Tags: America's Forum | Exclusive Interviews | Immigration | Ted Poe | Immigration Bill | House | Senate

Rep. Ted Poe: 'Siesta Senate' Needs to Vote on House Immigration Bill

By Melissa Clyne   |   Thursday, 28 Aug 2014 11:05 AM

President Barack Obama is plain "wrong" when he tells the American people that the House of Representatives "has not acted" on addressing the immigration crisis, Rep. Ted Poe, a Texas Republican, said Thursday on Newsmax TV's "America’s Forum."

Before recessing in July, the Republican-controlled House passed a border security bill funding additional immigration judges and providing for beefed up border security.

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"We provided for the very thing that the president is saying that we did not do," Poe said. "The problem was, as it has been with this whole Congress, is that the bill, including the bill that eliminates the deferred action, is sitting in the Senate along with about 375 other bills that have passed the House and [Democratic Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid and the Senate are not going to take the bill up. So the president's wrong when he says that the House has not acted.

"It's that the Senate hasn't acted. So he wanted to use the excuse that the Senate hasn't acted to impose unconstitutional rules, laws on the country. But we did the removal of people who have come to the United States illegally and we've done that."

Poe characterized the "siesta Senate" as a governmental body that "refuses to vote on anything."

Media reports and Democrats who accuse Republicans of threatening to "shut the government down" over the issue are misleading, according to Poe. Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has said that unilateral action by President Barack Obama on immigration – something he has threatened - may be met with votes jeopardizing funding in other areas.

"That is a risk and that is the position the president wants to put Congress in . . . the political position he wants to put the Congress in," Poe said.

"I expect that he will go forward with his pen and phone law, legislating from the White House instead of the Congress, to do some type of thing that's illegal then Congress will have to have and should have the debate as to whether or not we're going to allow the president to violate the Constitution. The power of the purse is in the House, we ought to exercise the power of the purse and the refusal to give money for unlawful and unconstitutional actions on the part of the president."

The "tremendous cost" resulting from the flood of unaccompanied minors who have entered the U.S. at the southern border is bankrupting the country and must stop, according to Poe.

"The Supreme Court says no matter if you're in the United States you get an education at taxpayer expense and it is becoming very expensive," he said.

"Many of these folks do not contribute back to pay for the education. Their parents don't pay for the education that they receive and so it's a tremendous burden. Schools are hurting already, it's tough enough to educate people who are lawfully here and American citizens and now they have the extra burden of educating people who are in the United States unlawfully but yet they have that Constitutional right, says the Supreme Court."

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