With President Barack Obama poised to move forward on executive amnesty and the deadline to pass a funding measure looming, the anti-amnesty group Numbers USA tells Breitbart News it will be calling for a short-term continuing resolution to fund the government.
“If they pass an omnibus, instead of a short-term CR through Feb/March, they will be handing their only power — funding — over to Obama and [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid for the year,” Rosemary Jenks, Numbers USA’s director of government relations, wrote in an email to Breitbart Thursday.
“That means they won’t do anything but bluster at Obama’s amnesty,” she added.
Wednesday, the day after Democrats suffered massive defeats in the midterms, Obama reiterated his intention to move forward unilaterally on immigration — something he delayed prior to the midterms for fear it would harm vulnerable Democrats.
“What I’m not going to do is just wait,” Obama told reporters when asked about his plans for immigration in the wake of the election results. “I think it’s fair to say that I’ve shown a lot of patience and have tried to work on a bipartisan basis as much as possible, and I’m going to keep on doing so. But in the meantime, let’s figure out what we can do lawfully through executive actions to improve the functioning of the existing system.”
Thursday, Speaker John Boehner retorted that executive action by Obama would end any chance of Congress passing immigration reform through 2016.
Delaying a long-term budget deal in favor of a short-term CR would create a catalyst for another, must-pass spending bill early in the next Congress, potentially giving Republicans leverage to seek funding changes.
Jenks noted that while Numbers would like to have the fight against amnesty during the lame duck as well, the risk of a government shutdown would not be reasonable.
“We would love to have the fight in the lame duck, just to make Senate Dems vote for amnesty, but I don’t think it’s reasonable for us to ask Republicans to risk shutting down the government in the lame duck, which is what would happen if they put the defund language in either omnibus or a CR,” she explained. “Thus, we are asking them to pass a short-term CR and then come back and defund. That would force Obama to sign or shut down the government himself.”
“Republicans should resist anything other than a short continuing resolution that funds the government until the next Congress takes over in January,” McCarthy wrote at NRO Wednesday.
“That would not commit the next Congress that voters have just put in Republican hands to any course of action,” he continued. “But it would keep the Republicans’ options open to strip spending authority from the executive branch and pressure Obama to act lawfully. It is the only way they can turn back Obama’s immigration amnesty, his scheme to close Gitmo and move the terrorist detainees into our country, his imposition of ruinous EPA rules on carbon emissions, his attempt to end-run the Constitution’s treaty requirements in capitulating on Iran’s nuclear program, and the rest of his unconstitutional plan to rule by executive order.”
Center for Immigration Studies expert Jessica Vaughan added to Breitbart News that her main concern at this point is stopping or reigning in Obama’s actions and said she would also prefer a short-term CR.
“Some of the most effective blocking would have to involve changes to the [Immigration and Nationality Act], and that could easily get bogged down, and takes time. I might be wrong, but I think the goal for now has to be to scare the president off whatever he’s planning, and act like they will be able to stop anything in the appropriations bills,” she explained.
Vaughan continued that using the power of the purse will be an important tool to block Obama’s expected actions.
“I think it is important that Republicans reserve the option to block funding of any immigration executive action or abuse of authority, especially in light of the President’s latest statements that intends to go through with it regardless of public disapproval and the discomfort of many in his own party,” Vaughan added.
For Numbers USA, however, the goal for the short term is to prevent an omnibus spending measure before the new Congress is sworn in.
“We will be opposing any lame duck omnibus in favor of a short-term CR,” Jenks added, noting that March should be the latest deadline for such a measure.