By Justin Sink - 12/04/14 06:00 AM EST
The White House on Wednesday criticized a bill offered by Rep. Ted YohoTed YohoClash in GOP over Zika funding Standoff in GOP over Zika funding A 'zero-for-zero' approach on sugar will lead to a freer market MORE (R-Fla.) that would roll back the president's executive action on immigration, calling the bill "unfair" and "bad policy."
Press secretary Josh Earnest said the legislation would "exacerbate flaws in our broken immigration system" and distract "limited enforcement resources" from targeting criminals for deportation.
Last month, President Obama announced that he was creating a program that would allow the parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents to avoid deportation and receive work permits through executive action. Obama announced he was also expanding an existing program offering similar benefits to illegal immigrants brought to the country as children.
BoehnerJohn BoehnerCameras go dark during House Democrats' sit-in Rubio flies with Obama on Air Force One to Orlando Juan Williams: The capitulation of Paul Ryan MORE's decision to allow the vote was seen as a nod to conservative members of his caucus, who expressed outrage when the president moved forward on immigration.
The Speaker hopes that by allowing a vote on the legislation — which Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidSay NO to PROMESA, say NO to Washington overreach Overnight Finance: Wall Street awaits Brexit result | Clinton touts biz support | New threat to Puerto Rico bill? | Dodd, Frank hit back McConnell quashes Senate effort on guns MORE (D-Nev.) has already said he would not bring up for a vote — Tea Party lawmakers will in turn support the so-called "cromnibus" package that would fund most of the federal government through the remainder of the fiscal year.
But while Earnest admitted that he would "be surprised" if the bill progressed through Congress — predicting no support from Senate Democrats — he still unloaded on the legislation as "inconsistent with the values of the vast majority of the people in this country."
The press secretary made the comments during a call with reporters previewing a White House event on education on Thursday.
His remarks appear to be an indication that the White House, which saw its standing with Hispanic voters fade when the president delayed his executive action on immigration, believes the legislation could prove a potent political tool in exciting its base.
It's possible Obama could also tee off on the bill during his remarks at the college affordability summit on Wednesday.
The president is expected to announce a new $10 million program to promote college completion and a $30 million AmeriCorps program to improve low-income students' college access.