House Republicans passed several bills last year asserting our authority, based on Article One of the Constitution, to rein in President Obama's out-of-control agenda. Unfortunately, the president and his Democratic allies threatened to shut down the government to prevent these bills from becoming law.
The urgency to pass legislation limiting the overreach of government is greater this year, but the question remains whether Republicans have the political will to succeed. I remain optimistic, because this is a new year with a new speaker and a new opportunity. With this in mind, I introduced the Article I Consolidated Appropriations Amendments of 2016, a single bill that encompasses the best Republican ideas to affirm appropriate Congressional oversight of the executive branch.
In 2016, it is imperative that the House of Representatives reassert our Article I Constitutional authority. We must defund unconstitutional executive orders and administrative rules, sunset unauthorized federal programs and prevent unnecessary spending. Voters deserve to know that their votes for limited government were not in vain.
This bill is more than a series of meaningless show votes. By including these serious policy positions in the House appropriations bills, the Republican conference can unite behind a clear message that resonates with Americans.
If Democrats and President Obama choose to shut down the National Labor Relations Board over a perverse desire to destroy the franchise business and independent contractor models, then let them make that case to the American public.
Similarly, if it is so important for Obama to have biased union officials join Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors while they review non-union businesses for safety violations that he would shut down the Department of Labor over it, let him explain why he would risk workplace protection to defend an obvious conflict of interest.
This bill also prohibits the Obama administration from finalizing any new regulations. This is particularly important given the White House's continued pledge to use the phone and pen to circumvent the Constitution and the law.
The people of the United States expect Congress to set the legislative course for the nation. They expect more than show votes and gotcha hearings.
Congress should make the case for limited government and ease the way to an opportunity economy based on personal merit, not government control. By passing authorization and funding bills that reflect the people's values and concerns, we rebuild trust with Americans and make Congress stronger for the future.
As I took the oath of office with my colleagues, we pledged to support and defend the United States Constitution. Article One is not a keyword, a trend, a brand, or a Facebook graphic. It's a fundamental value that protects the republic from tyranny. Members of Congress have sworn to uphold the Constitution and the principles it represents. I, for one, intend to spend my time in Congress doing just that.
Ken Buck is a Republican U.S. congressman representing Colorado's Fourth congressional district. Thinking of submitting an op-ed to the Washington Examiner? Be sure to read our guidelines on submissions.