Thursday’s House Vote is for Show
House Republicans are planning to give up their only leverage over Barack Obama and Harry Reid. They want to pass a long-term spending bill that doesn’t defund the President’s executive amnesty. Instead, they are planning a show vote today against Obama’s amnesty, and then promising to fight anew next year.
This course of action is unacceptable. If they’re not willing to fight now, experience tells us they won’t ever be.
While it is impossible to know exactly what the text of the President’s new executive orders will contain, the press has gotten wind of several possible actions the administration could take.
Foremost, he is likely to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This action would further prohibit as many as 12,000 immigration agents (according to the NYT) from enforcing the law. According to a recent study by the Migration Policy Institute, when all told, this specific change alone could result in anywhere from 430,000 to 1.9 million newly authorized immigrants.
The administration may also decide to extend deferred action (which will likely be accompanied by new work permits) to illegal immigrants who are parents or spouses of those included under the DACA umbrella. This expansion could reach as many as 3.8 million new immigrants, according to the same study.
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Other unilateral options include exempting those convicted of non-violent crimes from removal proceedings, protections for employed farm workers who have entered illegally, and foregoing removal orders that are a certain number of years old. Depending on how far back the memorandum extends, this policy could conceivably incorporate the majority of the 11 million illegal immigrants currently living inside our borders.
Americans, having voted against these policies in the midterm election, are rightly incensed.
The possibility of further executive action has resulted in even the pro-amnesty likes of Karl Rove calling on Congress to use “every tool available” to stop the President:
Put riders on appropriations bills that say no money shall be spent to execute this policy. Pass a bill that specifically holds him accountable… put the riders in there that say you can’t spend any money on these kinds of things.
Now is the time to tell your member of Congress it is up to him or her to demand the executive branch respects the parameters of the Constitution.
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It is time to act. We have been engaged in the fight to end the Export-Import Bank all year. And now the fight has almost reached its pinnacle. Your action today could push it over the edge.
It’s less than two months—and only 10 legislative days—until the charter for the Ex-Im Bank expires. And you can help make sure it expires, and Ex-Im is ended, by emailing your Senators and Representative, simultaneously, now.
Take two minutes and email your Members of Congress against Ex-Im.
Our system will send your message directly to your Senators’ and Representative’s offices. With Congress in recess for August, your email will ensure that congressional staff spend their time explaining their boss’s position on Ex-Im. This is the perfect time to tell them that you want to end Ex-Im.
Your email to Congress will help chip away at the culture of cronyism in Washington.
Email Congress to End Ex-Im
On May 30, 2014, House Republican Leaders announced a plan to bail out the federal Highway Trust Fund (HTF) to the tune of $15 billion, paying for it with savings generated by reforms to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). This proposal is flawed on a number of levels and should be rejected by Congress.
Under current law, drivers pay a tax of 18.4 cents per gallon on gasoline and 24.4 cents on diesel fuel, which gets deposited into the HTF. Excessive spending levels set by highway bills enacted in recent years, and many spending diversions to non-road, non-bridge activities, have left the HTF with too many bills to pay but not enough money on hand. An additional $5 billion is needed to keep spending on pace through the end of the fiscal year, and that figure jumps to $15 billion for a one-year extension at current spending levels. If Congress does not bail out the HTF by the end of July, the federal government will continue to collect federal gas tax revenues, but it would have to begin slowing down its reimbursements to state Departments of Transportation.
Proponents of the WRDA legislation
have made much about the legislation being “earmark free.” Now while the bill seems to comport with the current earmark moratorium, it does fund or expand previous earmarks. A headline in the Washington Examiner this morning said it all
: Earmarks may be dead, but pet projects live on.
For instance, the bill increases the cost share for the Olmsted Lock and Dam in Kentucky from 50 percent to 85 percent. This project was first authorized in 1988 at a cost of $775 million, and it is still not finished and now costs $2.9 billion. Why would the federal government take on more of the burden of the project? The WRDA bill has 34 expansions (authorization for construction) and 8 project modifications (increases in spending) to existing projects in the Army Corps of Engineers’ list of projects, but the real danger is the earmark-like process it sets up to authorize new projects going forward. Heritage Foundation analyst Emily Goff cautioned: