Will U.S. Senate Pick Amnesty Over National Security?
FEBRUARY 03, 2015
Americans are on the verge of learning if their new Republican-majority Congress will decide to renege on its constitutional obligation by choosing President Obama’s lawless amnesty over national security.
It’s a contentious issue involving funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In mid -January, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a $40 billion DHS spending bill with amendments that ban all illegal activities associated with Obama’s executive actions on immigration, which are set to spare millions of illegal aliens from deportation. The appropriations measure passed clean, with no taxpayer money for illegal activities.
Now it sits before the Senate and the big question is will our elected officials fund DHS by passing the House bill prohibiting money to pay for the president’s amnesty measures? Or will the Senate block the measure from becoming law, essentially sending the message that amnesty for undocumented aliens takes priority over national security? Republicans have 54 seats in the Senate and the bill needs 60 votes to pass with the crucial anti-amnesty amendments attached. Obama has threatened to veto the measure if it doesn’t include cash for his unlawful amnesty provisions.
It appears that the bill won’t even get to the president’s desk, however. Senate Democrats have threatened to block the measure if it excludes funding for the various illegal immigrant programs. In fact, in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Democrats say that the clean “House bill cannot pass the Senate.” They mention the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Ottawa and Australia as well as the threat of ISIS to make a case for the critical DHS funding. “We know that you share our desire to keep our nation safe in these dangerous times, and we thank you for considering our request,” the letter ends.
This is classic political theater that, unfortunately, has become all too common in our government. No wonder Congress’s approval ratings are at an all-time low. Americans are disgusted with their elected officials—both Democrat and Republican—in Washington D.C. In this case, McConnell, who has previously served as Senate Republican leader four times, initially vowed to stop Obama’s outrageous executive amnesty initiatives. But recently he began backpedaling from the defunding strategy, according to a national organization dedicated to examining immigration trends and effects.
It certainly appears that Republicans aren’t pushing hard enough to pass the House version of the DHS funding bill. Just today McConnell delivered a softball speech on the Senate floor, calling on Democrats to join Republicans and “stand up for core democratic principles like the rule of law and separation of powers.” A few days earlier Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions brought awareness to a broader issue by asking “who does Congress work for?” The veteran lawmaker points out that the House-approved version before the Senate “fully funds every activity, program, and function of DHS that is authorized by law.” Only actions that fall outside the scope of the law are not funded.
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