Feb 27 2015

Yellowhammer News: Shelby: Congress shouldn't allow Obama's blatant abuse of power to continue

WASHINGTON — Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) bucked GOP Senate leadership Friday by voting against a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) bill that would have funded President Obama’s executive actions on immigration through the end of the year.

“While I support providing critical funding for agencies that protect our national security,” Sen. Shelby said in a press release Friday, “I opposed the DHS appropriations bill because it does not address the President’s unconstitutional executive amnesty.”

Senate Democrats have blocked the House-passed DHS funding for several weeks, prompting GOP Senate leadership to propose funding of the agency—including President Obama’s executive program—through the end of the year, while also introducing a separate measure that would strip the program of money.

Senate Democrats are now filibustering the amnesty-stopping bill.

In his statement, Sen. Shelby voiced concerns echoed by many conservatives that giving Obama’s program approval is tantamount to giving the President permission to disregard the separation of powers enumerated in the Constitution.

“President Obama has himself admitted 22 times that he does not have the authority to unilaterally grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants currently in our country,” Sen. Shelby said. “However, Democrats repeatedly blocked the Senate from moving forward on the House-passed DHS bill that would prevent federal funds from being used to implement the President’s unlawful action. I opposed today’s bill because I do not believe that we should allow this blatant abuse of power to continue. I remain committed to fighting against executive amnesty.”

Meanwhile, on the House side, a vote was made to grant a 3-week extension to DHS funding, averting a partial shutdown of the agency, and giving members more time to come to a compromise.

Though it is a much shorter timeframe than the one passed by the Senate Friday, the #3 Senate Democrat, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) signaled Friday that his Caucus would not filibuster the House’s extension.

The shorter extension would need to be on President Obama’s desk this evening to avoid the partial shutdown of DHS.