House Republicans claim that next week they’ll vote on a plan to block some parts of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, but the president has insisted that he will veto any bills that make it to his desk that might curtail his amnesty plans.
The House is responding to executive orders issued last November by Obama aimed at doling out amnesty to up to 4 million illegal immigrants. The president’s plan includes work permits and other benefits.
But many House Republicans oppose the planned amnesty, and efforts are underway to block the funding that might go to fulfill parts of the president’s policy.
Rep. Martha Roby, (R, AL) is one of those looking to put an end to the amnesty plans. “We are not going to allow taxpayer dollars to be used to fund those unlawful orders,” she said on Friday.
One avenue of attack on the president’s amnesty is to block funding in the Department of Homeland Security budget that would be used to carry out the amnesty plan. But the GOP proposal also reaches past the DHS budget and revises the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the 2012 directive that shields young illegals from being deported. This was the directive the president heavily relied on to justify his halt to deportations.
On Friday, Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) pointed out that focusing on the earlier directive is a key element in curbing the president’s powers.
“It was important not just to nullify what the president said back in November but to make sure that he doesn’t come back again and do the same thing,” he said. The Congressman went on to say that the GOP is trying to “get to the roots of [the executive action] so we’re not just trying to just nullify one thing that was done back in November but also try to address it for the future.”
A major problem for House Republicans may lay in the Senate where the GOP has a smaller margin of control. The bill as written by the House would need six Democrats to pass in the upper chamber and chances of that happening might seem remote.
In fact, House Democrats have already warned that they may take the occasion of the debate on funding for DHS to create another “manufactured crisis” in order to try and force the GOP to shut down DHS by stalling approval of its budget.
Rep. Raul Castro (D, TX), promised to try and make it look like Republicans would shut down national security just to defund Obama’s amnesty policies. “Gaming the appropriations process and using the Homeland Security funding bill as a way to defund the President’s immigration executive order is a political shot that misses the mark and puts our nation at risk,” the Texas Democrat said in a recent letter.
Despite Castro’s wild claims, though, during the 2013 budget showdown fully 85 percent of DHS employees continued working, and no one seriously expects the security services to shut down again if budget negotiations grind to a halt.
Still, Castro’s effort may find receptive ears among Democrats in the Senate, leading to trouble for the plan to block the president’s amnesty.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com