GOP Members Release New Anti-Amnesty Amendment

GOP members have released their draft amendment to defund President Barack Obama’s national amnesty.

“None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available, including any funds or fees collected or otherwise made available for expenditure, by this division or any other Act, or otherwise available to the Secretary of Homeland Security, for any fiscal year may be used to implement, administer, carry out, or enforce the [amnesty] policies,” says the short amendment.

The new anti-amnesty language is being pushed by Arizona Rep. Matt Salmon, South Carolina’s Rep. Mick Mulvaney and Virginia Rep. Dave Brat, who unseated the GOP’s pro-amnesty majority leader, Rep. Eric Cantor, in a June 2014 primary vote.

They’re urging voters to call their legislators’ offices to demand passage of the amendment.

“Rep. Salmon is committed to fighting to ensure that our nation’s laws be faithfully enforced as written and voted on by our legislators in Congress,” said a statement from his spokesman, Tristan Daedalus.

Top GOP leaders want to block the popular anti-amnesty amendment, even though they have repeatedly denounced Obama’s unpopular amnesty, and have fought to include roughly other 100 other policy related amendments in the massive $1 trillion 2015 budget bill.

Those 100 riders are complicating the last-minute negotiations between GOP leaders and Democratic leaders. Maryland Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski “did such a good job in the caucus explaining what she’s been through with the nearly 100 [GOP-drafted] riders that she’s had to try to fight off,” Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid told reporters.

Those various riders would block marijuana legalization in the District of Columbia, provide government support for anti-terror insurance policies and change the 2010 bank reform bill.

GOP leaders want to block and complicate the anti-amnesty fight because the GOP might win the fight against Obama, said one GOP Hill aide. That victory would derail their plans for an GOP-designed amnesty in 2015, and complicate their efforts to keep immigration out of the 2016 election, the aide explained.

The fights over the other 100 riders help the leadership downplay the new anti-amnesty rider, he said. “Instead of a straightforward vote showing the GOP opposes amnesty and forcing the Democrats to vote with Obama or in opposition to him, we’ve got things muddled beyond recognition,” the aide said.

But numerous GOP legislators say they want to add anti-amnesty language to the funding bill.

The draft amendment bars various agencies from spending any money to implement Obama’s amnesty, including any fees paid by legal immigrants to immigration agencies.

No money could be spent to implement “the memoranda issued by the Secretary on Homeland Security on November 20, 2014, on any of the following subjects,” according to the amendment.

They include “Southern border and approaches campaign … Policies for the apprehension, detention, and removal of undocumented immigrants … Secure Communities … Personnel reform for Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers … 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 … Expansion of the Provisional Waiver Program … Policies supporting U.S. high skilled businesses and workers … [and] directive to provide consistency regarding advanced parole.”

So far, the GOP leadership — which is allied to major business groups — has not tried to block Obama’s amnesty, despite many polls showing deep public opposition to immigration and foreign workers.

The amendment will be examined on Wednesday by the powerful rules committee, which sets the rules for debates.