Several top Republicans have issued statements in response to Obama’s executive amnesty order announcement promising to stop him. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the outgoing chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said, “we cannot let this stand.”
“The President’s unilateral actions on immigration are a violation of his responsibilities and the trust the American people have placed in him,” Issa said. “President Obama is playing a dangerous political game with lives and deepening the mistrust that the American people and Congress have in his ability to faithfully execute the law. The President is not respecting our system of checks and balances–we cannot let this stand.”
Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) promised to do everything he can to stop Obama.
“Granting amnesty to those here illegally is an affront to American workers and the people who are trying to join our country legally,” Hudson said. “As I’ve said before, I recognize our immigration system is broken and in need of reform, but I cannot and will not support any type of immigration reform until we secure the border first. We need to pass permanent, meaningful reforms that address the root of the problem to stop the influx of illegal immigration. I will do everything in my power to block the administration’s illegal amnesty policies and remain committed to working with my colleagues to secure our borders and fix our broken immigration system.”
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) said he expects Obama to veto attempts to stop him, but Republicans should do everything they can to block him.
“I expect the President will threaten to veto any attempt from Congress to stop this unilateral action, and then blame Congress for acting ‘irresponsibly’ if the result in more gridlock,” Duncan said. “If the President wanted to fix our broken immigration system, he could start by securing the border and enforcing the laws already passed by Congress. But make no mistake, what the President is doing will make our immigration system worse.”
Duncan added that Congress has a “responsibility” to block Obama.
“Congress has not only the right but the responsibility to stop this executive action,” Duncan said. “The President decided to act unilaterally on this issue and is solely responsible for the conflict that will certainly arise. We need a Commander-in Chief, not a Campaigner-in-Chief. We need a leader who puts the health and well-being of the country ahead of 2016 politics. This is a sad day for the nation, and I intend to use all of my constitutional authority to put a stop to the President’s illegal behavior.”
House Homeland Security Committee chairman Rep. Mike McCaul said he will do everything he can to stop Obama too.
“History has proven that unilateral action on immigration simply perpetuates a cycle of illegal entry into this country,” McCaul said. “This was true under the 1986 amnesty and it has been true under DACA, which enticed 60,000 unaccompanied children to make the perilous journey across our border this summer. We will see a wave of illegal immigration because of the president’s actions, and in no way is the Department of Homeland Security prepared to handle such a surge. Furthermore, the president knows any immigration reforms will be ineffective as long as our border remains insecure. As chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, I will use every tool at my disposal to stop the president’s unconstitutional actions from being implemented.”
Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) said Congress needs to use the power of the purse to block Obama, and that Obama should not choose to shut the government down to defend his unprecedented actions.
“How should Congress respond to Obama’s illegal executive amnesty?” Bridenstine said in a statement. “Congress should exercise the power of the purse to withhold funding necessary to implement the President’s amnesty. I hope the President does not choose to shut down the government to enact an executive action that American does not want, that Congress did not vote for, and that is unconstitutional.”
Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman Reince Priebus tripled down on his call for Republicans to use the power of the purse to block Obama.
“I am confident that the Republican Congress will do everything within their power to uphold the Constitution,” Priebus said in a statement while the RNC circulated two Breitbart News articles–one from before and one from after the election that called on Republicans to block Obama. “The American people rejected the administration’s policies during the midterms; they will do so again in 2016.”
Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) said Congress must block Obama.
Mulvaney specifically said “it is incumbent upon the Congress–both the House and the Senate, and both Republicans and Democrats–to act to defend the Constitution and the rule of law.”
“We need to see details on exactly how he purports to do what he says he will do–the President said absolutely nothing about how he was going to implement his plan–before we can know the best way to resolve this Constitutional challenge,” Mulvaney said. “And I absolutely reject the concept floated by some that Congress simply cannot do anything.”
The question becomes whether Speaker John Boehner will back the efforts of most Republicans to use the power of the purse to block Obama’s amnesty, or whether he will fall in line behind House Appropriations Committee chairman Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY), who says Republicans can’t block funding because the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services involved operates somewhat on fees collected from immigration applications.
Nationally syndicated radio host Laura Ingraham says Rogers should be defeated in a primary in 2016 by his conservative base in Kentucky over this. Calling Rogers “Shallow Hal” on her program on Thursday morning, Ingraham said Rogers should be the “next guy in the House perhaps to be primaried.”
“It’s always pretty hard to primary someone who’s the head of an appropriations committee but nevertheless he’s going to tick a lot of people off in Kentucky,” Ingraham said. “He’s chairman of Appropriations and he’s now saying that he cannot defund Obama’s executive amnesty. He says that [USCIS], which centers in on this process of giving green cards and status–that’s funded, he claims, by fees. So since it’s funded by fees he says Congress can’t in any way defund it. So he’s saying that the DHS has no involvement other than this very narrow fee-based process, has no involvement in this overall amnesty–because what I’m looking at is an amnesty that goes way beyond just the parents of the children who are here legally. This expands DACA.”
Ingraham said Rogers is being dishonest with his fellow Republican members and the public.
“So the idea that DHS has no involvement in this, I don’t buy it,” Ingraham said. “I have a feeling that all the clever people on Capitol Hill could figure this one out in a better way than just ‘Throw Up Your Hands, Hal.’ Hal ‘Throw Up Your Hands’ Rogers. And remember, I’ve been exposing Hal Rogers’ at least on the surface potential appearance of a conflict of interest because one of the beneficiaries of these new IDs being issued is the subcontractor which makes the IDs which is in Hal Rogers’ district. OK, so that’s money–and could be some jobs–could be campaign donations down the road. Who knows? But the idea that Hal Rogers has nothing to gain from this–he has something to gain from it, absolutely.”
Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ), who’s been organizing more than 50 House members around a strategy to block funds for Obama’s amnesty, said he’s determined to ensure Rogers does not succeed.
“In the coming days, I will continue to work with my colleagues in the House to find any and every avenue provided to stop President Obama from continuing to ignore the will of the American people,” Salmon said in a statement after the president’s speech. “I, like the President, made an oath to uphold the Constitution. I have every intention to continue to keep that promise.”