With President Obama expected to move forward unilaterally on immigration as early as this week, the conservative Heritage Action is warning Congress against passing any long-term spending measures that fail to deal with the threat.
“Unless Congress preempts or blocks the President’s promised executive action, a long-term funding bill is little more than a blank check for amnesty,” Heritage Action CEO Michael A. Needham said Friday, arguing that voters “thoroughly rejected” Obama’s amnesty during the midterm elections.
Republican lawmakers—facing the prospect of Obama’s unilateral action on immigration which many expect will provide deferred status for up to 5 million illegal immigrants—are currently considering ways to block or combat such an action.
Some have advocated inserting language into the upcoming, must-pass, government-funding measure to block the action or offering up a short-term continuing resolution to kick the issue into the next session when both chambers will be controlled by the GOP.
According to Heritage Action, Congress must respond if Obama takes executive action, and their best bet would be to use the power of the purse.
“It’s the president’s choice if we head down this path; he’s going to be making the decision, if he acts unilaterally,” Heritage Action spokesman Dan Holler told Breitbart News Monday.
Discussions of using funding mechanisms to take on Obama’s executive actions already have some looking at the prospect of a government shutdown, and while Republicans received the blame for last year’s funding breakdown over Obamacare, Holler said Obama is the one who has set the conversations about a possible government shutdown into motion.
“He could take all this off the table, but he’s not going to. So whether he continues to allude to future action or whether he moves forward with it, congressional response is because of action the president is taking. He is the one who is initiating all this,” Holler said.
He added that he does not anticipate Congress passing a long-term omnibus that does not deal with the expected executive actions. “That’s not going to happen,” he said.
Asked about the possibility of impeachment should Obama move forward, Holler stressed that Heritage Action is focused on using the power of the purse to reign in Obama’s actions.
“Certainly using the funding bill to roll back or block his executive order would show the American people that Congress is doing what its supposed to, and that’s our focus,” he added.