Brushing aside Democrats’ warnings of permanent political doom, House Republicans voted Thursday to cancel President Obama’s deportation amnesties, casting it as an effort to undo a runaway White House untethered either to the Constitution or even to its own words and promises.
In a debate freighted with political, symbolic and constitutional significance, House Speaker John A. Boehner read the 22 times Mr. Obama had denied he had the kinds of executive powers he ended up claiming last year when he announced his new amnesty, which applies to millions of illegal immigrants, granting them tentative legal status and work permits so they can compete legally for jobs.
“We do not take this action lightly, but there is simply no alternative,” Mr. Boehner said from the well of the House. “This is not a dispute between parties, or even branches of government. The president’s overreach is an affront to the rule of law and the Constitution itself.”
Democrats, no less strenuous in their defense of Mr. Obama, accused the GOP of mean-spiritedness and warned that Hispanics will punish Republicans for “malicious” attacks on immigrants in the form of a series of votes to roll back the president’s November amnesty for more than 4 million illegal immigrants and his 2012 amnesty for more than 600,000 illegal immigrant Dreamers, who were the young adults who came to the U.S. as children.
“As a country we’re better than this. Shame on you,” said Rep. Linda Sanchez, chairman of the House Hispanic Caucus.
The vote to cancel the November amnesty was 237-190, with seven Republicans defecting to join Democrats in opposition. The vote to cancel the amnesty for Dreamers was less popular, though it still cleared on a 218-209 vote with 26 Republicans joining all Democrats in opposition.
By Stephen Dinan – The Washington Times –