Obama laughing

Yes, Congress Can Block Obama’s Amnesty

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: 

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Act Now: Urge Congress to Fight Obama’s Amnesty

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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Keystone

See the Senate’s Keystone XL Pipeline Vote on Our Scorecard

The Senate finally voted on the Keystone XL Pipeline. Unfortunately, it didn’t receive the votes required to pass. Want to see how they voted? Check out heritageactionscorecard.com to see how your Senators voted on one of the most important energy projects in recent years.

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Obama Confused

Government Shutdown? White House Won’t Commit to Veto

As President Obama prepares to take a series of unlawful execution action​s on immigration – including amnesty and work permits for roughly five million illegal immigrants – the phrase “government shutdown” has resurfaced.  Is a government shutdown the inevitable outcome of confronting Obama’s lawlessness?  Apparently not.  White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest refused to say the President would veto a government spending bill that included a provision that would defund his executive amnesty.

Reporter: SO YOU DON’T RULE OUT THE PRESIDENT SIGNING INTO LAW SOMETHING THAT WOULD UNDO THE VERY THING HE’S GOING TO ANNOUNCE TOMORROW NIGHT?

Earnest: I THINK THAT SEEMS — I THINK WE’LL HAVE TO SORT OF EVALUATE FOR OURSELVES WHAT PROPOSALS REPUBLICANS PUT FORWARD. I WOULDN’T WANT TO HAZARD A GUESS AT THIS POINT.

The full exchange and video are below:

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ObamaPhone

Rescission Bill: A Blank Check for Amnesty

The “newest gambit” in the inevitable amnesty showdown is something called a Rescission Bill.  Yesterday, Rep. Hal Rogers, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, floated the idea to his colleagues:

“Chairman Rogers just got up and said if we pass an omnibus and then the president does this executive amnesty, he said we can rescind it, and we can rescind it with 218 and 51 and we don’t need the president.”

Small problem: it isn’t true.

As the Congressional Research Service (CRS) notes, “As budget authority providing the funding must be enacted into law, so too a rescission cancelling the budget authority must be enacted into law.”  Any rescission bill must be signed by President Obama, or 291 House members and 67 Senators must override his veto.  In other words, a rescission bill is no different than any other stand-alone bill Congress could pass that involves no special leverage or expedited process.

Heritage Action welcomes creative thinking from congressional Republicans so long as creativity is not a synonym for inaction or delay.  Clearly the promise of a future rescission bill is nothing more than a blank check for Obama’s executive amnesty.

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