GOP bills take aim at Obama’s attempt to ‘circumvent Congress’

Matt Pitchford Contributor
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On Monday, Republican lawmakers proposed dual legislation responding to President Barack Obama’s refusal to enforce deportation laws, which he announced on Friday.

In two bills, Arizona Republican Reps. Ben Quayle and David Schweikert each announced measures designed to limit Obama’s ability to “circumvent Congress.”

Quayle, who sponsored the “Prohibiting Back-door Amnesty Act of 2012,” said in an interview with The Daily Caller that, “Obama’s actions set a very dangerous precedent. Now the president and administration can do whatever they feel like regardless of the separation of powers.”

The Hill reported that the second bill, sponsored by Rep. Schweikert, provides specific measures that “would prevent [Department of Homeland Security] DHS from enforcing executive orders on immigration,” even though “Obama’s policy change came only in the form of a memo on prosecutorial discretion from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, not an executive order.”

Schweikert’s office has not responded to requests for comment on his bill.

Quayle’s bill directly addresses the memos on prosecutorial discretion announced on Friday. It also has language designed to prevent any rule, provision or action that is “similar in effect” to the June 15 memo from Napolitano and Obama.

Both Quayle’s and Schweikert’s proposals are reactions to what they believed to be a breach of the separation of the powers of the state. “This is a huge power grab by the administration,” Quayle told TheDC. “I think that Republicans are incensed and that the Democrats should be as well.”

Despite agreement on the problem, it seems the Arizona representatives couldn’t agree on the response. According to a press release, Quayle was the first to introduce legislation, but both bills came out on Monday and may compete against each other for a vote.

The “rival” Arizona representatives have clashed over other issues, such as primary campaigns, in the past.

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