Saturday night, the Senate voted on a constitutional point of order raised by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Ted CruzSenate Republican Average95%
. Heritage Action’s chief executive officer Michael A. Needham explained
the vote this way:
“If Senators are opposed to President Obama’s executive action on immigration, they should vote in favor of Sen. Cruz’s constitutional point of order. A vote against the point of order is a vote in favor of unchecked presidential power and granting work permits and Social Security numbers to people who are in the country illegally.”
While 22 Republican Senators voted to uphold the constitutional point of order, 20 Republican Senators joined with 54 Democrats in voting against the point of order. Three Republicans and one Democrat did not vote.
The sharply divided vote came as a surprise. Though some Republican Senators are pro-amnesty, they have all spoken out against President Obama for overstepping his constitutional authority, including those that voted against the point of order. Their statements, made just three weeks ago, are below.
Moments ago, the Republican-controlled House passed the cromnibus after very aggressive whipping from President Obama
and the White House staff
. Heritage Action key voted against the 1,700+ page bill
because it amounts to a blank check for Obama’s amnesty.
This morning, the bill’s defeat was seen as likely when the rule to debate the bill passed by just two votes after significant arm-twisting from top Republicans. According to National Review, “House leadership promised to pull the CRomnibus and replace it with a short-term continuing resolution that would push the entire funding debate into next year.”
Pushing the debate into the early next year would have set the stage for a significant fight to stop the President’s unlawful amnesty. Instead, House GOP leaders worked with President Obama to fund his executive amnesty.
Conservative lawmakers are livid, and for good reason.
The Washington Establishment is desperately hoping voters and lawmakers will forget about today’s ugliness, but the deception and shenanigans are different this time. This legislation funds President Obama’s unilateral, unlawful actions, which include granting quasi-legal status, work permits and Social Security numbers to those who are in the country illegally.
See the House vote on our Scorecard:
Scorecard: Cromnibus Vote
Next week, the Republican-controlled House is planning to vote on a government spending bill. The so-called cromnibus, as currently described, would not block the implementation of President Obama’s recently announced changes to our nation’s immigration laws. Those changes include granting quasi-legal status, work permits and Social Security numbers to those who are in the country illegally. Heritage Action will key vote against the bill unless it contains legislative language that stops the implementation of the President’s unlawful amnesty program.
As Heritage Action’s chief executive officer Michael A. Needham said earlier this week, “The fight is now, not next year. Americans expect real action, not a show vote.”
Additionally, Heritage Action will not score in favor of the bill (H.R. 5759) offered by Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. Ted YohoHouse Republican Average72% because it is purely symbolic.
MEMO: Reid has few good options on House-passed bill to block Obama’s amnesty
Opposition to Obama’s Amnesty Grows Among Senate Democrats
At least eight Senate Democrats have expressed opposition to President Obama’s latest executive amnesty, which would grant quasi-legal status, work permits and Social Security numbers to those who are in the country illegally.
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA): “We are all frustrated with our broken immigration system, but the way forward is not unilateral action by the president.” (“Landrieu splits with Obama on immigration action,” Associated Press, 11/21/14), http://apne.ws/1z957xJ)
Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN): “It is clear the immigration system in this country is broken, and only Congress has the ability to change the law to fix it…I am as frustrated as anyone that Congress is not doing its job, but the president shouldn’t make such significant policy changes on his own.” (“Donnelly sees Obama immigration move as too much,” The Courier-Journal, 11/20/14, http://cjky.it/14T2SW9)
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO): “Our immigration system is broken, and I support a comprehensive plan to fix it, but executive orders aren’t the way to do it.” (“Local Lawmakers Oppose Obama’s Immigration Action,” KOLR10 News, 11/20/14, http://bit.ly/1FHJdUy)
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV): “I disagree with the President’s decision to use executive action to make changes to our immigration system, and I disagree with the House’s decision to not even take a vote on the bipartisan Senate legislation that overwhelmingly passed in June 2013.” (“Obama announces immigration plan; WV reps react,” MetroNews, 11/20/14, http://bit.ly/1vbQOcM)
Some have asserted lawmakers have “no fiscal leverage” over USCIS, the agency that will be tasked with carrying out a key plank of President Obama’s executive amnesty program. The New York Times
put it this way last week:
“Officials of the Republican-led House Appropriations Committee have concluded that the government agency most responsible for implementing any new executive order — the Citizenship and Immigration Services — would not be hindered if government funds are cut off; it operates entirely on revenue it generates through immigration applications.”
Ironically, a spokesperson for the House Appropriations Committee later acknowledged “a rider on the executive order” can be attached to a funding bill. Two additional data points suggest Congress can act to block Obama’s executive actions: 1) President Obama has signed into law (Public Law No: 113-76) congressional restrictions on the use of user fee funded accounts within the Department of Homeland Security; and 2) 25 of the 28 Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee – including the chairman and every cardinal – voted (2014 House Vote #479) to deny “Federal funding or resources” for an expansion of Obama’s executive amnesty plan.
Today, Breitbart reported that the Congressional Research Service found “Congress can in fact block funding for President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty order.” Below is an excerpt of that report: