Constitution Politics Truth

Time For Congress To Regain Constitutional Authority On Tariffs

by KrisAnne Hall, JD

The power to regulate foreign commerce (Article 1 Section 8 Clause 3) and to “lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises” ( Article 1 Section 8 Clause 1) is a power specifically reserved to Congress.

The President of the United States is not authorized through the Constitution to lay tariffs by Executive Order. Congress passed the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 that allows the president to bypass Congress’ Constitutional authority and impose tariffs by executive order.

But Congress is not authorized to change the Constitution by legislative act; only Article V of the Constitution can do that. We are seeing yet another example of both expanded executive power and congressional dereliction.

The framers of the Constitution intentionally denied the president this power. By limiting the executive authority, the drafters hoped to prevent the presidency from transforming over time into an office of a king. Authority over tariffs is reserved to Congress to give the American people representation in the matter, provide for deliberation and diminish corruption by favoritism and cronyism — for which there is obviously plenty of potential.

Of course, the autonomous and quasi-kingly authority that a president exercises unconstitutionally today, will be the authority the American people come to accept be wielded tomorrow by the next person in office. (Hillary Clinton? Oprah Winfrey? Elizabeth Warren? Joe Biden?)

Every incremental expansion of the chief executive injects chaos into the process and threatens the “blessings of Liberty” for future generations. It is a shame that Congress wishes to deny these tariffs in the name of politics or economics, while there is so little concern for the integrity of the Constitution or the preservation of Liberty.

Liberty Over Security
Principle Over Party
Truth Over Personality

KrisAnne Hall is a former biochemist, Russian linguist for the US Army, and former prosecutor for the State of Florida. KrisAnne also practiced First Amendment Law for a prominent Florida non-profit Law firm. KrisAnne now travels the country teaching the foundational principles of Liberty and our Constitutional Republic. KrisAnne is the author of 6 books on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, she also has an internationally popular radio and television show and her books and classes have been featured on C-SPAN TV. KrisAnne can be found at

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever, and a lot of sources are not trustworthy.  is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time from good sources.


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7 replies on “Time For Congress To Regain Constitutional Authority On Tariffs”

Wow, you’ve really kind of got a dreamscape going on with the American Government right now. I wonder why WhatFinger keeps linking here?

Yeah, you’re right about the Constitution, but it was written in a moment in time when nobody would be attempting to buy off American politicians other than Americans. If Congress is a doing nothing entity in ordinary circumstances, what of it when the world is lobbing it literally on behalf of it’s interests?

At any rate, the only people against tariffs are those bought off by globalist interests,all the useful idiots who have bought into “free” trade, and Congressional RINOs. (But I repeat myself. ) In imposing tariffs, Trump is doing the will of the people in a moment where Congress will not. And he has the power anyway and so all other following Presidents whether he exercises it or not. He might as well do the right thing.

Well the Founders were dreamers too, so maybe not all bad!

You understand why they wanted to constrain the executive, right? Kings, tyrants, all that. I would think that Obama would have proved the threat of a too-powerful executive. Trump is pretty restrained. But would Elizabeth Warren or other Dems be? Is it not worthwhile to remind the American people where we came from so, perhaps, we can find our way back? At least partially? And at the same time, urge Congress — and future members of Congress — to act with backbone and work the muscles needed to block, say, President Michelle Obama from being a radical.

Also, Whatfinger is doing a great job being a full-scale, conservative, traditionalist, pro-American alternative to Drudge. Love them.

Too many in “congress” are traitors to the U.S. and American citizens. If they had America and its citizens best interests as their #1 priority the President would not have had to take this action. But since only the President has our best interests in mind I support the President taking this decisive action!

Calling on this congress to do anything constructive for the constitution is a bit of a joke, isn’t it……

Look, I fully understand the sentiment, but wrong time and place, even if you disagree on tariffs, its still wrong time and place. First we need to worry about electing constitutionally-minded congressmen and senators, because most of this current group is anything BUT. Once we get a majority of constitutionally minded congressmen and senators THEN we can think about taking power back from the executive branch.

Does that mean I support the executive branch using every ounce of power it can……. nope, on the other hand, we have a congress that really doesnt want the power, and most of which is trusted even less with it.

If you call for this now, you’re only handing power to people whom dont know what to do with it and through conjoling or payoffs most likely misuse it anyway.

I realize that means you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place on this, but like I said, theres a time and place for this argument and this is neither.

btw (primary time, directed to individual primary races is an excellent time and place, in case you didnt think I was coming with a solution)

You have a Congress that has continually abrogated their constitutionally appointed responsibilities to unelected bureaucrats (EPA etc..). “Do Nothing” Congress has been a reality for far too long and will not change in our lifetime.

Well certainly not without Americans demanding it. Politicians will always take the route of least resistance to re-election — unless the electorate demands otherwise.

We don’t.

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