Exclusive–Mitch McConnell: Harry Reid Must Allow Votes on House's Anti-Executive Amnesty Bills
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is calling on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to allow the U.S. Senate to vote on the two House-passed border crisis bills that would block President Barack Obama from continuing or expanding his executive amnesty via the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
“The President seems to have forgotten that he does not possess the authority to re-write our immigration laws and that, on the contrary, the Constitution requires that he take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” McConnell said in a statement provided exclusively to Breitbart News. “The House has passed two bills to address the humanitarian crisis on our southern border, and the Senate should vote on them. That’s why I began the process of putting them on the Senate’s legislative calendar shortly before the current recess, and I urge Majority Leader Reid to schedule a vote on these bills as soon as the Senate returns.”
McConnell’s statement comes as Senate Budget Committee ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is calling on Americans to melt the U.S. Senate’s phone lines and ask their senators, both Democrat and Republican, to demand a vote in the U.S. senate on the House-passed bills.
“Recent developments suggest the President’s planned executive amnesty could be increasingly imminent and broad in scope,” Sessions said in his Tuesday evening statement to Breitbart News, citing how House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has called on the President to give the “broadest possible” executive amnesty to perhaps as many as ten million illegal aliens.
“House Democrat Leader Pelosi – clearly one of the White House’s closest allies – has just urged the President to issue ‘the broadest possible’ executive actions,” Sessions said. “Open borders groups have grown bolder and louder in their unlawful demands, launching a campaign for the President to ‘go big,’ and demanding that he ‘stand up’ to Congress and ‘expand DACA.’”
Sessions said the Senate must vote on the House-passed bills. “The steps that must be taken are clear: the Senate must vote on the House-passed measure to stop these unlawful actions,” Sessions said. “It is true that Majority Leader Reid is blocking it from a vote. But Reid acts only with the blessing of his members in the Democrat conference – so the American people have the power to force it to a vote through their elected senators.”
Several other senior GOP senators, including National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) chairman Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS), John Hoeven (R-ND), and Richard Shelby (R-AL), are also demanding Reid allow a vote on the House bills.
Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson hasn’t responded to a request for comment on whether he’ll allow such a vote in the Senate, but this is a politically vulnerable issue for Democrats—especially since the House passed a border crisis package before leaving for August recess while Reid’s Senate headed out to vacation without passing anything. The issue is also rattling several Democrats up for re-election like Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Mark Begich (D-AK), Kay Hagan (D-NC), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).
Sessions told Breitbart News in a recent interview that “yes,” conservatives can beat Reid if they fight on this battlefield.
“I think the Majority Leader Harry Reid is the palace guard of the Obama agenda,” Sessions said. “He goes to work every day, blocking anything that exposes what Obama’s doing—particularly this unpopular immigration policy. How does he maintain that power? He maintains that power as a result of every single Democratic senator backing him. At some point, the American people need to know that—they don’t fully understand it right now. This kind of vote, this challenge on the immigration policy, can be the clear simple issue: Do you vote to block the President from doing this? Or do you vote to support him? That’s the only way that vote will be determined, and procedurally it will mean voting against Harry Reid—because he’s wedded to the Obama agenda. They’ve got to break ranks, and they can do that. There’s no reason why a Democratic senator has to vote with Harry Reid on every single vote and support President Obama on every single vote.”