A Republican supporter of immigration reform in the House said he thinks President Obama will be “kind of spoiling the party” with his executive order scheduled to be announced tonight.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told CNN on Wednesday that he’s “critical of the process” Obama will be using.
“I mean, look, I’m a supporter of immigration reform. And, frankly, a lot in my party are supporters of immigration reform. And it’s something that, you know, is going to take a lot of time to talk about. We all know that there are people with different views, even within my own party on it. And so, these to have a process where we have debates. We bring forward bills. See what the new Congress does,” Kinzinger said.
“I think the president, frankly, is going to be kind of spoiling the party with this. He’s going to tick a lot of people off, you know, basically saying, look, I gave Congress time but they didn’t do what I wanted, therefore, I’m going to do it on my own. And I think that’s one of the big concerns. It’s not so even so much the issue of what he’s doing, although we think he’s overstepping his power.”
The congressman said lawmakers “have a lot more issues on immigration we have to deal with from border security to high-skilled visas to the other 10 million people that aren’t going to be affected by this.”
“And I think this is going to stall that discussion. And one of the things I’m concerned about is, as your previous guest said, the politics of it,” he said. “The president may be looking at the politics of this versus actually solving it long term because I think we have a real opportunity to solve it. But this isn’t going to help.”
Kinzinger said the new GOP majority in the 114th Congress should allow the party “to get something that we can put on the president’s desk” on immigration. “Do a little back and forth and ultimately come to something that both sides can maybe hold their nose on certain parts of but agree to in a broader package,” he said.
“But when the president’s concerned, he doesn’t get to pick Congress. He doesn’t get to just make laws if Congress doesn’t go along with it. We exist for a reason out here. And, you know, you may not like everything that goes on in the sausage making of Washington, D.C. and behind the doors and, you know, watching what’s going on on the floor, but that doesn’t mean you can just say, I don’t like that, therefore, I’m going to just do it anyway.”
He said Obama should come out in his primetime address and give the GOP until March to pass a bill before taking unilateral action.
“But I’m just afraid, as a supporter of reform, that what’s going to happen over the next few days, this whole situation is going to collapse,” Kinzinger said. “And I’m going to tell you, when the president’s out in two years, I mean, his executive orders don’t necessarily follow with him.”