February 24, 2015

Will Congress Take the Immigration Off-Ramp?

Senate Republicans are starting to concede on the efforts to authorize Department of Homeland Security funding and stop Barack Obama’s executive overreach on immigration. Given the judicial off-ramp, why should they try? A Texas judge issued an injunction, and if DHS loses its funding the executive branch would make it a political nightmare. Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced a bill that opposes Obama’s executive actions but does not strip those diktats of funding. It’s an effort to gain votes from sympathetic Democrats to override a certain veto. On the Senate floor, McConnell said, “Some Democrats give the impression they want Congress to address the overreach. But when they vote, they always seem to have an excuse for supporting actions they once criticized. So I’m going to begin proceedings on targeted legislation that would only address the most recent overreach from November. It isn’t tied to DHS’ funding. It removes their excuse.” It used to be that the greatest power against an out-of-control president Congress had was its control of the purse. Clearly, however, Republicans are struggling to stop a presidential action a court already said is unconstitutional. McConnell’s answer may be their only way out. More…

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