House Republican leadership’s strategy of waiting to combat President Obama’s executive amnesty via the power of the purse until next year is a ‘punt’ and a cowardly one, according to Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ). “To me the old adage ‘he who fights and runs away lives to fight another day’ is a coward,” Salmon tells reporters Tuesday.
Salmon is one of the conservative lawmakers who argue that the must-pass government funding measure — set to be unveiled Tuesday afternoon according to GOP aides — should include language to defund Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
Instead, Republicans are expected to offer a bill that would fund most of the government through September 2015 but only fund the Department of Homeland Security, which is implementing Obama’s executive orders, to February in order to allow Congress to take up the issue with a Republican House and Republican Senate.
According to Salmon, who reiterated that he will vote “no” on the so-called cromnibus, the funding measure without defund language is “a punt and “not what [he] signed up for.”
Salmon — who led an effort to call on appropriators to defund the executive amnesty last month — recalled how one of the members of leadership explained waiting for reinforcements to fight the executive orders.
“‘So a big bully at school is picking on you and you know that next week three of your big buddies are going to be able to help you fight this big bully. Are you going to go ahead and fight him and get beat and all bloodied up?'” Salmon said quoting a member of leadership, who he would not name beyond saying “you’ve got three guesses.”
“My point is: if he’s harming one of my children, then I’m going to risk it and this to me is a Constitutional issue and I think it’s important enough that we fight the fight,” he said, explaining his retort to the bully argument.
Of how many Republicans will vote against the crominbus, Salmon estimated more than 50.
“I think the number is over 50 that will vote against it but it doesn’t matter because there is going to be over 50 Democrats who vote for it,” he said.
Assuming everything goes according to leadership’s plan, come early next year Congress will likely have to take up the funding fight over Obama’s executive amnesty.
According to House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) the effort to block Obama’s executive actions next year could possibly be done via an authorization bill.
“Well I think we’ll be able to pass possibly an authorization,” McCaul told reporters Tuesday. “You can’t defund a self-generating agency that is run by fees, so the only way to stop this, the solution is an authorization bill that essentially says the President cannot use these fees to implement his executive action. We can’t pass that until we get the Senate, the new Senate coming in.” He acknowledged that the measure would likely be vetoed by Obama.
And while conservatives have voiced frustration with the funding strategy for DHS, so too have Democrats. But the short-term funding is not among the major issues Democrats are pushing against.
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) told reporters Tuesday “he is not happy about” the short DHS funding but that he is hopeful that the bill will not include any “poison pill” riders.
If a funding measure is not passed by Dec. 11, the government would shutdown.