House panel advances DHS bill, immigration amendments

The GOP-led House Rules Committee late Monday advanced a bill to the floor that would fund the Department of Homeland Security through September and several amendments that would roll back President Obama’s immigration policies.

The House will likely vote on each of the amendments and the spending bill on Wednesday. The GOP-sponsored amendments are expected to be adopted and wrapped into the spending bill.

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), chairman of the Rules panel, said Republicans want to withhold funding for the executive orders because Obama’s actions are “unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional.” 

ADVERTISEMENT
The amendments would defund Obama’s executive orders on immigration from November, the Morton Memos of 2011 and 2012 that relaxed some immigration laws and the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that defers deportations of children who came to the United States illegally.

Other amendments focus on immigration enforcement for sex offenders and prioritizing people who came to the U.S. legally ahead of those who arrived illegally.

At the Rules meeting, Democrats slammed Republicans for tying an assault on immigration policies to a must-pass funding bill.

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) described the strategy as “unconscionable” and “disgraceful.”

Several lawmakers referred to last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris as a reason to fund DHS.

“What we saw last week...how dare we do that to the American people,” said Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), ranking member on the Rules Committee. 

With the amendments attached, the measure likely wouldn’t pass in the Senate and could therefore bounce back and forth between both houses.

The White House said Monday the president would veto the bill if the amendments are attached.