Oklahoma bill looks to push back against Presidential executive orders

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Some Oklahoma Lawmakers are pushing back against the President. There is a bill that has already passed the state House and is awaiting hearing in the Senate that would allow the state to not comply with executive orders if they are deemed unconstitutional and not in the state’s best interest.

House Republicans say it’s a bill to protect Oklahomans’ constitutional rights. Opponents maintain the bill is unconstitutional and could cost Oklahoman millions to fight in court.

“Over the first months of the Biden administration it has become increasingly clear that the line between state’s rights and federal powers is not being respected,” said Rep. Mark McBride.

McBride, R-Moore, is one of the 76 republicans in the House listed as co-author of  HB 1236. The bill would allow the state of Oklahoma to declare executive orders unconstitutional if lawmakers feel they are not in the best interest of Oklahoma.

“Ultimately protecting Oklahomans from federal overreach,” said Rep. Jay Steagall.

Steagall, R-Yukon, says House Republicans have heard from thousands of Oklahomans questioning President Biden’s 60-plus executive orders so far, most concerning gun control and the oil and gas industry.

“We are going to question those actions to make sure our interests are protected here at home,” said Steagall.

“This is political pandering to a tee,” said Rep Collin Walke. 

Walke, D-Oklahoma City, says the bill is unconstitutional because it goes against federal laws which are the supreme laws of the land.

“People need to understand that no matter who our President is, they are going to issue orders that we don’t like, but you know what, that’s what it means to be an American. This bill would actually be unconstitutional on its face,” said Walke.

And oddly enough, the Republican Head of the Senate Greg Treat agrees.

The Pro Temp releasing a statement saying,

“The federal government is relentless in its interference with state authority, and Oklahoma will continue to push back at every opportunity. As originally written, HB 1236 gives people false hope because it is an unconstitutional nullification bill that clearly violates separation of powers. That is why I had concerns about it. Nullification is a failed legal theory that Southern states used to justify slavery during the Civil War. Nullification undermines the tenets of our republic. I will offer a substitute to HB 1236 today that removes the troublesome and unconstitutional language and adds real teeth to the worthwhile attempt to push back against federal overreach.”

Senate Pro Temp, Greg Treat

Opponents say, if passed, a bill like this will wind up in court.

“It’s going to cost the taxpayers money that can be better used elsewhere in this state,” said Walke.

“If the bill is challenged later in court then we look forward to that fight,” said Steagall.

Treat’s amended bill would have to be passed by the Senate to then go back to the State House to be passed there, before going on to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law. 

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