Tags: MidPoint | Mark Foley | Robert Walker | executive amnesty

Ex-Reps. Walker, Foley to Congress: Don't Back Down on Defunding Amnesty

By    |   Monday, 23 Feb 2015 04:22 PM

Congress has the power to defund the White House's executive end-around on immigration and force President Barack Obama to sign a budget bill that keeps the rest of the Department of Homeland Security running, two former U.S. House Republicans told Newsmax TV on Monday.

But doing so — and avoiding another government shutdown this week — will take some organizing and parliamentary skill that haven't been much in evidence of late on Capitol Hill, ex-Rep. Mark Foley of Florida told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner in an appearance with ex-Rep. Robert Walker of Pennsylvania.

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"It's hard when you have hundreds of senators and 435 congressmen," said Foley, who described Congress today as a collection of freelancers and media personalities out for themselves.

The latest budget standoff pits congressional Republicans against the White House and Senate Democrats who are stalling in order to keep partial DHS funding from ever reaching the president's desk.

The House passed a budget that blocks DHS from issuing work permits and visas to millions of immigrants here illegally, per Obama's executive order, which critics say violated the Constitution by effectively rewriting federal law — a job only Congress can do under the separation of powers.

Obama himself had said repeatedly that he lacked the authority to overhaul immigration on his own before he went ahead and did so, anyway, shortly after his party's disastrous showing in the November midterm election.

Walker, who was a House deputy whip responsible for corralling votes, said "there are some ways" to break the current stalemate on terms favorable to Republicans.

"There are five sections of the DHS bill," he said of Homeland Security's request for $38.2 billion this fiscal year. "You can pass five individual bills. Four of them would pass easily because they run the department. The fifth is the limitation language, and they can have a real debate over whether or not Congress has the right to limit spending in the department."

The feat, said the "MidPoint" panelists, is to accomplish all of this before the weekend.

Foley said it's been "amazing" to watch the battle unfold and to hear conventional wisdom incline toward blaming Republicans in the event that DHS shuts down.

He predicted that DHS will get funded one way or another, "but we shouldn't expect members of Congress to obey the president."

"He wants to assert himself by sticking in legislation that we find unconstitutional," said Foley. "He does not have the executive order to change immigration laws without consent of Congress. We shouldn't just simply say, 'sorry, folks, we don't like this ugly theater we're presenting to you, so we're going to give in to anything this man wants.' It wouldn't be the right thing to do."

Walker and Foley also discussed the uproar over ex-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani questioning Obama's patriotism, and how the resulting story has dominated the news cycle for days, forcing Republicans to address the comments instead of concentrating on other priorities.

"We should avoid giving them ammunition," said Walker, meaning the press as well as Republicans' political opponents. "But we ought to be willing to talk tough about policy. When you get into personalities, you always have a problem. But as long as you talk tough on policy, the American people understand it."

Foley agreed that Giuliani should have checked himself before speaking, but added: "At some point I always wonder: Does the freedom of speech and the First Amendment only apply to liberals? Because when they say outrageous things, nobody calls them on it. Nobody says anything. Al Sharpton can make outrageous statements and he gets a pass. When ours say it, it becomes a topic for 48, 72 hours."

Walker also said the dust-up obscures larger, legitimate questions about Obama, such as the wisdom and effectiveness of a foreign policy that appears to be organized around placating Iran.

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Congress has the power to defund the White House's executive end-around on immigration and force President Barack Obama to sign a budget bill that keeps the rest of the Department of Homeland Security running, two former U.S. House Republicans told Newsmax TV.
Mark Foley, Robert Walker, executive amnesty
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2015-22-23
Monday, 23 Feb 2015 04:22 PM
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