Rep. Mick Mulvaney’s (R-S.C.) amendment in the omnibus spending bill to defund President Obama’s executive actions on immigration won’t be receiving a floor vote.
The House Rules Committee heard several proposals from House conservatives seeking to defund the program, and allowed a few hours of debate. In the end, none of the efforts made it out of committee.
“We are, whether we like it or not, on a timetable,” chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) stressed, noting that anything “extraneous” in the spending bill would kick it back to the Senate as the 113th Congress closes in on its final days.
Sessions also noted “we should have learned our lesson” about flirting with a government shutdown for things that won’t pass the current Senate or the president’s desk.
The chairman did say that he’ll come back in the 114th Congress, when the GOP controls the House and Senate, with a bill of his own to defund the immigration orders.
Mulvaney’s amendment — backed by Reps. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.), Dave Brat (R-Va.), Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas), Dave Schweikert (R-Ariz.), and Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), who whipped up additional support in the caucus — states that the Department of Homeland Security can’t use any of its budget to execute any of the November memoranda on immigration, including “exercising prosecutorial discretion with respect to individuals who came to the United States as children and with respect to certain individuals who are the parents of U.S. citizens or permanent residents.”
Reps. Steve King (R-Iowa) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) offered their own amendments. King’s amendment funded all of the government through January and forbid the use of any DHS money for “any” executive branch policy “that has the effect of providing for parole, employment authorization, deferred action, or any other immigration benefit or form of relief for individuals who are in violation of the immigration laws.”
Mulvaney said tonight that he was “moved by the support of my colleagues: 66 of whom co-sponsored the amendment in less than 24 hours.”
“Unfortunately, my amendment was disallowed, and as a result we will not have the opportunity to vote on it on the floor. That is disheartening, especially when nearly 30 percent of our conference supported the amendment,” Mulvaney said. “I believe very strongly that members of Congress should be afforded the opportunity to amend bills instead of having to take a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote on a 1,600-page bill.”
“I look forward to exploring alternative avenues to stop this constitutional overreach by the president and his administration,” the congressman continued. “To that larger point, whether you agree or disagree with what the president did on immigration, we should all be concerned about the manner in which the president acted. None of us benefit from legislating-by-executive-order.”
“And the House should be taking all steps it can to send that message very clearly. That is what my amendment was about. I am disappointed it was killed without a vote.”