Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday issued a challenge to Senate Democrats: stand up to President Barack Obama on his executive action on immigration and vote to overturn it.
McConnell referred to the executive order as a presidential "power grab" in advance of a vote on the legislation coming out of the House that would roll back the executive orders from 2012 and 2014 which shielded millions of illegal immigrants from deportation, according to The Hill
Later in the day, Senate Democrats sank
the Republican plan to use a Department of Homeland Security spending bill to block Obama's immigration actions, setting up a month-end showdown over the agency's funding.
More than 40 Democrats voted against the DHS measure in a procedural vote, denying it the 60 votes it needed to move to final passage. Senate Democrats have demanded a "clean" DHS funding bill that strips out the immigration restrictions passed by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives last month.
Before the vote, McConnell implored Senate Democrats to stand up against the president.
"At its core, this debate is about whether Democrats think presidents, of either party, should have the power to simply do what they want. And while this is about more than just President Obama, it's also true that President Obama has repeatedly reached beyond his authority," McConnell said on the floor, according to The Hill.
He called on his Democrat colleagues to "rise above the kind of partisan temptations that emerge" and consider the long-term consequences of "partisan power grabs."
"Last year, President Obama declared executive action was 'not an option' because it would mean 'ignoring the law,' " McConnell said, according to The Hill.
He noted that the Supreme Court had issued a decision last year unanimously ruling that Obama's recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board were unconstitutional.
"So I'm calling on Democrats to vote with us now to fund the Department of Homeland Security. I'm calling on Democrats to join us and stand up for core democratic principles like the rule of law and separation of powers," McConnell said, according to The Hill.
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