House Appropriations Committee: Defunding Executive Actions On Immigration ‘Impossible’

US President Barack Obama at Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 37th Annual Awards Gala

According to The Hill, it would not be possible to defund President Obama’s executive actions on immigration through a government spending bill, the House Appropriations Committee said Thursday.

In a statement released by Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) before Obama’s scheduled national address, the committee said the primary agency responsible for implementing Obama’s actions is funded entirely by user fees.

As a result, the committee said the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) agency would be able to continue to collect fees and carry out its operations even if the government shut down.

“This agency is entirely self-funded through the fees it collects on various immigration applications,” the committee said in a statement. “Congress does not appropriate funds for any of its operations, including the issuance of immigration status or work permits, with the exception of the ‘E-Verify’ program. Therefore, the appropriations process cannot be used to ‘defund’ the agency.”

Sources:

http://thehill.com/policy/finance/224837-appropriations-panel-defunding-immigration-order-impossible

They’re Playing Games: Series Of Possible Budget Showdowns Coming

According to the Washington Post, Congressional Republicans said Friday that they might create a series of showdowns over funding the government to try to force President Obama to back down on his plans on immigration reform.

Instead of passing a spending bill in the coming days that would fund the government through the end of the fiscal year, Republicans are considering a short-term measure that would expire early next year, according to more than a dozen top lawmakers and their aides.

When Congress reconvenes in the new year, Republicans would then pass other short-term bills, each designed to create a forum to push back against the president and, possibly, gain concessions.

The efforts are seen by Republicans as ways to pressure Obama to relent and pull back his expected executive orders to change immigration policy, which are likely to include protecting millions from being deported.

Asked whether the threat of budget conflicts would have any effect on the president’s thinking, the White House referred to comments Obama made on immigration Friday in Burma, where he said Congress has had ample time to act on immigration reform.

Obama said he stands by his statement that if Congress failed to act, “I would use all the lawful authority that I possess to try to make the system work better. And that’s going to happen. That’s going to happen before the end of the year.”

Republican leaders also see a short-term funding measure as a way to placate conservatives within their ranks, who have urged an aggressive response against what they see as an “unconstitutional overreach by the president.”

It is still unclear how issuing executive orders, which has been done by all U.S. presidents, constitutes”unconstitutional overreach” by the president.

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who has been a longtime critic of the House GOP leaders, encouraged them to pursue the short-term spending bills for as long as possible until the president changes course.

The WP reports that representative Steve King wants to do the minimum necessary and follow the constitution.

“We cannot allow this to be implemented,” King said. “I would like to do the minimum necessary and follow the Constitution. I would not take a shutdown off the table.”