Sen. Sessions: 'Power of the Purse Now a Historical Concept?'

By Susan Jones | February 27, 2015 | 6:08am EST

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) (AP File Photo)

( - As Congress prepares to pass a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security, including President Obama's executive amnesty, for at least another three weeks, one conservative senator says it's a very bad idea:

"We cannot let this Congress go down in the history books as the Congress that established a new precedent that we will fund any imperial decree that violates established American laws," Sen. Jeff Sessions said on Thursday.

"Is this to be the new normal? Congress must provide the president with the funds he wants, for any project he dreams up, no matter how illegal and unconstitutional? Is the power of the purse now a historical concept, never to be used again when it is needed most?

"There is no more basic application of congressional power than to establish where funds may and may not be spent; indeed, that is the very definition of an appropriations bill. And there could never be a more important time to exercise such a power than when our Republican heritage itself is at stake."

Sessions said he will vote against a "clean" funding bill -- one that does not block funding for President Obama's immigration changes. The Senate is expected to pass that bill on Friday, then send it the House, which reportedly has agreed to unconditionally fund DHS for another three weeks.

“I cannot vote for any legislation that funds this illegal amnesty," Sessions said on Thursday. "There must be a line in the sand, a moment where people say: this is where it stops. That is why I will oppose this legislation if the amnesty restrictions are removed, and urge my colleagues to do the same."

Sessions noted that six Democrats must switch their votes for the block on amnesty funding to take effect:

"Six Senate Democrats are standing in the way of the interests of 300 million Americans," he said. "Six Senate Democrats are keeping us from protecting American workers and American borders."

Sessions said Obama's executive amnesty -- deferring deportation for millions of illegal immigrants and offering them work permits, Social Security Numbers and other benefits -- is not a minor constitutional violation.

"It is an explosive violation," Sessions said. "It threatens our very sovereignty. Essential to any sovereign nation is the enforcement of its borders, the application of uniform rules for exit and entry, and the delivery of consequences for any who violate those rules.

"But the president has suspended those borders, erased those rules, and replaced consequences with rewards. He has arrogated for himself the sole and absolute power to decide who comes to the United States, who lives in the United States, and who works in the United States.

Sessions said if Congress funds Obama's executive amnesty by passing an unconditional spending bill, "it is not a question of if the President will suspend more immigration laws, but only how many he will suspend.”

After Republicans took control of Congress in the midterm election, President Obama directed his Department of Homeland Security to do what Congress has so far refused to do. "President Obama’s executive action nullified the immigration laws we do have and replaced them with the very measures Congress and the American people have time and again rejected," Sessions noted.

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