Sen. Jeff Sessions took his Democratic colleagues to task Friday for expressing opposition to an upcoming Department of Homeland Security bill that defunds President Obama’s executive amnesty.
“Are you afraid to say to the President of the United States, we don’t agree with this and we’re not going to fund this?” Sessions said on the Senate floor. “Is that the world we’re in? Are we hiding under our desks that the President may go on television and attack us because we don’t agree with his ideas? Surely not.”
As early as next week, the Senate is expected to begin considering House-passed legislation that funds the Department of Homeland Security while blocking spending for Obama’s executive actions.
Democrats have called for a “clean” DHS appropriations bill, free of provisions that would block Obama’s executive actions.
“We now have a statement that our Democratic colleagues are going to block the bill and they apparently intend to say that Republicans blocked the bill,” Sessions said. “That somehow Republicans didn’t fund Homeland Security that’s apparently the message they are going to try to promote.”
According to Sessions, the “clean” bill the Democrats want is simply one that would fund Obama’s executive action even though it violates the law.
“This bill will not deny a penny of funding,” he said. “It will not deny any funding for any program, activity or action that’s authorized by law. It does not deny funding for any of those programs that are actually authorized by the laws of the United States.”
It does, however, Sessions said, prohibit the funding “to advocate and create a system of law Congress rejected. An unlawful activity.”
The Alabama lawmaker expressed incredulity that Democrats may block a bill that defunds Obama’s executive amnesty and read quotes from Democratic senators who have offered statements of concern and opposition to the executive actions.
“In fact it is sort of remarkable that this is a bipartisan position that the president has overreached,” Sessions said, going on to quote seven separate unnamed Democratic senators.
“So I would say, colleagues, why, why would any senator, Democrat or Republican when the very integrity and the constitutional powers that have been given to Congress are eroded in a dramatic way by the president of the United States, why would we not want to assert congressional authority?” he asked.
Sessions went on to highlight Obama’s own assertions that he does not have the authority to unilaterally change the nation’s immigration laws and recent analysis by law professors who appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday that the actions are an unlawful overreach of power.
“It’s not a little matter, colleagues, it really is an affront to constitutional order and we have a duty no matter what we feel about this amnesty, that goes well beyond ‘DREAM Act’ amnesty, we have a constitutional duty to defend the integrity of the Congress against an encroachment of monumental proportions by the president,” Sessions said.