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VA Reps. Call On Sens. Warner and Kaine To Stop Blocking DHS Funding Bill

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With the Senate poised to vote for a fourth time to bring a House-passed Department of Homeland Security funding bill to the floor for debate, eight Republican congressmen from Virginia are calling on Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine to stop blocking the bill.

In a letter to the two Virginia Democrats, Reps. Rob Wittman (VA-01), Scott Rigell (VA-02), J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), Robert Hurt (VA-05), Bob Goodlatte (VA-06), Dave Brat (VA-07), H. Morgan Griffith (VA-09), and Barbara Comstock (VA-10) call on the pair to reconsider their efforts to prevent the DHS appropriations bill, that also blocks Obama’s executive amnesty, from coming to the Senate floor.

Senate Democrats have repeatedly blocked the DHS funding bill from coming to the floor for debate because they oppose the provisions defunding Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

“As representatives of a state whose rich history is intrinsically entwined with our nation’s founding, we regard the President’s recent action as an affront on our power as legislators, and, by extension, the representation promised to our constituents by our founding fathers,” the eight Republican congressmen wrote in their Monday letter. “To that end, we believe that to  filibuster a funding bill to protect such action is wrong and profoundly undemocratic.”

In their letter, the Virginia lawmakers highlight Warner’s own words, when he expressed concern about the president’s actions.

“We agree with Senator Warner’s assertion last September: on ‘a big issue like immigration the best way to get a comprehensive solution is to take this through the legislative process,’” they write. “We agree with the 22 occasions in which President Obama said to take such action unilaterally would be illegal, unconstitutional and imperial.”

The eight Republicans were also part of an effort to press Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid to end the filibuster.

“It is utterly appalling that you and other Senate Democrats believe that protecting the President’s unconstitutional actions is more important than funding a Department tasked with keeping Americans safe,” the letter to Reid signed by 170 House Republicans read earlier this month.

While the fourth vote to bring the bill to the floor is expected to fail yet again on Monday, the Virginia lawmakers made an appeal for the balance of power.

“The true threat is that any future President will take this precedent and choose which laws they wish to enforce and ignore the will of Congress and the American people,” the eight write. “We have reached a moment of constitutional crisis. We implore you not to give up the power with which our constituents have entrusted us. Exercise your authority, which the President’s recent action seeks to nullify.”

Funding for DHS expires on February 27.

Read the full letter:

Dear Senator Warner and Senator Kaine:

On behalf of the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia, we urge you to reconsider your votes to protect President Obama’s unlawful executive action by blocking debate on H.R. 240, the House-passed bill which would fully fund the Department of Homeland Security.

 We agree with Senator Warner’s assertion last September: on “a big issue like immigration the best way to get a comprehensive solution is to take this through the legislative process.” We agree with the 22 occasions in which President Obama said to take such action unilaterally would be illegal, unconstitutional and imperial. We also agree with the 170 members of the House of Representatives who signed the attached letter urging Leader Reid to allow the Senate to take immediate action on the appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security and stop the unlawful actions by the President. 

As representatives of a state whose rich history is intrinsically entwined with our nation’s founding, we regard the President’s recent action as an affront on our power as legislators, and, by extension, the representation promised to our constituents by our founding fathers.

To that end, we believe that to  filibuster a funding bill to protect such action is wrong and profoundly undemocratic.

This vote transcends policy. There are times when we must reach across the aisle in defense of something greater, when party lines dissolve, disagreements fade, and what is right must triumph. The true threat is that any future President will take this precedent and choose which laws they wish to enforce and ignore the will of Congress and the American people. We have reached a moment of constitutional crisis. We implore you not to give up the power with which our constituents have entrusted us. Exercise your authority, which the President’s recent action seeks to nullify.


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