While House Republicans are not expected to include language to block President Obama’s executive amnesty in the must-pass government spending bill. But the measure could include a rider to block the regulation and taxation of pot in Washington, D.C.
Roll Call reports that: “Congress plans to block the District of Columbia from implementing a system to tax and regulate sales of legalized marijuana in the city, a source close to appropriations negotiations said Tuesday.”
The news comes as conservative lawmakers argue that the must-pass government funding measure should include language to defund the president’s executive action on immigration, a request that is unlikely to be met.
Instead, later Tuesday the House plans to unveil a so-called cromnibus that would fund most of the government through September 2015 but only fund the Department of Homeland Security into February, so as to allow the GOP to find ways to block Obama’s executive amnesty next year with a Republican House and Senate.
The prospect is unacceptable to dozens of conservative Republicans. They say Congress must engage in the funding fight now.
“The promise to fight later is not new but an actual all out effort by Congress to defund Obama’s violations thereby defending the Constitution would be new,” Rep. Steve King (R-IA), a leader in the defund effort, said Tuesday.
“This battle must be enjoined and the time is now. Anything less and House Republicans will have funded unconstitutional acts. All of us took an oath to defend the Constitution. Our oath means do so come what may,” he added. “There is no provision for funding now and fighting later. There is no exception for political expediency and we will be called upon in early January to take the oath for the next Congress.”
And although the GOP is holding off on the fight against executive amnesty until next year, it appears as though Republicans are already engaging in a fight against D.C. marijuana, as first put on the table via an amendment from Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) targeting the decriminalization of pot in D.C. As Roll Call explains:
A source close to the negotiations said the deal reached by Democrats and Republicans does not prevent D.C. from implementing legalization. Instead, language in the amendment prohibits the District from passing additional legislation to “future regulate and tax marijuana or permit the sale of marijuana. “The language in itself is not consistent with the principles of home rule,” said the source, “but preventing the carrying out of Referendum 71 would be an even more unsatisfactory outcome.”