Tags: Immigration | Marsha Blackburn | house | vote | stop | amnesty | executive

Marsha Blackburn to NM: 'This Is the Way We Stop' Obama's Amnesty

By    |   Wednesday, 14 January 2015 07:48 PM

Rep. Marsha Blackburn cheered Wednesday's vote by the House to slap back President Barack Obama's executive illegal immigration orders, including an amendment she sponsored to end the program he created three years ago granting deportation relief to illegals brought here as children.

"It was an enormous win," the Tennessee Republican told Newsmax. "This is the way we stop the president's executive overreach. It is the way we reign him in.

"Once again, House Republicans have sent fantastic legislation to the Senate, and we are hopeful that they're going to move forward."

On a 236-191 vote, the GOP-controlled House agreed to provide $39.7 billion for the Department of Homeland Security while stopping the key immigration orders that Obama announced in a national speech on cable television in November.

The orders were undone via five amendments attached to the financing bill. Ten Republicans voted against the legislation, while two Democrats supported it. Homeland Security runs out of money at the end of February.

"This executive overreach is an affront to the rule of law and to the Constitution itself," said House Speaker John Boehner. "The people made clear that they wanted more accountability from this president, and by our votes here today we will heed their will and we will keep our oath to protect and defend the Constitution."

But GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers slammed the funding bill, saying it was "overly broad in scope" and had "the potential to have a real, negative and lasting impact on jobs and families" in North Carolina.

Many business in her district have contracts with agencies within DHS, "and many of these jobs could be put in jeopardy," Ellmers said, adding that she had "serious concerns about amendments to the appropriations act, as they may remove protections for victims of sexual assault or domestic abuse."

One of the amendments, which was approved 237-190, would undo Obama's order to grant deportation relief and work permits to as many as four million illegals. These are mostly people who have children who are citizens or legal permanent residents.

The amendment would also cancel earlier directives to immigration agents aimed at giving them discretion in focusing deportations only on criminals committing the most serious crimes.

In the amendment Blackburn sponsored, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that Obama created in 2012 would not be funded. It granted work permits and deportation stays to more than 600,000 illegals who were brought to the United States as children under age 16.

The measure passed narrowly, 218-209, as 26 of the more moderate Republicans — some representing large Hispanic populations in such states as California, Florida, and New York — joined Democrats in opposition.

"I am so grateful that the House leadership worked with us to push it through," Blackburn said, singling out new Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana for his efforts.

"He did a great job working on the issue, making certain people had their questions answered — and at the end of the day, we had 217 votes on the board to support passage of freezing DACA.

"The end result was the same: House Republicans, once again, have said that we're going to reign in Barack Obama — and, once again, we have all agreed that the way to do this is to stop this executive amnesty, to freeze this program, and to keep it from going forward," Blackburn said.

The Senate is expected to take up the measure after the Republicans return from their weekend retreat in Hershey, Pennsylvania, but they may lack the 60 votes needed to bring the bill to a floor vote. Republicans hold the majority party in the chamber, with 54 seats.

But Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions called the upcoming vote "one of the most important constitutional votes that has ever come before this body" and pledged to American citizens — "millions of whom are hurting and neglected" — that Republicans "are going to fight for you."

The White House said President Obama would veto the legislation if it landed on his desk.

"You’re not distinguishing between people among the 11 million who were brought here as children and have grown up in this country and have known no other country and people who have been convicted of serious crimes," Cecilia Muñoz, Obama's domestic policy adviser, told reporters in a conference call after the vote. "They are equally subject to deportation according to the vote that the House took today, which just doesn’t make any sense from a long-term perspective."

Muñoz declined to say whether the administration would accept minor changes to any of Obama's orders as a compromise.

"There’s a long way to go in this process," she said. "But obviously the priority of this administration is to fund the department, and there’s no reason to tinker with executive actions at all."

Many Republicans disagreed, however.

"For far too long, previous Congresses have simply failed to uphold the fundamental checks and balances which protect our constitutional republic," said Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar. "This rogue president needs to be reined in and held accountable for his violations of the rule of law."

Georgia Rep. Tom Price said that the House was "providing the brave men and women who protect our homeland with the resources they need to do their job. At the same time, we are holding the president accountable for his reckless and irresponsible actions."

Texas Rep. Lamar Smith said that "the American people want policies that protect public safety, support the American worker, and increase border security.

"The American people have spoken, and in the House, we are listening."

Citing recent studies showing that 80 percent of Americans do not want jobs going to illegals, Blackburn told Newsmax that Senate Democrats will realize that "we're on the right side of this. I think the Senate is going to agree with us.

"This is a new turn of events for them," she added, noting that the Democrats are now the minority in the upper chamber. "They're on shaky ground if they try to oppose this."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Rep. Marsha Blackburn cheered Wednesday's vote by the House to slap back President Barack Obama's executive illegal immigration orders, including an amendment she sponsored to end the program he created three years ago granting deportation relief to illegals brought here as...
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Wednesday, 14 January 2015 07:48 PM
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