The House has approved legislation to prohibit the Obama administration from using funding to defend against the 26 states carrying out a legal challenge to the president’s executive amnesty.
The amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Act, offered by Rep. Steve King (R-IA), passed on a vote of 222 – 204. Nineteen Republicans voted against the measure with a unanimous Democratic caucus.
“This Congress has three times voted to reject the President’s initiative and the debate has been centered on Constitutional grounds,” King said on the House floor, noting that 22 times that Obama himself did not have the authority to move forward with executive amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants.
Twenty-six states, led by Texas, have challenged the Obama administration over the executive amnesty programs — specifically the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA).
In February a federal district court blocked the programs’ implementation and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals refused the administration’s call for an emergency stay of the lower courts’ ruling last month. A lot of legal wrangling remains.
“So my amendment prohibits any of the funds from being used to further defend this unconstitutional executive amnesty position,” King said on the House floor.
King’s measure to block the administration from defending executive amnesty was not the only King amendment approved Wednesday evening. The Associated Press reports that the House also approved a King amendment to block trade deals from adding visas by voice voice.
“The rational is this that there has been much concern about the negotiations with regard to Trade Promotion Authority in particular, enabling the discussion about immigration visas as being part of the trade negotiations. It’s a long standing pattern and practice of this Congress to assert our Constitutional authority over immigration visas,” King said, adding that a lot of concern about the TPA and Trans Pacific Partnership is that it will try to include additional visas.
The House also voted 227-198 for a King amendment to block funding to localities that do not cooperate with immigration enforcement or sanctuary cities, with 14 Republicans voting against the measure with a unified Democratic caucus.