Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellThe Memo: Winners and losers from the battle over health care GOP senators pitch alternatives after House pulls ObamaCare repeal bill Under pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support 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.
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.