Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) told Breitbart News on Friday that he supports a plan by Senate Budget Committee ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to require the candidate to replace Attorney General Eric Holder to publicly disavow President Obama’s planned executive amnesty.
“I’ll give you three answers to that, yes, yes, and absolutely yes,” Cruz said in an interview at the Value Voters Summit hosted by the Family Research Council, when asked if he agrees with what Sessions laid out in a Breitbart News exclusive Friday morning.
“One of the most troubling aspects of the Obama administration has been its consistent pattern of lawlessness. We have never seen a president who, if he disagrees with a law, simply refuses to follow it, refuses to enforce it, ignores it, or claims the power to unilaterally change it. Eric Holder and the Department of Justice has been the facilitator for this lawlessness,” Cruz added.
The interview with Cruz aired Saturday afternoon on Breitbart News Saturday on Sirius XM Patriot channel 125.
Sessions had said, in a statement published early Friday by Breitbart News, that the U.S. Senate should reject any nominee to replace Holder if they support the president’s planned executive amnesty.
“We need someone at the Department of Justice who will restore fidelity to our national laws and boundaries,” Sessions said. “No Senator should vote to confirm anyone to this position who does not firmly reject the President’s planned executive amnesty–or any other scheme to circumvent our nation’s immigration laws–and who does not pledge to serve the laws and people of the United States.”
Holder announced his resignation on Thursday at a press conference with President Obama at his side, but he plans to stay in the position until a replacement is nominated and confirmed.
Cruz continued in the interview:
I serve as the ranking member on the Constitution subcommittee on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and we put out a series of five reports detailing the lawlessness of this administration, detailing how this Attorney General–this president–is ignoring the law.
The illegal amnesty that the president has implemented and has promised to implement is a great example. If the president wants to change immigration laws, there is a great way set out in the Constitution to do so. He can come to Congress, make the case that our immigration law should be changed. I agree that our immigration law should be changed. Most Americans agree our immigration system is broken. Most Americans want to see the border secured, the problem of illegal immigration fixed, and want to see legal immigration improved and streamlined to welcome and celebrate legal immigrants.
But the way to do that, the constitutional way to do that, is passing legislation through Congress. What President Obama has done which is unprecedented is unilaterally and illegally granted amnesty to some 800,000 people who are here illegally, and he’s promising right after the next election to illegally grant amnesty to as many as five or six million more people who are here illegally.
Cruz said that Sessions is “exactly right” by drawing the line in the sand that he’s done. Doing so now–pretty early in the game for a nomination battle for the next Attorney General–gives conservatives and Republicans plenty of time to organize around Sessions’ strategy.
It also–if GOP candidates for the U.S. Senate back it–gives Republicans, who have been struggling in what was previously expected to be a wave year, an issue to rally around if they unite behind this play. Cruz also thinks that the Senate should wait until next year, when the new Congress is seated, to take up any nominee for Holder’s replacement, and not do so in the lame duck session. Cruz said:
Sen. Sessions is exactly right that any attorney general who is following the law would tell the president: ‘Mr. President, you have no authority to do this.’ And I hope that the Senate in the confirmation processes, number one, no attorney general should be confirmed during the lame duck. If the administration tries to jam an attorney general through in the month of December to be confirmed by Democratic senators who voters have just thrown out at the polls–and I believe come November the voters are going to throw a whole bunch of Democratic senators out at the polls–that would be an abuse of power.
Next year, with a Republican Senate and a Republican majority, we should take up the confirmation of Eric Holder’s successor, and we should insist on an attorney general who will owe his allegiance and fidelity to the Constitution and law, not to the partisan political objectives of the most lawless White House and most lawless administration in history.
Other GOP senators have hinted there’s a big fight coming over the nomination for Holder’s replacement. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), in an interview with Breitbart News at the Value Voters Summit that also aired Saturday on Sirius XM Patriot, said similar things to what Cruz and Sessions have said.
“I think the big deal is what the replacement will be, and whether or not the Republicans and conservatives within Congress will exert their power to try to prevent anyone with an extreme point of view from trying to be next attorney general,” Paul said when asked for his reaction to Holder’s resignation announcement. “That will be a big fight that comes up, and I hope that that fight waits until January when we’ve seated the new Congress, which I hope will be a Republican Congress.”
In a new attorney general, Paul said he wants someone who will follow the law and the Constitution–unlike Holder–citing Holder’s sanctioning of Obama’s administrative immigration, healthcare, and military actions. Paul went on to say:
I think obeying the Constitution would be nice–we haven’t seen that from this president or his administration frankly. It’s been about amending Obamacare without congressional authority, writing immigration law without congressional authority, or now taking us to war without congressional authority.
The quote that disturbs me most about this president is when he says ‘if Congress won’t act, I will.’ Really, to me, it sounds like an autocrat. It sounds like someone who doesn’t believe in the rule of law. Democracy is messy, but democracy requires persuading people to get people to vote for a concept. I’m disturbed this president thinks democracy is too messy and too much of a waste of time for him, so he’s just going to act unilaterally and then, really, that is not the constitutional way.