AYNOR — U.S. Rep. Tom Rice said Wednesday morning that an impeachment of President Barack Obama would never make it through the U.S. Senate, so he’s going for the next best thing.
Rice, R-Myrtle Beach, talked more at a town hall meeting in Aynor about the resolution that if approved by the House, would lead to a civil lawsuit to compel Obama to obey the law.
“I think what I’m doing is a chance for winning that will inform the public,” Rice told a constituent at the meeting.
Rice maintains that Obama is choosing which laws he wants to enforce based on his political agenda. The resolution cites four specific examples where he alleges the president’s actions are illegal, including allowing some people to be covered under old insurance policies that are banned by the Affordable Care Act.
To read the full resolution, go to www.myrtlebeachonline.com and click on the story about Wednesday’s town hall meeting.
“How have we gotten to the point where the president can unilaterally change a law?” asked Ron Hughes of Galivants Ferry, prompting Rice’s reaction.
Hughes said he applauds Rice introducing the resolution, and others asked what is wrong with impeaching Obama.
The Democrat-controlled Senate would never consider an impeachment, Rice said he knew, so he began to think what could be done to “get the president to enforce the law.”
Conversations with legislative lawyers brought him to the resolution, which would seek a declaratory or injunctive order for Obama to follow the law.
“I think the president is a person who will go just as far as he can,” Rice said.
He said after the meeting that he doesn’t know what date the resolution will get to the House floor for a vote, but noted that 34 House members had signed on so far as co-sponsors.
The resolution must be approved by the Judiciary Committee before it will go for a full vote, he said.
The question was one of about a half dozen Rice fielded in the meeting, the first part of which was his summation of what he has done since his election in November 2012.
Rice said more than once that his primary focus is getting jobs in the 7th District. His attention to infrastructure is a part of that, he said, as things such as an interstate highway and a functioning port are ways to bring jobs.
He said that he expects Congress will consider a highway bill in the spring and pledged to do what he could to see that Interstate 73 is included in it. He said he’s been working regularly with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and expects that the highway project could have permits before the highway bill makes it to Congress.
About 30 people crowded into the Aynor Town Council chambers to hear Rice.
Other issues he fielded from audience questions included Obamacare, welfare, immigration and the reelection of S.C. Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is under fire from the Tea Party for not being conservative enough.
Rice said he thinks Graham is a national leader and he will personally support Graham in his bid for reelection.
Contact STEVE JONES at 444-1765.