McConnell to Dems: Stand up to Obama on immigration ‘power grab'

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellMcConnell: Trump White House will have ‘constraints’ Nearly 400 House bills stuck in Senate limbo McConnell-allied group: We'll back Rubio if he runs for reelection MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday challenged Senate Democrats to stand up to what he called a presidential “power grab” and vote to overturn President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

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The Senate is scheduled to vote Tuesday on House-passed legislation that would unwind executive orders from 2012 and 2014 shielding millions of illegal immigrants from deportation.

McConnell framed the vote as an effort to protect Congress’s constitutional authority over immigration against an overreaching executive.

“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,” McConnell said on the floor.

He urged his Democratic colleagues to “rise above the kind of partisan temptations that emerge” and consider the long-term consequences of “partisan power grabs.”

He argued that Obama himself acknowledged he didn’t have the power to significantly scale down the number of deportations.

“Last year, President Obama declared executive action was ‘not an option’ because it would mean ‘ignoring the law,’ ” McConnell said.

He noted the Supreme Court sided with Senate Republicans last year in Noel Canning v. National Labor Relations Board, when it unanimously ruled that Obama’s recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board were unconstitutional.

“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,” McConnell said.