The House passed a bill this afternoon to neuter President Obama’s executive order on immigration, a vote in the waning days of the lame-duck session that will do little but put lawmakers on the record for or against the president’s actions.
The White House threatened a veto earlier in the day.
Rep. Ted Yoho’s (R-Fla.) Executive Amnesty Prevention Act states, “No provision of the United States Constitution, the Immigration and Nationality Act, or other Federal law shall be interpreted or applied to authorize the executive branch of the Government to exempt, by Executive order, regulation, or any other means, categories of persons unlawfully present in the United States from removal under the immigration laws (as such term is defined in section 101 of the Immigration and Nationality Act). Any action by the executive branch with the purpose of circumventing the objectives of this statute shall be null and void and without legal effect.” It would be retroactive.
The final vote was 219-197. Seven Republicans voted against the measure: Reps. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.), and David Valadao (R-Calif.). Gohmert and Stutzman protested that Yoho’s bill didn’t go far enough.
The three Democrats to vote for the bill were Blue Dog Reps. John Barrow (D-Ga.), Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.). Only Peterson is returning for the 114th Congress.
“The United States Senate should take this bill up and pass it,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said. “For the outgoing Senate Democrat majority to do anything less would be an act of monumental arrogance. The American people elected us to heed their will, and not to bow to the whims of a White House that regards the legislative process established by the Constitution as little more than a nuisance.”
The Office of Management and Budget, in its veto recommendation, said Yoho’s bill “would make the broken immigration system worse, not better.”
“By attempting to restrict the Administration’s ability to conduct national security and criminal background checks on undocumented immigrants, H.R. 5759 would make the Nation’s communities less safe. By attempting to make it more difficult for undocumented workers to register and pay taxes, the bill would hurt the Nation’s economy as well.”