By a vote of 218-209, the US House passed Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s amendment to roll back the President’s recent Executive Order on immigration. Actually, though news blurbs read that way, the Blackburn Amendment goes further and stalls new admissions to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program announced in 2012. The bill also funded the Department of Homeland Security through September of this year, despite earlier rumors that it would be de-funded in response to the President’s immigration actions.
All of Georgia’s Republican Congressman voted for the measure. None of the state’s Democrats joined them. A sampling of congressional press releases below the fold
Rep. Barry Loudermilk
By the end of his presidency, President Obama will have granted amnesty to nearly half of the illegal immigrants living in the U.S. While the majority of Americans agree we need to reform our immigration system, circumventing Congress is not the way to achieve this goal. The president is not tasked with writing laws; he is responsible for enforcing the laws that are already on the books. These unilateral actions to subvert the legislative process demonstrate a blatant disregard for our Constitution, existing immigration law, and those who came to our country legally.
Rep. Rob Woodall
Last November, President Obama made the decision to bypass the American people’s Congress – and recklessly tether the legitimate responsibilities of the Department of Homeland Security to his unconstitutional actions,” said Rep. Woodall. “With this bill today, we in the House have unequivocally rejected the President’s unilateral action and overreach, while enabling the men and women within DHS to continue working diligently to keep America safe.
There is a great deal we can accomplish in the 114th Congress, and today’s vote is a clear indication of our commitment to the legislative business at hand, but it’s also a defense of the Constitution and separation of powers.
Rep. Tom Price
This legislation does exactly what House Republicans said we would do – address our homeland security needs while simultaneously taking action to halt President Obama’s unlawful executive amnesty. The president has increasingly shown little to no respect for the limits of his constitutional authority. Therefore, Congress is obligated to act, on behalf of the American people, to restore and protect the integrity of the rule of law.
Rep. Austin Scott
I took an oath to uphold the Constitution and made a promise to represent the people in Georgia’s Eighth Congressional District,” said Congressman Austin Scott. “Today, I stood with my constituents who overwhelmingly disapprove of President Obama’s dangerous overreach, and I cast my vote to defund his unlawful executive order on immigration in its entirety. With passage of the Homeland Security Appropriations Act, the House of Representatives sent a clear message to the President: enforce the immigration laws that currently exist on our books and allow the Department of Homeland Security to defend our country and protect our borders. I intend to do everything in my power to uphold our country’s system of checks and balances, and I encourage the President to work with Congress towards a long-term solution.
Rep. Buddy Carter
President Obama’s executive actions are not only dangerous, they’re unconstitutional. House acted today to stand up to the President, uphold the rule of law and restore the balance of powers. It is unacceptable that the President continues to directly ignore the will of the people, the law and most importantly, the United States Constitution.
Of course, the vote is meaningless. There aren’t enough Republicans in the Senate to overturn the 60-vote filibuster, much less the Presidential veto. It’s doubtful the GOP elite even wants to revoke privileges already given. Bad optics.
In a new Congress expected to be quarrelsome, party lines held firm. But the first major vote of the term was only theater.