Senate to Consider Bill to Fund DHS, Check President’s Executive Overreach
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill:
“When the new Senate convened, I stated my view that democracy isn’t about what you can get away with, it’s about what can be achieved together.
“Exercising raw power is easier, there’s no doubt.
“Changing the rules of democracy when they don’t suit you, it can tempt politicians.
“But we’re hoping our colleagues in the Democratic Party will agree that elected leaders can be bigger than that.
“We’re hoping Democrats will agree that it’s on presidents to consider the long-term consequences of partisan power grabs — and to rise above the kind of partisan temptations that emerge.
“The choices Democrats make on the legislation before us will say a lot about whether there are still two serious political parties in this country...whether there are still two parties interested in governing within a constitutional framework.
“At its core, this debate is about whether Democrats think presidents, of either party, should have the power to simply do what they want. And while this is about more than just President Obama, it’s also true that President Obama has repeatedly reached beyond his authority.
“Some of the President’s overreach has been so out of bounds that the Supreme Court struck it down unanimously. Whether on the Left, Right, or Center, every last justice — even those appointed by the President — rebuked him for overreach on recess appointments last June.
“And then just a couple months ago, the President rebuked himself by taking actions he’d previously said, many times, that he lacked the legal authority to take.
“When he tried to suggest otherwise, a fact-checker blasted the spin and clarified that the President had been asked specifically about just the sorts of actions he was contemplating.
“Last year, President Obama declared executive action was ‘not an option’ because it would mean ‘ignoring the law.’
“‘There is a path to get this done,’ he said then, ‘and that is through Congress.’
“That was his view then. What changed?
“The truth is, this latest power grab isn’t really about immigration reform. It’s about making an already broken system even more broken. It’s about imposing even more unfairness on immigrants who’ve already worked so hard and played by all the rules. It’s hard to understand why the President would want to impose additional unfairness on immigrants like these who just want to live their own American dream. The question is, do Democrats agree with him?
“We’ll soon find out.
“We’ll also find out if Democrats agree with a President Obama who ignores the law when it suits him, or if they agree with a President Obama who made this statement just a few years ago in Miami:
“‘Democracy is hard,’ he said. ‘But it’s right. [And] changing our laws means doing the hard work of changing minds and changing votes, one by one.’
“So I'm calling on Democrats to vote with us now to fund the Department of Homeland Security. I'm calling on Democrats to join us and stand up for core democratic principles like the rule of law and separation of powers.”
Related Issues: Restoring the Senate, Immigration, Senate Democrats, Back to Work, Executive Orders