Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has moved quickly to offer Republicans a plan to fight President Obama’s unilateral immigration amnesty.
Writing for Politico, Cruz says that “the dispute over executive amnesty is not between President Obama and Republicans in Congress; it is a dispute between President Obama and the American People. The Democrats suffered historic losses in the midterm elections largely over the prospect of the President’s executive amnesty.” Sen. Cruz notes that “Our founders repeatedly warned about the dangers of unlimited power within the executive branch; Congress should heed those words as the President threatens to grant amnesty to millions of people who have come to our country illegally.”
The question is, what can Congress do about it?
Cruz has an idea.
If the President announces executive amnesty, the new Senate Majority Leader who takes over in January should announce that the 114th Congress will not confirm a single nominee–executive or judicial–outside of vital national security positions, so long as the illegal amnesty persists.
This is a potent tool given to Congress by the Constitution explicitly to act as a check on executive power. It is a constitutional power of the Majority Leader alone, and it would serve as a significant deterrent to a lawless President.
Additionally, the new Congress should exercise the power of the purse by passing individual appropriations bills authorizing critical functions of government and attaching riders to strip the authority from the president to grant amnesty.
Sen. Cruz warns that Obama will threaten to shut the government down over any funding measures that Congress takes, but by working on the funding piecemeal, responsibility for any shutdowns would rest with the president.