The Executive Amnesty Prevention Act of 2014 (H.R. 5759), a bill introduced by Rep. Ted Yoho [R-FL-3], passed this afternoon by a vote of 219 Yeas to 197 Nays. President Obama has already announced that he will veto the bill if passed by the Senate.
Outgoing GA-12 Democratic Congressman John Barrow was one of only 3 Democrats to vote for passage. The rest of the Georgia Democrats voted against passage, while all of the Georgia Republicans voted for passage.
The bill is fully entitled “To establish a rule of construction clarifying the limitations on executive authority to provide certain forms of immigration relief,” which is almost as long as the text of the bill itself:
A BILLTo establish a rule of construction clarifying the limitations on executive authority to provide certain forms of immigration relief.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Executive Amnesty Prevention Act of 2014′.
SEC. 2. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.
(a) In General- No provision of the United States Constitution, the Immigration and Nationality Act, or other Federal law shall be interpreted or applied to authorize the executive branch of the Government to exempt, by Executive order, regulation, or any other means, categories of persons unlawfully present in the United States from removal under the immigration laws (as such term is defined in section 101 of the Immigration and Nationality Act). Any action by the executive branch with the purpose of circumventing the objectives of this statute shall be null and void and without legal effect.
(b) Effective Date- This Act shall have effect retroactively, and shall apply to any such exemption made at any time.
Rep. Tom Price, GA-6, quickly issued a statement on the passage of the bill:
“The American people expect a healthy debate and legitimate disagreements over policy. But they want the Congress and the president to engage in those discussions with respect and adherence to the rule of law and the constitutional duties we have sworn an oath to uphold.
“President Obama has shown particular disdain for the legitimate checks and balances of our democracy by directly contravening the immigration laws of this land and with them the will of the American people. In August, House Republicans first voted to prohibit the president’s overreach. Today, the House of Representatives has used its next tool within our legislative authority to state unequivocally that the Executive Branch does not have the authority, and should not be allowed, to trample on the Constitution.
“So long as the president and his allies in Congress continue to put their executive amnesty ahead of fidelity to the rule of law, we must and we will continue to seek to hold the administration accountable.”