivered by January 28, 2015. Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to your response.
Speaker of the House
Between 1801 and 1913, Presidents fulfilled their constitutional duty by sending their yearly report as a formal written letter to Congress. These written messages contained information about the state of the nation, and also included policy recommendations.This action would underscore Congressional prerogative in the face of the President's unprecedented and unilateral usurpation of power. There will be howls from the left; but no one can claim that anything other than Obama's feelings would be hurt. However, that would hit him where he lives, because, like any would be dictator, he loves the trappings of power. Indeed, the delivery of the SOTU was discontinued for a long period for just such a reason:
Likening it to a “speech from the throne” reminiscent of monarchy’s vestiges, Thomas Jefferson changed course and instead submitted his Annual Message in writing.Obama can just get used to his coming retirement a little early by losing this perquisite due to his own arrogance.
Not Barack Obama, in any way. (Thomas Jefferson if you didn't know.)
Yesterday, Boehner said, "The president had said before that he's not king and he's not an emperor," Boehner says. "But he's sure acting like one."
Why would the Speaker invite such a man to address "the people's house"? All Obama would do would use the time to lecture members of a co-equal branch on what they must do and what he deems acceptable work product for them. Members of the United States Congress are under no obligation to sit mutely while the President brow beats them.
Obama has said he doesn't feel compelled to listen to the voters who showed up to the polls a little over two weeks ago. The Representatives elected by those people should make it clear they are simply acting in kind, they will not listen to him.