Texas Sen. Ted Cruz wants the GOP to use "every procedural tool" — including blocking the nomination of Loretta Lynch as attorney general — to "rein in the president’s lawlessness" on executive amnesty, he told Politico
"For several months now, I have called on the Senate majority leader to halt confirmations of every nominee executive and judicial, other than vital national security positions, unless or until the president rescinds his unconstitutional amnesty," Cruz said.
"We have an opportunity in front of us right now with Loretta Lynch — a nominee for attorney general — who has fully embraced and flat-out promised to implement the unconstitutional amnesty."
Cruz’s plea doesn’t seem likely to gain traction among ranking Republicans, namely Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who said Friday he would be casting his vote for Lynch.
McConnell is one of many in the GOP who have praised Lynch’s qualifications for the job.
He also has vowed, along with others in his party, not to shut down the Department of Homeland Security, whose funding is tied to a nearly $40 billion House bill introduced in the Senate, according to Politico.
As the Feb. 27 deadline looms to fund the agency or risk shutting it down, House and Senate Republicans are not all seeing eye-to-eye on the issue.
The House bill blocks funding for the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that benefits millions of illegal immigrants by allowing them to live and work in the United States. Last year President Barack Obama, via executive order, expanded the bill to allow spouses, parents and siblings of those already benefiting from the program to stay.
Republicans, according to The Hill
, have a plan to make the Senate vote repeatedly on the controversial House bill that would fund the Department of Homeland Security but overturn the executive amnesty provisions.
It’s being met with some resistance within the Republican caucus, according to The Hill, which quoted a GOP senator (who requested anonymity in order to speak freely) who said GOP lawmakers "wish we would take no for an answer and figure out the next step."
When the bill made it through the House in January, 10 Republicans voted against the appropriations portion and 26 opposed the amendment to overturn Obama’s executive order on DACA, The Hill reports.
It may face equal resistance by some in the GOP-controlled Senate, where a number of Republicans are up for re-election in 2015 in blue states won by Obama.
"They all voted in favor of the motion to proceed on Tuesday, but it is unclear whether they will vote for the substance of the bill," according to The Hill.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid told The Hill he’s confident the measure — including Obama’s amnesty action — will pass.
"We all know this is going to end with a bill funding Homeland Security that goes to the president," he said. "We’ll wind up passing a clean bill, so why do we wait? Why do we agonize?"
At a Republican retreat last month, both McConnell and Texas Sen. John Cornyn, who holds the No. 2 spot in the Republican-controlled Senate, told their House counterparts that they "need to lower their expectations" and consider changing the funding bill by amendment in the Senate, Daily Kos
"The expectation by the rank and file in the House is it’s not going to come back even remotely similar to what we sent over there," he said in Hershey, Pennsylvania. "And there is real reticence by members of our conference to allow the funding to lapse."
The outcome of the clash between Republicans in the House and Senate remains to be seen. Politico reported that earlier in the week House Speaker John Boehner called on Cruz and Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, an outspoken critic of amnesty, "to lead the Senate push to block Obama’s executive action."
"It’s time for Sen. Cruz and Sen. Sessions and Senate Republicans and Senate Democrats to stand with the American people and to block the president’s actions," Boehner said.
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