Dem: Obama ‘overstepped’ on immigration

Greg Nash

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said Tuesday that he will vote with Republicans against President Obama’s 2014 immigration executive orders as part of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) new plan to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

“We need to have a clean DHS, Department of Homeland Security, funding bill. I’ve said that. Don’t play politics with it. So now, Mitch McConnell is going to pull that out separately. I appreciate that. I support that wholeheartedly,” Manchin said on CNN’s “New Day.”

{mosads}Manchin referred to the injunction a Texas judge issued last week that has temporarily halted Obama’s 2014 actions. 

“I agree the president went over, and he overstepped his boundaries,” Manchin said. “I will vote against those orders, basically, if we have to vote on it. I will be voting with the Republicans on that issue there.”

Manchin spokesman Jonathan Kott later confirmed that the Democratic senator would only support the defunding bill once DHS is funded.

Late Monday, McConnell placed a new bill on the Senate calendar that separates those controversial riders from the DHS funding bill, which Senate Democrats had repeatedly blocked because of those GOP-sponsored provisions.

The move comes with only four days left before funding runs out at the DHS and Congress attempts to prevent a government shutdown on Friday.

It’s unclear whether Democrats and conservatives in Congress would support the strategy.

On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) suggested he’s also open to the plan.

“I appreciate what Mitch McConnell has done,” he said.

Carper spokeswoman Jennie Westbrook later told The Hill that Carper is encouraged by McConnell’s plan if it means a clean DHS funding bill, but said the senator wants a vote on the funding bill before the immigration vote.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said Tuesday on conservative pundit Bill Bennett’s radio show that he doesn’t know if he supports McConnell’s new idea.

“I really don’t know. … Would that even pass or not?” he said. “We need to understand what the House can pass.”

Asked to predict the end game, Johnson said, “If I had to guess, possibly a short-term CR [continuing resolution] until the courts finally decide. Again, that’s a really bad way of funding the department.”

“This is actually pretty easy,” he said. We make it way more complicated than it needs to be.”

This post was updated at 5:29 p.m.

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