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Obama Wins Showdown with Congress over Amnesty

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

In November the American people gave Republicans majorities in both Houses of Congress for the first time since 2006. Despite polling that shows that 58 percent of the American people oppose President Barack H. Obama’s immigration policies, on Tuesday, March 3 a bipartisan groups of Congress members voted for a Department of Homeland Security funding bill that stripped all language limiting President Obama’s powers to grant resident status and visas to as many as five million illegal aliens. The Republican members of the Alabama Congressional Delegation all voted against the measure.

Congressman Mo Brooks (R from Huntsville) wrote on Facebook, “This afternoon the U.S. House of Representatives voted to ratify President Obama’s illegal and unconstitutional executive amnesty for illegal aliens and fully fund the Department of Homeland Security. I joined with Senators Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions, and a unanimous Alabama GOP House delegation, in voting against this measure. My oath of office requires that I defend and protect the Constitution. My votes to block Barack Obama’s illegal and unconstitutional amnesty for illegal aliens are consistent with my oath.”

Congressman Bradley Byrne (R from Montrose) said in his own written statement on the DHS Funding Vote, “I could not support a DHS funding bill that didn’t halt funding for President Obama’s illegal executive amnesty, and I am truly disappointed the Senate was unable to pass House-passed legislation. This is about more than just immigration. This is about the rule of law and standing up for our Constitution. We must use all the tools at our disposal to fight back against President Obama’s illegal executive amnesty.”

Congressman Gary Palmer (R from Hoover) said in a statement, “If Congress does not stand up for its own Constitutional role in the process of governance, no one else will. I fear this vote today will lead to further lawless action by the executive branch and further erosion of the powers granted to the Congress by the Constitution.”

Congresswoman Martha Roby (R from Montgomery) said in her own statement, “I could not support a Homeland Security Appropriations Title that does not prohibit funds for implementation of executive amnesty. Yes, the recent court action gives us some hope that the Judicial Branch will finally rein in this lawless president. However, I believe Congress had a responsibility to use its appropriations authority to stop this lawlessness and uphold the checks and balances that exist to protect liberty.”

Congressman Mike Rogers (R from Saks) said in a statement, “I am deeply disappointed the House passed a ‘clean funding bill’ today to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through the end of this Fiscal Year. The decision to surrender in the fight against President Obama’s illegal executive action further weakens our attempts to restore Constitutional balance to this country.”

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Representative Palmer said, “I have no higher priority as a member of Congress than restoring Constitutional governance. When it comes to funding DHS, the focus has been on immigration, but that is really not the issue. The real issue is the separation of powers set up by our Constitution. I believe the President, the Congress and the Courts should have the power given to them by the Constitution but not one power more.”

Representative Brooks wrote, “Moving forward, I have introduced H.Res.11 to empower the House to seek a declaratory judgment in federal court to determine whether President Obama’s executive amnesty for illegal aliens is lawful and, if so, to obtain a court order compelling President Obama to obey the law. Federal courts are uniquely situated to resolve legal and constitutional disputes and it is my hope congressional leadership will adopt this strategy and join pending litigation that challenges the president’s amnesty for illegal aliens.”

Representative Roby wrote, “I’m beyond disappointed. Of course what the Senate Democrats did to block this bill was ridiculous and shameful. When the House and Senate produce variations of the same bill, a conference committee is formed by delegates from both chambers who meet and work out the differences. Unfortunately, Senate Democrats refused, putting the president’s ill-advised amnesty plans above the well-being of the American people and before the rule of law.”

Representative Byrne said, “We cannot sit idly by while the President uproots our system of checks and balances. I hope and truly believe the Judicial Branch will stand with the House of Representatives and find President Obama’s executive action to be unconstitutional. In the meantime, I will continue to stand up for our Constitution every day in Congress.”

Rep. Palmer wrote, “I am pleased that a court has given an injunction against President Obama’s unconstitutional executive order, and I hope that will result in this illegal order being permanently struck down. However, it is not the sole function of the judiciary to uphold the Constitution. Congressmen also take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. This vote was not about politics, but about keeping my oath.”

Rep. Brooks wrote, “We must stop the president’s unlawful amnesty using whatever means necessary to protect American jobs for American workers and quit putting illegal aliens on a pedestal above American citizens.”

The Republican controlled House originally passed a bill on January 14 that would have funded the Department of Homeland Security and halted funding for President Obama’s controversial executive amnesty program. Senate Democrats filibustered the House bill from even coming up for debate in the Senate. With the deadline just days away, the Senate passed a DHS funding bill that did not include the House-passed language on immigration. House efforts to form a Conference Committee to work out the differences between the House and Senate bills was rejected by the Senate. 

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75 Republicans joined every House Democrat to pass the clean Senate bill, 257 to just 167 opposed.

Brandon Moseley
Written By

Brandon Moseley is a senior reporter with over nine years at Alabama Political Reporter. During that time he has written 8,297 articles for APR. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Facebook. Brandon is a native of Moody, Alabama, a graduate of Auburn University, and a seventh generation Alabamian.

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