The Biden administration has become a “constitutional disaster” and the Constitution now is “under serious assault,” one of the most-watched Republican congressional candidates warns.
“The Biden administration is a constitutional disaster the likes of which we have not seen before,” Harriet Hageman, the GOP candidate running for Wyoming’s only congressional district, said Wednesday at a Heritage Foundation event marking Constitution Day. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s multimedia news organization.)
Constitution Day, which fell on Saturday, this year marked the 235th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia. Hageman’s speech also was streamed by the think tank Monday evening.
“It’s an administration that at this point makes no effort to adhere to even the most rudimentary constructs of what we call the rule of law,” Hageman told her Heritage audience, adding:
An administration that believes it can—by presidential fiat and executive order—take 30% of our real property out of production in an effort to fight what they describe as ‘global warming’ with no explanation as to how destroying our ability to grow our own food and to produce energy will do anything other than further government-imposed poverty.
Hageman overwhelmingly defeated Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., an outspoken critic of former President Donald Trump, in the Aug. 16 GOP primary in Wyoming. She now faces Democrat candidate Lynnette Grey Bull in the Nov. 8 general election.
Trump won Wyoming’s sole congressional district, which has been red historically, in a landslide in 2020, receiving 70.4% of the vote to Democrat Joe Biden’s 26.7%, Ballotpedia reported. Biden, of course, went on to defeat Trump in his reelection bid.
Hageman, an attorney, was a law clerk for federal appeals Judge James E. Barrett after graduating from the University of Wyoming College of Law. She ran for Wyoming governor in 2018, but lost in the primary, according to Ballotpedia.
As examples of unconstitutional moves, Hageman listed Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates, his plan to “forgive” student loan debt, support for suppressing free speech and freedom of religion, and disregard for the Second Amendment right to bear arms.
“The fact is that the Constitution has been under serious assault from the Left and from those who not only seek to rewrite history, but are incapable of understanding why the United States is the greatest country in the history of the world,” she said.
“Very simply, America is built on the foundation of freedom, of liberty, of individual autonomy and responsibility, and the concept of limited government—one that is of, by, and for the people,” Hageman added.
Hageman also said Congress has had a role in what she called the “demise of our republic” by “taking away our republican form of government [that is] guaranteed to us in the United States Constitution.”
Congress has largely abdicated its legislative responsibilities and empowered unelected bureaucrats and hundreds of federal agencies to deny our right. And what has this wrought?
An [Environmental Protection Agency] declaring an irrigation ditch as a ‘navigable water of the United States,’ and thereby preventing farmers from maintaining the irrigation infrastructure on the property that they own, so that they can grow food to feed us all.
A war on our domestic energy producers by individuals who have never produced anything except words on a page.
And a United States Forest Service that no longer measures production in terms of board feet of lumber produced, but in the number of trees burned to the ground or destroyed by the pine beetle.
Hageman also highlighted the Agriculture Department’s threats to withhold school lunch money if “radical gender ideology” isn’t adopted by schools and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s prioritizing of companies’ efforts toward achieving environmental, social, and governance policies rather than sound investment practices.
“We have, in short, a government run by the so-called experts—experts that are in the process of and intentionally destroying our prosperity and our greatness,” Hageman said, adding:
Experts who have intentionally adopted policies that are designed to increase the cost of putting food on your table, gas in your car, and a roof over your head. Experts who believe that human suffering is a virtue—for all of us, but not for them.
Hageman said Congress should “take back its rightful responsibility as the legislative branch of government” and “pass legislation to rein in the out-of-control, unelected, and unaccountable bureaucrats.”
“Congress must return power to the states—where it belongs and as guaranteed by the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution,” she said.
Hageman also called on Congress to “exercise its power of the purse,” saying:
[S]top running scared every time that we have yet another agency, [a nongovernmental organization], the national press, or politician tell us that if we don’t fund them to the tune of billions of dollars the world is going to explode, our children are going to suffer terrible tragedy beyond anything we’ve ever seen before, and that life on Earth as we know it will end.
Hageman concluded her remarks by emphasizing that she is optimistic despite what she described as her “dour” speech.
“I am an optimist because of our Constitution. It’s the greatest governing document that has ever been written because it is based upon one pretty simply concept—it’s based on the concept of the individual,” she said. “It’s based on the concept of freedom. It’s based on the concept of liberty.”
Tommy Binion, vice president of government relations at The Heritage Foundation, acted as host for the event, described as addressing “the gravest threats to the Constitution” and helping to “prepare the conservative movement for the fight to protect it.”
“We believe, of course, as Americans and as conservatives, in the original text of the Constitution and the original meaning of that text,” Binion said in opening remarks before Hageman spoke. “We believe and we know that throughout our history, the U.S. Constitution has stood the test of time and protected our freedoms.”
“But today—yes, it is the job of the U.S. Constitution, but it is equally our job to protect the U.S. Constitution as it comes under fire,” he said.
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