Republicans: We Can’t Defund Amnesty

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Ever since it became clear that President Obama would go through with his executive amnesty, concerned Americans have pressured Republicans to use the power of the purse to stop it. The chances of that happening have dwindled if a report from the House Appropriations Committee is to be believed. Headed up by Kentucky Republican Hal Rogers, the Committee announced that Congress would be unable to defund the president’s reform.

In a statement released just hours before Obama took his plan to the public on Thursday night, the Committee said that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services “is entirely self-funded through the fees it collects on various immigration applications.” Because the CIS would be chiefly responsible for carrying out the president’s decree, Congress would not have the authority to defund the program.

Advocates for shutting down the government, if necessary, to avoid financing the executive action say they don’t believe they are as restricted as the Committee has reported. Rep. Steve King and Senator Jeff Sessions have both said that there are plenty of ways for Congress to block the expenditures. Sessions proposed attaching language to an appropriations bill that would call for defunding the order.

The question that naturally arises is whether the majority of Republicans in Congress are serious about standing against Obama’s executive authority. There are some who think the GOP is happier to remain opposed with vehement rhetoric, giving them another position on which to launch a 2016 campaign. The alternative is to accept responsibility for immigration reform themselves, an option that carries plenty of political risk.

But while the two parties in Washington play their political games, evidence shows that Obama’s amnesty is going to have devastating effects on the American economy. By going forward with the legalization of millions of illegal aliens, Obama is putting an enormous burden on the taxpayers. Even top White House aides have admitted that the action will put millions of poor Mexican immigrants in line for federal benefits. As part of the tax system, they would be eligible for Earned Income tax credits, an entitlement that could see millions of tax dollars flow into the hands of the formerly-illegal.

Additionally, work authorizations will put immigrants in direct contention with many of America’s most vulnerable individuals. Low-paying jobs will be an area in which poor, under-educated citizens will now have to compete with illegals who were generally barred from this kind of employment before. Already, these workers have been the hardest hit by Obama’s economy. By putting millions of competitors into the system, the situation could easily get worse.

The 2014 midterms weren’t solely about immigration by any means, but the American people have nonetheless expressed deep concerns about Obama’s agenda. They have raised their voices, imploring Republicans to take control of a veering ship. If our elected representatives fail to take action against Obama’s immigration plans, they must be held responsible for that failure. Conservatives who wanted to see Republicans fight tooth and nail on this issue will not forget this abandonment anytime soon.