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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

What America Thinks: Is Congress Maintaining Our Checks and Balances?

Voters disagree with President Obama on a lot of things, but they care even less for Congress. So who should decide when major issues face the nation? We decided to find out what America thinks.

The bottom line is they don't want the president to act alone. While only 13% of voters currently think Congress is doing a good or excellent job, 56% believe that when it comes to dealing with issues the president considers important to the nation, the government should only do what he and Congress agree on.

Take the nuclear weapons deal the Obama administration has just negotiated with Iran. Republicans and Democrats in Congress - and most voters - are skeptical of the deal, but the president has already warned that he will veto any attempt by Congress to stop it. Sixty-five percent (65%) of voters, however, believe any agreement the administration makes with Iran needs the approval of Congress.

Similarly, 56% oppose Obama’s plan to protect up to five million illegal immigrants from deportation, and even more say he does not have the legal authority to grant this immigration amnesty without the approval of Congress.

Fifty-three percent (53%) say the Environmental Protection Agency can’t implement major regulations to limit carbon dioxide emissions without first seeking Congress’s approval.

As for Obamacare, most voters agree with a lawsuit filed by the House of Representatives that says the president does not have the constitutional power to change a law passed by Congress all by himself. Even if he thinks the change will make the law work better, it has to be approved by Congress first.

The Founding Fathers wrote the system of checks and balances between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government into the Constitution to make sure that a consensus was achieved before national legislation could be implemented. It seems voters still like things to work that way.

For Rasmussen Reports, I’m Alex Boyer. Remember, if it’s in the news, it’s in our polls.