Mistletoeing the Line on Amnesty?
By Tony Perkins
While the President is busy playing Santa to millions of people illegally coming to the United States, Americans want to know how many little helpers his agenda will have. With less than a month to go before Republicans gavel in a new majority, time — and options — are running short. Every conservative wants to counter the White House’s lawless amnesty order, but not every Republican agrees how.
Monday, House leaders put all the options on the table, including a plan to put spending bills on two tracks: one for the majority of appropriations bills that the House already slogged through for the remainder of the 2015 fiscal year (an omnibus) and a separate, short-term continuing resolution (a CR) for the funds dealing with immigration. The thinking is that most federal agencies would have the money they need to finish out the year — while giving the new majority a chance to revoke the authority on immigration that the President never had. But not everyone wants to wait until early next year to dethrone King Obama.
Senators like Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and David Vitter (R-La.) want to seize the moment and block whatever money it can now. “The House should send the Senate a government funding bill which ensures no funds can be spent for this unlawful purpose,” Sessions said — a sentiment echoed by House allies Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), and others. “If outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Senate Democrats vote to surrender their own institution to an imperial dictate and block the measure, then the House should send a short-term funding measure so the new GOP majority can be sworn in and pass a funding bill with the needed language.”
Sen. Cruz chimed in with a reminder that Congress should use the power of the purse to rein in an out-of-control Executive. Eleven Democrats have already said they have concerns about the President’s power grab. “House Republicans should provide Senate Democrats the opportunity to show voters whether or not they have heard the message the voters sent in the 2014 elections.”
Of course, the President’s greatest weapon has always been the GOP’s insecurity. Republican leadership is so worried about being defined by Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that it doesn’t want to risk a government shutdown. A week from tomorrow, the government’s funding runs out. But rather than use that deadline as leverage in the amnesty debate, GOP leaders want to punt the issue into next year. Why? Because they’re concerned that the GOP will take the fall for the Democrats’ refusal to deal with the President’s lawless policy. But here’s the irony: they were blamed for last year’s partial shutdown, and voters responded by handing them the keys to both chambers!
It’s time for the House to forget what might happen and consider what did happen in November. Republicans just got a mandate from American voters to hold the President accountable — and now is the time to take action. As the editors at Investors Business Daily pointed out, “President Obama made the Constitution a welcome mat for illegal immigrants to wipe their feet on.” And if the House and Senate aren’t careful, they’ll be next.
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.
(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)
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