Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), who will be on the Judiciary Committee in the 114th Congress, said he’s planning to battle President Obama’s executive orders on immigration by opposing his nominee for attorney general, Loretta Lynch.
Vitter said he thinks it’s a “shame” that Republicans split on the constitutional point of order strategy on the cromnibus put forward over the weekend by Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah).
“A lot of folks split on sort of a technicality, saying, well, it was a constitutional point of order and the spending bill wasn’t unconstitutional per se. It’s the president’s actions that are unconstitutional. I think that’s splitting hairs too finely,” Vitter told Fox Business.
“I think the reality is, we are far more united against executive amnesty than that vote suggests, and I think we’re going to have a chance to illustrate that early next year. But certainly, I’m very committed to fighting, pushing back any way possible against this unconstitutional action.”
Vitter, who plans on running for Louisiana governor in 2015, stressed he wants to push “strong pro-enforcement legislation” with a GOP majority in Congress.
“And I think we can move forward with that in the House and the Senate, and we should put those things on the president’s desk. So that’s one goal of mine,” he said.
“I think we need to do other things at the same time. One thing I’ve announced is I’m going to oppose this new attorney general nomination, and I’ll be on the Judiciary Committee for hearings to oppose it, because that person would be a key person in the Obama administration helping President Obama implement his illegal, unconstitutional executive action.”
However, he said he doesn’t know if there will be sufficient opposition in the caucus to oppose Lynch. Attorney General Eric Holder has vowed to stay on until a replacement is confirmed.
“There certainly could be if voters help us focus on this travesty of executive amnesty that’s flat-out unconstitutional,” Vitter said. “It would also help if we went back to the 60-vote rule for executive nominations in the new Senate. But both of those things are a bit up in the air.”
He added that no one should have been surprised by his alliance with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) over the removal of the financial regulation rollback under Dodd-Frank.
“I know it surprised a lot of people. It really shouldn’t, if folks have followed my work in terms of ‘too big to fail.’ For instance, I’ve been working with Sherrod Brown for a couple of years now to try to truly end ‘too big to fail,’ including by having much higher capital standards for mega-banks,” the senator said.
“This was a similar, related issue, and I don’t think the taxpayers should be basically subsidizing risky behaviors through FDIC insurance, and that’s what this issue was about… if we had blocked the rollback, as you know, those derivatives could still happen. They just wouldn’t be under the FDIC insurance umbrella, wouldn’t essentially be subsidized by the taxpayer in that way. And so they would have been more properly priced in the market somewhere else.”