With President Obama vowing to ignore Congress and move on his own on immigration, potentially providing unilateral amnesty to as many as six million illegal aliens, criticism is mounting from the right over Speaker John Boehner’s failure to engage more directly on Obama’s threat.
Now Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), an ardent anti-amnesty voice in the House of Representatives, is accusing the speaker of his own party of throwing the game in exchange for campaign funds from the pro-amnesty business lobby. Brooks told Breitbart News in an interview:
As far as the House goes, I’m unaware of anything the House leadership is doing to try to stop the president’s illegal conduct. I don’t know if they are agreeing or disagreeing, but I do know there is a significant need among the House GOP for the kinds of contributions that the Chamber of Commerce can make. Unfortunately, the Chamber of Commerce promotes amnesty and a larger influx of illegal and legal immigrants, regardless of the damage done to hardworking American families.
At a White House event celebrating the PGA a few weeks ago, Boehner told Obama in an in-person meeting that the House would not be considering immigration legislation on the floor in 2014. “In our conversation last week, I told the president what I have been telling him for months: the American people and their elected officials don’t trust him to enforce the law as written,” Boehner said in a statement in late June, according to the National Journal. “Until that changes, it is going to be difficult to make progress on this issue.”
In response, a week later, Obama made his first big public threat to go it alone without Congress. “I take executive action only when we have a serious problem, a serious issue, and Congress chooses to do nothing,” Obama said, adding that he plans to “fix as much of our immigration system as I can.”
Reports have since trickled out through Time Magazine, the National Journal and The Hill that Obama’s planned executive actions on immigration could grant amnesty to between five and six million illegal aliens.
Brooks said that “absolutely” the Chamber of Commerce supports the president’s threats to grant executive amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. He went on to say:
The Chamber is all for opening the floodgates for immigration, because that suppresses wage scales for more workers, which means lower costs of doing business and more profit for all Chamber of Commerce members. The Chamber of Commerce just does not have high regard for hardworking American families. Their first priority is profits for their members, no matter how wages are suppressed and hardworking American families are hurt.
While the interests of the Chamber of Commerce may sometimes align with the best interests of the American people, Brooks said that the point-of-view that all members of Congress should take is to cut through those special interests and determine what’s best for their constituents. But he said that view is a “minority viewpoint in Washington amongst elected officials.”
“The illegal alien issue is a no-brainer if your focus is on what’s in the best interest of American citizens,” Brooks said.
The very fact that the best interest of American citizens is being cast aside by this president and this Congress is compelling evidence that a lot of elected people in Washington, D.C. care first and foremost about their own re-election prospects, campaign cash that is needed to fund those re-election efforts, with the interest of the average American citizen coming in a distant second.
While it’s not just that House GOP leadership isn’t fighting the way conservatives want them to against Obama’s executive amnesty threats, Brooks said the leadership is not fighting at all. He continued:
But there are still a good number of us fighting for American sovereignty and the average American family. America needs strong leadership on the issue of border security and American sovereignty, but we’re just not getting it from the White House or the leadership of the House or the Senate. To the contrary, they’re all working against us.
Brooks noted that Boehner is filing such legal action–the infamous lawsuit–when it comes to “only Obamacare.” Boehner’s lawsuit against President Obama’s lawlessness focuses solely on Obamacare, leaving immigration off the table. “That is the greatest failing. [It is] the president’s desire that the House give him carte blanche authority by suing the president relating to Obamacare but not relating to the president’s illegal immigration conduct,” Brooks said.
“I say that based on the resolution that came out of the Rules Committee last week, where the House would be authorizing–if it passes the House–the House would be authorizing John Boehner to test the presidency’s executive power only with respect to Obamacare,” Brooks added.
In a USA Today op-ed Monday, Boehner said the decision to focus only on Obamacare in the lawsuit was made on the advice of lawyers. “On the advice of legal experts, the House action will focus on his decision to extend — twice — the deadline to institute the employer mandate in his health care law,” Boehner wrote. “We believe this targeted lawsuit offers the best chance of success.”
However, the op-ed, while mentioning several areas of Obama’s lawlessness, was silent on immigration.
Brooks also argues this broader point that Boehner has given up fighting against Obama’s planned executive amnesty because the speaker’s border crisis working group’s recommendations last week made no mention of Obama at all, never mind his previous executive amnesty for illegal alien minors through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) have argued is the cause of the problem.
Cruz and Blackburn have offered Senate and House companion bills that Senate Budget Committee ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has called on all members of Congress to back, and if they won’t, Sessions says they are “complicit in the nullification of our laws and basically the nullification of border enforcement.”
Cruz and Blackburn have introduced legislation in the Senate and House respectively that would block President Obama’s administration from expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that administratively granted amnesty to upwards of 800,000 illegal aliens who say they arrived in America as minors. Their bill would bar funding of the documents the administration needs to produce to carry out such an order.
Their argument is that the current border crisis–in which about 60,000 illegal alien minors are being sheltered in U.S. facilities around the country–is a direct result of the promise of amnesty the illegal aliens expect they will get if they get inside America’s borders successfully.
“What I want to do is solve the crisis,” Cruz said in an interview on Fox News Sunday last weekend. He went on:
The cause of this crisis is the promise of amnesty. If you look at the history of this issue–in 2011, there were roughly 6,000 children apprehended coming in illegally. Then in 2012, President Obama unilaterally granted amnesty to some 800,000 people who were here illegally who entered as children. The direct foreseeable consequence of that was the number of unaccompanied children skyrocketed so that this year, the Obama administration is estimating that 90,000 kids will come, next year 145,000. That’s up from 6,000 just three years ago.
In an interview with Breitbart News, Blackburn echoed Cruz, saying that the illegal alien children are “pawns” in Obama’s “political agenda.” Blackburn said that the “root cause” of the illegal aliens crossing the border is the promise of amnesty. She added:
When you talk with people who are on the border and who are dealing with this situation, when you look at the escalation rates on the numbers–in 2009, for unaccompanied minors, they had 6,089 come across the border. In 2013, they had 24,658 come across the border. The numbers tell the story. When you go back and look at the facts, you see such dramatic increases that are happening and it is tied to this executive memo that was signed in June of 2012, and then you know what you got to do is get that thing off the books.
Boehner’s working group, which is led by Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), made no mention of President Obama whatsoever–never mind the existing executive amnesties or the president’s threat of future ones–in its press release announcing its initial recommendations, released last week. It also does not include Cruz’s and Blackburn’s legislation. Boehner dismissed efforts by conservatives to get the working group to include the Cruz-Blackburn plan.
“I’m focused on the recommendations of our border control working group, and we’re operating within those guidelines,” Boehner told reporters on Thursday when asked whether he would consider the efforts by Cruz and Blackburn.
Brooks said there are only two paths forward for the House GOP, but they both require political backbone that isn’t being displayed right now. Brooks said, when asked if there’s anything the House can do–if Boehner were actually willing to fight the president on this–to stop Obama:
Nothing, unless the House is willing to shut down the government. Civics 101. Congress has tremendous power, but the House of Representatives by itself has no power absent a willingness to shut down the federal government, because that’s the only leverage the House has to try to force the Senate and the president to do things. There is no mood in the House of Representatives to risk a government shutdown. We do have a second option–that’s to have writs of mandamus, declaratory judgments, or other causes of action filed in court to force the president to abide by the Constitution and United States law. But apparently the Speaker doesn’t want to do that when it comes to our rather porous borders.
Brooks argued that Boehner isn’t fighting because the Chamber of Commerce is funding many incumbent Republicans’ re-election challenges – funding the group may cut off if its interests weren’t being met by lawmakers any more.
“I would prefer that we have in the House leadership people who are willing to aggressively force the president to abide by the Constitution and United States statutes on a wide variety of fronts, the top two being Obamacare and immigration,” Brooks said.
“But the House Speaker has a lot of pressure on him, and a lot of money from the Chamber of Commerce and other entities that profit from illegal immigration and massive surges of legal immigration is floating around. I’m very much concerned that the desire for campaign cash may be adversely affecting the handling of illegal alien issues,” Brooks added.
But Brooks also suggested Boehner may have given up because he, like Obama, wants amnesty to happen–whether by congressional mandate or by executive overreach. When asked earlier this year where he and Obama had the most agreement during a meeting, Boehner replied, “We had a very healthy conversation on immigration.”
“If you believe in sovereignty and the rule of law, then the president’s illegal conduct makes the situation far worse,” Brooks said.
“But if you believe in open borders and no restraints on foreigners coming into America, then the president’s policy helps to eliminate this pesky problem of illegal alien conduct by making their conduct legal–again, never minding the damage that’s done to hardworking American families in the meantime,” Brooks concluded.
A spokesman for Boehner has not responded to Breitbart News’ request for comment in response to Brooks’ interview.