GOP Splits On Blocking Obama’s Amnesty

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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A growing group of at least 50 GOP legislators are pushing Republican leaders and the powerful appropriations committee to adopt safeguards against President Barack Obama’s plan to grant work permits to millions of illegals now living in the United States.

Without the safeguards, Obama could use taxpayer funds in 2015 to produce work permits and social security cards for the illegals, who could then compete directly against Americans for jobs.

If the funding bill is approved without curbs, Republicans would not be able to stop Obama’s work permits because he could use his veto power to kill subsequent legislative curbs passed by Congress.

“The American people just spoke loud and clear—they want this imperial presidency reined in,” said a congressional aide.

“It would be a colossal folly for congressional Republicans to ignore the people and cave to the President,” the aide said.

The day after the GOP’s huge win in the midterm election, Obama repeated his threat to distribute the work permits if Republicans doesn’t grant amnesty first.

The new GOP push is needed because Republican leaders of the appropriations committee are reluctant to complicate negotiations with Democratic leaders over the huge omnibus spending bill, which must be passed by the GOP-run House and Democrat-run Senate by Dec. 12.

“We respectfully request that as you work to finalize the year-end funding legislation that language be included in all relevant appropriations legislation for FY 2015 to prohibit the use of funds by the administration for the implementation of current or future executive actions that would create additional work permits and green cards outside of the scope prescribed by Congress,” says a letter to the committee delivered Nov. 13 by a group of more than 50 GOP legislators.

The letter was authored by a group of legislators led by Arizona Rep. Matt Salmon.

So far, the GOP leaders and the appropriations committee are ignoring the call for spending curbs.

GOP leaders, including House Speaker John Boehner, don’t want an immediate fight with Obama. They’d rather pass a basic 2015 budget in December so the new GOP majorities in the House and Senate can pass high-priority bills in the new year.

They also fear that Obama will veto the modified budget bills and then successfully use his media allies to blame the GOP for the subsequent government shutdown.

GOP legislators say the curbs, dubbed budget riders, should be added to the budget for the Department of Homeland Security, which includes the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services agency.

If Democrats in the Senate or if Obama blocks the DHS budget with the riders, all other government agencies would stay open.

Instead, they’ll only manage to shut down the USCIS agency, said Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies. Most other DHS agencies — such as the Border Patrol and the Coast Guard — will remain open because they’re law-enforcement agencies, he told The Daily Caller.

Alternatively, the GOP could pass a short-term budget, dubbed a continuing resolution, that would not include the riders but which would expire in January, when the new GOP majority in the Senate takes control.

The riders could be added when the GOP majorities finalize the 2015 appropriations bill in January.

But if GOP leaders don’t block Obama’s production of work permits, they’ll allow Obama to move millions of Democratic-leaning illegals a big step closer to legality and citizenship, and will create a series of painful political battles with their GOP voters, with pro-amnesty donors and with many Democratic legislators, he said.

The GOP leaders on the appropriations committee are reluctant to add the riders for fear it will upset their budget process.

“We are moving forward full steam ahead on a 12-bill omnibus” bill, not a continuing resolution, said Jennifer Hing, a spokeswoman for Rep. Hal Rogers, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee Chairman. “We are making very good progress,” she told The Hill, adding that the trillion-dollar, multi-agency omnibus bill should be ready for a floor vote by Dec. 8.

But the 50-plus GOP legislators are upping the pressure.

“Recently, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a procurement request for 34 million work permits and green cards over the next five years. President Obama has spoken publicly and privately about his intentions to use executive action to create these work permits for those who are here illegally. This would be in direct violation of U.S. law,” the letter says.

“As you know, the Congress has the power of the purse and should use it as a tool to prevent the president from implementing policies that are contrary to our laws and the desire of the American people,” say the legislators.

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Neil Munro