A few hours after their big wins on votes dealing with President Barack Obama's recent executive orders on immigration and the funding of the Department of Homeland Security, House Republicans made it clear they had no regrets about either action and were poised for a long-term battle with the White House.
Arriving by bus Wednesday afternoon at their joint retreat with Republican senators at the convention center in Hershey, Pennsylvania, the GOP House Members who spoke to Newsmax spoke with pride of the 237 to 190 vote in the House earlier in the day to undo the president’s executive action providing deportation and work permits to an estimated five million illegal immigrants.
"The House listened to the American people and took the appropriate action," Rep. Raul Labrador (R.-Ida.), a key player on the immigration issue among House Republicans, told us.
In taking this action, the House voted 236 to 191 to approve legislation funding the Department of Homeland Security for the rest of the budget year. Although the package for the Cabinet department came to $40 billion, the other provision enacted in the House effectively guts the President’s directives on immigration that DHS was to execute.
There is a possibility that the Senate will enact other legislation that permits some of the president’s actions to take effect. Moreover, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest has said there will be a veto of any DHS funding bill that doesn’t thwarts the President’s executive actions.
But the tone of Republican lawmakers we spoke to left little doubt they were committed to stopping those actions and were in the fight for the long term.
"We hit back at unilateral, unconstitutional, and illegal executive rule," three-term Rep. Billy Long (R.-Mo.) told us.
Rep. David Schweikert (R-Arizona) agreed. As he put it, "We did the right thing. And this was less about immigration than it was about defending the separation of powers. Speaking for the southwestern states, I can say that the President overreached his authority. That’s how we feel."
But Schweikert also voiced his fears that that Obama, "by his actions and rhetoric, has made the entire discussion on immigration toxic for years to come and put us farther away from a solution on this issue."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.
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