By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Some conservatives have criticized the Congress for passage of a long term Continuing Resolution (C.R.) that funded the government to the end of the year. Conservative radio pundits including: Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham argued loudly for a short term C.R. that funded the government only to February. They argued that a long term C.R. sacrificed the Republicans’ leverage over the Obama Administration. U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R from Montgomery) voted for the Omnibus Continuing Resolution, H.R. 83, nicknamed “CROmnibus” by its friends and foes alike.
In a statement on Facebook on Thursday, December 17 Congresswoman Roby defended her decision. The popular Montgomery Republican wrote, “Remember the “Defund ObamaCare” strategy of Fall 2013? There were two basic reasons it didn’t work: 1. Democrats held the Majority in the Senate; 2. The threat of shutting down the entire government allowed the other side to distract attention away from the failures of ObamaCare.”
Rep. Roby continued, “This year, with a funding battle over immigration before us, Congress sought to remedy both problems by: 1. Delaying the fight just three weeks until Republicans control the Senate; and 2. Taking an entire government shutdown off the table to focus solely on the issue of executive amnesty.”
Rep. Roby wrote, “So, this past week, Congress passed an Appropriations plan that funds 11 of the 12 government divisions through the remainder of Fiscal Year 2015. The exception is Homeland Security, which is where immigration enforcement funding is contained. The plan includes a temporary Continuing Resolution for Homeland Security, delaying the issue slightly so that Congress can utilize the “power of the purse” to rein in President Obama’s immigration actions in three weeks when Republicans take the Majority in the Senate.”
The Conservative Alabama Congresswoman argued that the strategy of combining a Continuing Resolution with an Omnibus Appropriations bill coined “CR-Omnibus” is the best approach to defeating executive amnesty. Rep. Roby wrote, “The truth is the Appropriations plan does not “fund” amnesty. It funds Homeland Security at the same levels as the alternative, full government Continuing Resolution would have. The only difference is we locked in full-year spending reforms in other aspects of the government and took the possibility of a government shutdown off the table for January.”
Roby said, “There is no line item for “Obama’s Amnesty Program.” It’s just not there. What “defunding amnesty” really means is attaching policy riders to an Appropriations bill that specifically prohibit particular actions, or adding a provision saying that under no circumstances can the administration find any little extra pot of money in the DHS budget to, for example, pay for licenses and permits needed to fulfill Obama’s order. Nearly every Republican I know wants those policy riders.”
Rep. Roby wrote, “But, just like with ObamaCare in 2013, the reality is “defund” policy riders we want will not pass with a Democratic Senate. It is simply misleading for any politician to suggest they would. No one really disputes that going down the “defund” path before we have a Senate Majority would result in little more than show votes of solidarity for Republicans and then a temporary Continuing Resolution funding the entire government at status quo levels. That would earn Republicans a “moral victory” in which we could pat each other on the back for fighting the good fight, but ultimately lose the battle – exactly what happened with the ObamaCare funding fight last October.”
Rep. Roby concluded, “I don’t want a “moral victory” on defeating amnesty. I want a real victory, and the best way to get one is with a Republican Senate Majority. So, in January, President Obama is going to face a choice: shut down just the Department of Homeland Security or accept a limit on his power. Given the way the American public feels about his reckless immigration policies and our ability to then focus their attention on this single issue, I like our chances. That is the best strategy for defeating executive amnesty.”
Congressman Mo Brooks (R from Huntsville), Congressman Mike Rogers (R from Saks), U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions, and U.S. Senator Richard Shelby all voted against the CROmnibus strategy.
Congresswoman Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District.