Administration

Bill Kristol resurfaces video of Pence calling Obama executive action on immigration a ‘profound mistake’

Conservative pundit and frequent Trump critic Bill Kristol on Thursday resurfaced a 2014 video of Vice President Pence saying it would be a “profound mistake” for former President Obama to override Congress with an executive order on immigration.

“I think it would be a profound mistake for the president of the United States to overturn American immigration law with the stroke of a pen,” Pence, then governor of Indiana, said in the clip.

The 2014 video was shared on the eve of President Trump’s anticipated declaration of a national emergency to bypass Congress and obtain funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Mike Pence: The president usurping power and end-running Congress is ‘a profound mistake,’” Kristol wrote on Twitter.

Pence was speaking at the annual Republican Governors Association conference in New Jersey shortly after Obama announced a major executive action on immigration policy.

Obama’s executive action offered temporary legal status to millions of immigrants without such status, along with indefinite reprieve from deportation. 

Pence criticized the president’s leadership and said Obama should cooperate with the then-new Republican-majority Senate to pass legislation, instead of issuing executive orders.

“Issues of this magnitude should always be resolved with the consent of the governed,” Pence said. “Signing an executive order, giving a speech, barnstorming around the country defending that executive order is not leadership.”{mosads}

“I would implore the president to reconsider this path and to demonstrate the kind of leadership that the American people long to see. And that this administration would sit down with this newly minted Republican Congress and find genuine common ground on border security,” Pence continued. “There’s a series of piece-by-piece reforms that I believe that could be advanced in this Congress that would be in the long-term interest of the American people on this issue.”

The newly Democratic-controlled House voted Thursday night to approve a border security deal that prevents a new government shutdown but falls far short of Trump’s $5.7 billion demand for funding for the wall on the Mexican border. 

Trump is likely to reluctantly sign the legislation and also declare a national emergency as a way of getting more federal money.

Republican leadership in Congress, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), have expressed support for the president’s decision to declare a national emergency.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, however, have concerns about it setting a bad precedent.

“Declaring a national emergency would be a lawless act, a gross abuse of the power of the presidency and a desperate attempt to distract from the fact that President Trump broke his core promise to have Mexico pay for his wall,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a joint statement.

“It is yet another demonstration of President Trump’s naked contempt for the rule of law. This is not an emergency, and the president’s fearmongering doesn’t make it one.”

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) called the declaration a “mistake.”

“It deeply worries me that a future Democratic President may consider gun violence or climate change a ‘national emergency’ and what actions they may then take,” he said.

Tags Charles Schumer Chris Stewart Donald Trump Executive Order Immigration Kevin McCarthy Mike Pence Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi national emergency
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