An action alert sent to Capitol Hill staffers from CQ Roll Call suggests that House Speaker John Boehner’s plan to fund President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty action for illegal aliens in a “CR-omnibus” bill may be beginning to fall apart–even as Nancy Pelosi’s top lieutenant, Steny Hoyer, has been pushing Democrats to help Boehner pass it.
The first sign of a crack in the coalition is that the bill–a more-than-$1 trillion omnibus that funds all of government except for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through the end of the 2015 fiscal year in September–may not be introduced on Monday. GOP leaders were hoping to have the text out today. The bill is expected to fund Obama’s amnesty and all the rest of DHS through March 2015, and GOP leaders, including Boehner, have not pledged to fight it even then.
“Senior GOP aides say the text of the so-called “CRomnibus” bill may not be released Monday, as initially anticipated,” CQ Roll Call said in the alert. “Several issues appeared to be holding up last-minute negotiations on the wrap-up government spending package, the staffers said. Lawmakers will likely need to clear a very short-term continuing resolution, since current spending expires Dec. 11. A House GOP appropriations aide said the committee hopes to file that bill tonight.”
By splitting off just DHS funding into a separate portion of the bill and funding other parts of government, Republicans would be supporting funding for things including the Department of Health and Human Services’ plans to give newly amnestied illegal aliens access to certain health benefits and the Social Security Administration’s plans to let those illegal aliens have those benefits. White House spokesman Shawn Turner confirmed to the Washington Post in the wake of the president’s executive amnesty announcement on Nov. 20 that yes, amnestied illegal aliens will have access to Medicare and Social Security.
“If they pay in, they can draw,” the White House’s Turner said in an email to the Post.
Short of impeachment — which Republicans have virtually unilaterally taken off the table — the only way to stop Obama’s executive amnesty before work permits are handed out to millions of illegal aliens is for Congress to use the power of the purse. If Republicans wait until March, once illegal aliens have started getting work permits, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) noted in a recent interview with Breitbart News, it will be nearly impossible to pull them back.
“It’s going to be very, very difficult to claw that back,” Gohmert said of the work permits for illegal aliens, if they’re already handed out.
But if Republicans go through with the plan from Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Jeff Sessions (R-AL)–the incoming chairman of the Senate Budget Committee–Ted Cruz (R-TX), and many others, Gohmert said, then the Democrats will likely end up in even more political trouble than they were last summer, when Pelosi chased Republican Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) across the House floor.
“If we do what we should next week, and stand firm on our convictions, we might get to see former Speaker Pelosi chase Tom Marino and maybe someone else up the aisle,” Gohmert said on Friday.
The sergeant-at-arms actually had to remove Pelosi from the House floor the night Republicans united behind a bill from Cruz and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) that blocked Obama’s first major executive amnesty, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)–an action that caused this summer’s border crisis.
The conservative plan is to pass a short-term Continuing Resolution rather than a long term omnibus, and include language blocking funding for Obama’s amnesty in it. If outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid can muster the votes to strip that language from the bill, or if Obama vetoes it after Reid fails to garner the votes, then the conservatives want the House to pass a short term CR until the new Republican congress, with GOP reinforcements, is sworn in in January. At that point, they’ll target Obama’s amnesty funding before he can get the program off the ground–something Obama will likely be able to do by March, the GOP leadership’s current date.
The GOP leadership’s plans are beginning to fall apart in the wake of a series of Breitbart News investigative pieces that show Boehner has put his top lieutenants – including Rules Committee chairman Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) and Appropriations Committee chairman Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) – at serious political risk from potential primary challengers. Breitbart has also reported on how Boehner and his top allies deceived the Republican conference into voting for a new version of a bill from Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) that actually provides extra legal justification for Obama’s executive amnesty, rather than fighting it, as they originally had claimed.
While the Boehner plan is not dead yet, it is quite clear that extra grassroots pressure in the Capitol is working, as grassroots organizations push members, and as the American people light up the phone lines of their members of Congress.
Numbers USA, an anti-amnesty grassroots organization, is scoring a vote for the GOP leadership’s CRomnibus bill as a vote for amnesty. An action alert sent to all members across Capitol Hill reads:
NumbersUSA will score as a vote for amnesty a vote for the CRomnibus House GOP Leaders intend to bring to the floor this week, unless it includes language to defund the President’s unconstitutional amnesty. It makes no difference if the CRomnibus is brought to the floor as a single package, or as a Continuing Resolution to fund DHS plus a separate 11-bill omnibus. Either way, Congress must insist that language to prohibit any fees or appropriations from being used to carry out the illegal Obama amnesty be applied to the entire package. It should be obvious to all Members, as it is to Americans, that Congress cannot in good faith fund an unconstitutional act for any period of time.
Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum sent a similar alert to members last week while noting that they aren’t taking the Yoho cover bill seriously:
President Obama’s actions blatantly defy Congress’s authority as a legislative body. His disregard for the constitutional separation of powers demeans Congress and the rule of law. Americans deserve more than symbolic measures that will be ignored by the Senate. Waiting to take meaningful action on the President’s lawlessness means that House Republicans are complicit in funding amnesty. We have heard repeated promises that the House will do everything in its power to stop the current out-of-control executive – that power should include your constitutional authority over the purse. This approach offers the most leverage over President Obama and the Senate. By using the power of the purse, amnesty can be stopped, and Congress’s authority over immigration policy would be restored. We must try to defund Obama’s amnesty now so that we put every Member of Congress on record.
Heritage Action is pushing a similar message to members, all while radio’s Laura Ingraham and the Center for Immigration Studies’s Jessica Vaughan hammered the omnibus bill on radio on Monday morning.
Vaughan noted on the Ingraham program that the omnibus will fund the release of thousands more criminal illegal aliens into American communities:
Obviously we don’t have the deporter-in-chief, we have president Obama as the releaser-in-chief. He has set out to dismantle immigration law enforcement and he is succeeding; it’s slowed to a trickle. All of this nonsense talk about how he, “needs to implement this executive amnesty so that ICE can focus on felons instead of families,” is completely maligned by this new report. They’re releasing more criminals than they’re actually deporting these days; it’s a disgrace. It’s not because of incompetence in ICE or because there’s not enough officers to do the job. It’s because they’ve deliberately handcuffed ICE officers.
Vaughan’s comments came as internal DHS documents obtained by Breitbart News show that the administration has been secretly proposing not screening the backgrounds of potential terrorists or criminals seeking specific visas for crime and trafficking victims under the president’s amnesty.
Meanwhile, Ingraham herself added that it appears that, by funding Obama’s amnesty in this Boehner omnibus bill, the House GOP leadership is aiming to “resurrect” the “amnesty agenda” of now former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor–who lost his primary to now Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) this year–over support for amnesty.
“Hal Rogers, head of the appropriations committee, is in our crosshairs now because of how he’s handled himself,” Ingraham said on Monday morning’s show. “They just want to resurrect Cantor without telling anyone about it.”
A conservative GOP Senate aide added, via an email to Breitbart News, that “if Boehner is serious about passing this awful bill with Democrat votes, conservatives should call his bluff.”
“If he does, that would certainly be a huge wake-up call for what conservatives should expect from Leadership on tough issues next year,” the aide said.
Boehner has now turned to Hoyer in a big way, according to Chad Pergram of Fox News. “Hoyer says Dems will help on spending bill ‘if they were not put in a position where they would oppose’ policy riders,” Pergram Tweeted on Monday afternoon, as the Boehner plan began collapsing.