In a story posted before last night’s presidential announcement on immigration, President Obama drew equal parts praise and criticism for his proposal to stop enforcing deportation action on roughly 5 million illegal immigrants. Daniel Malloy and Jeremy Redmon teamed for a pre-speech story that was pretty good. Read it here.
Also, during a live appearance on Newsradio 1067 yesterday afternoon, U.S. Rep. David Scott, D-13, said Obama was being forced to act on the issue because Congress had failed to, a point the President repeatedly stressed during his address. Scott is the ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, and he said the No. 1 issue facing Georgia farmers is a stable workforce.
The post-speech comments from Georgia’s Republican leaders were uniformly, err, critical.
U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston:
“The President is spoiling for a fight. If he was serious about implementing the best policy he would be working with Congress, not against us.”
Joint statement from U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss & U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson:
“President Obama continues to circumvent Congress by executive order. This is the wrong way to govern. Bottom line, any attempt to circumvent Congress and grant legal status to millions is unacceptable. We must stop the President from executing bad policy and will consider all legislative and legal options when determining the best course of action to do so.”
U.S. Sen.-elect David Perdue:
“President Obama’s proposed executive action on amnesty is an outrageous abuse of power. Georgians sent a clear message in the most recent election: they want Washington to work again. They don’t want the President playing politics and sidestepping Congress on important issues like immigration. They want security first and enforcement of current laws. They don’t want amnesty and open borders.
“Let’s not forget, the President purposely delayed this unilateral action until after Election Day for political purposes. As part of the new Senate majority, I will fight to hold the Obama Administration accountable when they overstep their authority and work through Congress to fix our broken immigration system with step-by-step reforms, not sweeping actions that don’t solve the underlying problem.”
U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, 9th Congressional District:
“Executive action granting amnesty to millions of illegals is President Obama taking out his anger on the American people for rejecting his agenda through the due process of elections two weeks ago. He’s had six years to work with Congress, two of those years with his party in total control of Washington, on constructive, compassionate, and fair immigration reform.
“His singular action defies all three of those principles.
“Those who are in the United States illegally should be deeply concerned about the president’s intentions. So many immigrants come to this country from places where the rule of law and the will of the people are defied. That President Obama has taken it upon himself to do the same thing with his executive order should be as troubling to them as it is for the millions of law-abiding citizens who have trusted this man to uphold the Constitution.
“The majority of the People’s House will fight this because it is wrong. It is political retribution under the false guise of compassion, and it is yet another abuse of power the branch of government closest to the people will have to resolve.”
U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, 14th Congressional District:
“President Obama’s action defies voters, the law and even his own statements. My constituents are outraged by his brazenly political and lawless behavior. In response, the Republican Majority in Congress is exploring every tool we have to keep the constitutional checks and balances intact. Our system of government is stronger than one man’s ambition, and I know that Congress will steadily lead the country through the final chapter of the Obama presidency. In the days ahead, it should be clear to everyone that the president’s political agenda for illegal immigrants will not be allowed to derail the work Congress needs to do for over 300 million American citizens. Congress must use its power to keep the government open and shut the president down.”
U.S. Rep. Rick Allen, 12th Congressional District:
“President Obama does not like to admit that his policies lost at the ballot box two weeks ago. He cannot accept that the failure was his and likely assumes that the American people were just too deceived to comprehend his genius.
“Well, he did lose and having shrunk his party to historic lows – a wide minority in both houses of Congress, a historic dearth of Democratic Governors and approval ratings for him and his policies that go beyond catastrophic, he wants to change the game.
“When the current voters wake up and do not support him, President Obama is intent on creating new Democratic voters by taking an eraser to the Constitution and penning in new sections that allow him to create and enforce laws he has made up in his own head. These are actions that Obama himself repeatedly told America were beyond his Constitutional power as President.
“Losing changed his mind.
“This is incredibly sad because it undermines and tarnishes a Republic that was singular on Earth at its inception because it placed laws above men. It rebuked monarchy, banished totalitarianism, shone like a beacon to the world. With one stroke of his pen, President Obama seeks to undo all that so many struggled and even died to protect.
“But he has miscalculated. The American people will not stand for this. Even the non-lunatic fringe of his own party likely will not stand for it. The new citizens he creates will empower themselves economically and educationally and eventually reject this government by fiat, which so closely resembles the political systems they fled to come here.
“America is an idea as well as a country. Today represents a grim setback of which the President and his supporters should be ashamed. But we will burnish the ideal once he is gone and restore our nation to its former glory.
“I’m just sorry it had to be this way.”
U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, 7th Congressional District:
“Unfortunately, President Obama has once again chosen to disregard the voice of the American people and bypass Congress,” said Rep. Woodall. “Rather than partner with America’s elected representatives, he has decided to double-down on a unilateral approach that is not only unconstitutional, but does absolutely nothing to improve our immigration system for the millions of individuals going about the process the right way. The American people are weary of Executive overreach, and our entire nation loses when the constitutional process is abandoned for the sake of political expediency.”
U.S. Rep. Tom Price, 6th Congressional District:
“President Obama’s actions are not only unlawful, they are emblematic of this administration’s increasingly brazen disregard and disrespect for the American people – not to mention every immigrant who has come to this country legally. The president has wandered so far outside his constitutional authority that he’s doing incredible harm to the integrity of this country’s rule of law. At the same time, he is saying that he cannot be trusted to keep his own word. After all, President Obama himself, on multiple occasions, has told the American people that he does not have the authority to take the type of unilateral actions he’s now pursuing.
“The Obama Administration’s reasoning and excuses are increasingly nonsensical. The president is not exercising his authority. He’s trampling on the Constitution that prescribes him his authority; he is to enforce the laws of this land, not invent them. Moreover, when the American people are asking Congress and the president to work together on solving the challenges facing our nation, the president is doing the exact opposite.
“That is why President Obama remains the greatest obstacle to immigration reform. His actions are doing more to setback the cause of reform than advance it. So long as the president and his administration see our broken immigration system as a political opportunity rather than a problem to solve, they will continue to stand squarely in the way of success.”
U.S. Rep. Austin Scott, 8th Congressional District:
“President Obama’s decision to act unilaterally on immigration is the latest example of his arrogance and indifference to the laws of this country,” said Congressman Scott. “He talks about fairness and justice, about character and responsibility, yet he ignores the U.S. Constitution and the pledge he swore to uphold it. The President himself has earlier stated that, by taking this action, he would be ‘ignoring the law in a way that I think would be very difficult to defend legally.’”
You get the picture. And it probably will go downhill from there.