Chuck Grassley: House Bill Defunding Obama Amnesty ‘Check on Exec Branch’

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/AP
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/AP

On Tuesday, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said that the House bill to fully fund the Department of Homeland Security while defunding President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty is “a check on the executive branch” and an example of Republicans keeping their promise to voters in the midterm elections.

Before the Senate takes up the House bill on Tuesday, Grassley, the Judiciary Committee Chairman, said on the Senate floor that the House’s Homeland Security funding bill is a “demonstration on the part of people who were victorious in the last election to deliver on the promises of that election.” Democrats have vowed to filibuster the bill, even outrageously accusing Republicans of fearing DREAMers more than ISIS.

Voters gave Republicans control of Congress largely because they opposed President Barack Obama’s handling of illegal immigration and executive amnesty. One poll found that 75% of the midterm electorate opposed Obama’s executive amnesty. Obama actually delayed his executive amnesty because incumbent Senate Democrats in red states begged him to do so because the action was so unpopular. GOP leaders in the House and Senate vowed to fight Obama’s executive amnesty “tooth and nail,” in the words of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).

Grassley said that elections are supposed to have consequences and the House Homeland Security bill is “our way of showing the American people… we’re carrying out a campaign promise to make sure the president doesn’t act in an unconstitutional way and abuse his authority.”

Noting that “Congress has several tools that it can use to check the president and reign him in when” when he exceeds his constitutional authority, Grassley said that since Congress has the power of the purse, it can defund Obama’s executive amnesty, which he called “an abuse” of Obama’s “constitutional duty to faithfully execute the law and an “overreach of his executive branch authority under the separation of powers.”

He said since it is Congress’s “responsibility to check the president” and ensure that he does not exceed his authority, the Homeland Security bill is about “restoring the rule of law” and “restoring the Constitution by denying that funds be utilized to carry out the president’s improper, unconstitutional actions.”

Grassley said that the “rule of law in our country has been slowly eroded away,” and Obama has “has expedited its erosion more than others.” He noted that legislation to benefit DREAMers did not pass Congress, and Obama just decided

He said Obama thinks he is “above the law” and not required to obey it and Grassley cited Obama’s unilateral changes to Obamacare, non-enforcement of the Controlled Substance Act, releasing five Taliban prisoners without providing Congress the 30 days notice required under law, making four recess appointments to executive positions that even the Supreme Court unanimously struck down, and enacting executive amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Obama’s actions, according to Grassley, sends a message to Americans that the laws are not important, thereby “reducing faith in the rule of law.”

Grassley mentioned that the Founders “understood the serious dangers of investing all powers of our government in a single body” and the revolution was about the colonists “being sick and tired” that one man was making all of the decisions. He said that America’s Founders “knew that if the president had all powers, that would be tyrannical.”

“No one is above the law, not even those chosen to be leaders among the people,” Grassley said. “This core principle has kept us free and preserved our rights and liberties for over 200 years.”