Sessions: Congress 'Must Use Its Spending Power to Stop' Obama's Amnesty

By Brittany M. Hughes | July 29, 2014 | 5:32pm EDT

( -- Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) issued a statement Tuesday declaring that Congress “must use its spending power” to prevent President Obama from using executive power to grant amnesty to thousands of illegal aliens.

“The Obama Administration has openly declared its plan to implement a unilateral executive amnesty for 5 to 6 million more illegal immigrants. This unlawful amnesty, urged on by congressional Democrats, would include work permits, taking jobs directly from millions of struggling American citizens,” Sessions said.

“Any action Congress might consider to address the current border crisis would be futile should the President go forward with these lawless actions,” he added, declaring that “Congress must speak out and fight against them.”

“It must use its spending power to stop the President’s executive amnesty,” Sessions urged.

Sessions also called out House Republican leadership for not including stipulations in their proposed $659 million border security bill, scheduled to come before the House later this week, that would block Obama from using his executive power to grant amnesty to illegal aliens. According to Sessions, the bill allows for “loopholes” and is “a plan for expedited asylum, not expedited removal.”

“That the House leaders’ border package includes no language on executive actions is surrender to a lawless President, and it is a submission to the subordination of congressional power,” Sessions claimed.

Sessions said the House bill will not “make our rogue president actively enforce anything, coming nowhere close to the kinds of reasonable enforcement activities needed to restore the interior application of our immigration laws.”

“A package that is silent on blocking amnesty creates an opportunity for Senate Democrats to add elements of their party’s open borders and mass immigration agenda,” he said. “This legislation is unworthy of support.”

Impatient with the stalemate in Congress over comprehensive immigration reform, President Obama promised last month to "fix as much of our immigration system as I can, without Congress."

According to press reports, Obama plans to use his executive power to grant work permits to potentially millions of illegal aliens, with some Democratic lawmakers calling on him to also unilaterally defer deportations.

Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7 of the U.S. Constitution says: "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time."

While the President can take certain executive actions unilaterally, funding for those actions can only be appropriated by Congress, and all spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives. Federal spending laws regularly include language prohibiting the Executive Branch from using funds for certain purposes.

However, during a weekly press briefing earlier this month, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) suggested that Congress had no plans to use its constitutional power to defund illegal acts by President Obama, saying he wanted to take the more “direct approach” of suing the president for executive overreach.

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