“There's no reason that we can't fund all our immigration agencies and law enforcement agencies, yet not let the president use taxpayer dollars to give Social Security numbers and work permits and federal IDs to illegal immigrants,” said Cotton.
“Senator-elect Cotton, I think it's fair to say you come from the Tea Party wing of the GOP. Do you think Republicans should be prepared to either shut down the government by making some links to the funding which runs out on December 11th, or to pass these short-term spending bills to keep this fight up with the president?” Fox News host Chris Wallace asked.
Cotton said he didn’t think anyone wants to shut down the government, because it doesn’t solve the problem.
“But it's not just Republicans who have spoken on this. The American people have spoken. Immigration was a central issue in my campaign. I won by 17 points. Kay Hagan, Mark Begich, Mark Udall all supported President Obama's amnesty bill. They lost,” Cotton said.
“Mary Landrieu is about to lose. Greg Orman, Alison Grimes, Bruce Braley, Michelle Nunn, they lost when they supported that bill. The voters of Oregon, not exactly a conservative state like Arkansas, voted 2-1 against driver's licenses for illegal immigrants,” he said.
“So, the American people have spoken loudly about the kind of immigration reform they want, and it's not what the president is proposing,” Cotton added.
He said the GOP placed limits on how taxpayer funds could be spent when it came to closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.
“It's actually happened thousands of times over our history that Congress uses our power to control how taxpayer dollars are spent to put limitations on what a president can do. For the last six years with Guantanamo Bay, the president has wanted to close our detention facility there and move terrorists to the United States,” Cotton said.
“I'm saying that with Guantanamo Bay, we have fully funded our military spending bills for the last six years and put restrictions on what the president can do in terms of transferring terrorists from Guantanamo Bay to the United States,” he said.
Wallace asked if Cotton was warning of a possible government shutdown over immigration like with Obamacare.
“I'm hopeful that we won't have to take that action, because I hope the president will listen to what the American people said last week. And again, he's been talking about this for months, and it hasn't happened. So, I don't want to yet prejudge what he may or may not do,” Cotton said.