By Joe Guzzardi
March 2, 2015
The November mid-term election that gave the GOP control of Congress seems a distant memory. Voters delivered a clear message to the new legislators they elected and the incumbents they re-elected. Stop Obama. The battle cry to harness Obama grew louder after his post-election executive action amnesty that would exempt five million aliens from deportation, reward them with work permits and issue them social security numbers.
During the lame duck session, Republican leadership repeated its vow that it would fight Obama’s amnesty tooth and nail. Disappointingly but not surprisingly, the promises were empty.
The GOP had the power to defund amnesty, but chose not to use it. After weeks of internal wrangling within the Senate, inside the House as well as the two chambers clashing head-to-head, how the Department of Homeland Security will ultimately be funded is still unresolved: will Congress pass the so called, Senate-endorsed “clean bill” that would include the funds to implement Obama’s executive action, the House-passed bill that strips out the monies to implement amnesty, or will DHS partially shut down? Congress approved a one-week emergency extension to keep DHS running seven days beyond its original February 27 expiration.
Enforcement advocates have long distrusted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner. Many Republicans fear that, since McConnell and Boehner are aligned with the Chamber of Commerce, they’re also philosophically on board with legalizing five million aliens. Cheap labor would expand the employment pool and displace millions of American workers. McConnell and Boehner’s harshest critics claim that by failing to deny Obama his coveted amnesty, they’ve delivered the president “a total victory.”
The Republicans have botched procedurally, but also in the court of public opinion. At issue is the Constitution, and Obama’s reckless trampling of America’s supreme law. On the Affordable Care Act, Obama changed the legislation without congressional approval more than 30 times; in 2012, the president granted deferred action to certain illegal immigrant youths who came to America in their early childhood, and again in 2012, Obama appointed three new members to the National Labor Relations Board without Senate approval which the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional. Obama’s executive immigration action, recently ruled unlawful in a Texas federal court, is his latest abuse. As long as the president isn’t corralled, more constitutional overreach is inevitable.
The Founding Father’s separation of powers basic tenet is that neither Obama nor any other president can tell Congress what to do, when to do it or create laws without congressional approval. Republicans have failed to successfully make that point to their peers or the American public.
An equally important message that the GOP hasn’t sold—or even tried to sell—is the link between amnesty and jobs. The Democrats position is that unless Republican leadership is willing to give work permits to five million illegal immigrants, they’ll continue to block debate on the House bill. Illegal immigrants are more important to most Democrats than Americans.
The outcome of Obama’s executive order may not be determined for weeks, possibly months. Once the DHS funding is settled, the appeals court and possibly the Supreme Court will eventually decide the fate of Obama’s amnesty. A presidential rebuke would be a well deserved victory for the Constitution and American workers.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. Contact him at [email protected]