The leadership of the Republican Party in the House of Congress plans to get together next Tuesday to craft a response to President Obama’s executive order on immigration that shields some illegal aliens from deportation. The House Republican Conference has scheduled a closed-door meeting when members return to Washington D.C after the Thanksgiving recess. They plan to table a bill on the House Floor by Thursday if they come to a consensus on the response, according to an article published in Politico.
The leadership team is considering coming up with a bill on immigration that will limit funding some parts of the executive order. They might also consider responding to the executive order as a separate bill. Some members of the party have floated ideas ranging from cancelling the State of the Union, or censuring President Obama, to denying the government funds.
The current funding will end Dec. 11. Congress will have only 10 days after that to vote on a funding bill in order to avoid a government shutdown. While the conservative wing of the party favors a shutdown, John Boehner(R-Ohio), incoming Senate Leader Mitch McConnell(R-Ky), and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy(R-Ca) have spoken against a government shutdown.
Some members of the Republican Party voiced their frustration at President Obama’s executive order on immigration as they wait to get a response from their Party’s leadership. Sarah Palin, former Alaska Governor, said the president gave voters the middle finger by signing the executive order on immigration. Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas saw the president’s action as a declaration of war in the country. Republican Sen. Ted Cruz said on Fox News that the Republican-led Senate will frustrate the president by blocking his nominees, including Loretta Lynch, who the president has nominated as Eric Holder’s replacement when he resigns.
Texas Gov.-elect Gregg Abbot said on Fox News on Sunday that the state will sue the president because he considered the executive order illegal. He has already sued the president over 30 times in the last six years as the state’s Attorney General.
The Senate signed a bill that would have enabled a comprehensive immigration bill to reach the president’s desk for his signature in 2013. The Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, denied the bill an opportunity for discussion by refusing to table it for discussion.
The indecision by the Republican Party on how to respond to President Obama’s executive order that grants relief to more than 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation also gets to some state legislatures. An article in The Texas Tribune states that while the Party’s leaders in Texas are also outraged by the president’s action, they are not united in deciding how they should handle undocumented immigrants in the state. According to the paper,there are approximately 1.5 million undocumented immigrants who work in janitorial, landscaping, agriculture, manufacturing, and construction fields. The business community in Texas has been opposed to using E-Verify, the federal program that tells employers if job applicants are eligible to work in the United States. The Texas legislature has been unable to pass bills that go against the wishes of the business community.
Opinion by Benedicto Ateku