Conservatives rallied supporters against funding President Obama’s “lawless, unconstitutional” executive amnesty Wednesday afternoon on the lawn of the Capitol.
Led by Reps. Steve King (R-IA), Michele Bachmann (R-MN), and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), the lawmakers slammed the president’s unilateral actions on immigration and charged that it is Congress’s duty to stop them.
Cruz rallied the crowd saying, “This is a choice between truth and mendacity,” pointing out that many Republicans campaigned during the midterm elections on stopping executive amnesty.
“What I’m here urging my fellow Republicans to do is very, very simple. Do what you said you’d do,” Cruz said, going on to stress a strategy of blocking all of Obama’s non-vital national security related nominations and refusing to allocate “taxpayer dollars for lawless and illegal amnesty.”
“What the president is doing is dangerous,” Cruz said.
According to the Texas Republican, doing what the GOP promised does not mean “a stern letter and having a meaningless show-vote.”
In the middle of his remarks, one of the attendees shouted, “Ted Cruz, 2016” to a smattering of cheers.
House Leadership is looking at the idea of funding most of the government through September, 2015 but only funding the Department of Homeland Security — which will largely implement Obama’s executive actions — a few months, in what’s been dubbed a “cromnibus.” If no spending bill passes by Dec. 11, however, the government will shut down.
Speaking to reporters as he left the event, Cruz said he wants to see Obama’s actions defunded now, not kick the issue into the next Congress.
“Let’s be clear. I think we should fund virtually the entire federal government. We should however, not be funding illegal amnesty. Now the funding for that occurs in the Department of Homeland Security — so we should attach a rider to the funding for DHS,” the Texan explained, adding that he would like to see a short-term spending measure for DHS with the defunding measure.
Cruz acknowledged that the GOP will have greater leverage in January, but the will to defund might not be there then either.
The problem with waiting to defund executive amnesty, King also explained, is that it would be a violation of lawmaker’s own oaths of office, result in the loss of lawmakers’ “virtue” in the that the action is unconstitutional, and cause a loss of momentum.
“Anyone who would vote to fund [executive amnesty] can’t take this oath next Congress,” the Iowa lawmaker rallied the crowd.
King told reporters after the event that while he does not have an estimate of how many will stand to defund executive amnesty in the upcoming spending package, there were “more than 20” lawmakers at a strategy breakfast he held Wednesday morning.
“I don’t really care whether we [put defunding language] in an omnibus bill or whether we do it in a short term CR for DHS with an omnibus bill that goes the rest of the way, but let’s negotiate the best way to do that and get her done,” King said, adding that he is starting to feel as though the defunding effort will have enough support to achieve it.
Bachmann also announced the collection of some 167,000 signatures calling on Congress to defund executive action on immigration.
“We are going to do everything within our power to not pay for the president’s illegal actions. If he wants to make an illegal action, he can pay for it himself,” she told the crowd.
Reps. Louis Gohmert (R-TX), Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), and Curt Clawson (R-FL) were among the other participants at the rally.
“If we refuse to learn from history and allow this unconstitutional amnesty to take place before the border is secured, then there is a very prominent looming question that must be answered. How long do you think we should go before we do the next amnesty?” Gohmert asked.