The House of Representatives took its first action protesting President Obama’s executive action on immigration. The bill, which was called “purely symbolic” by critics, is unlikely to be considered by the Democrat-controlled Senate.
The Preventing Executive Overreach on Immigration Act, drafted by Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., passed in the House this afternoon on a mostly party-line vote of 219 to 197.
“Even if enacted into law, it would not have stopped the president from granting quasi-legal status, work permits and Social Security numbers to people who are in the country illegally.”
The bill says the executive branch does not have the authority to bypass Congress and rewrite existing law. Republicans said it would block Obama’s executive action to grant citizen-like status to millions of immigrants residing in the country illegally.
In a statement, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said, “The president thumbed his nose at the American people with his actions on immigration, and the House will make clear today that we are rejecting his unilateral actions.”
Boehner called on the Senate to debate the bill. “For the outgoing Senate Democrat majority to do anything less would be an act of monumental arrogance,” he added.
Critics dismissed the significance of the bill. Heritage Action for America, the advocacy arm of The Heritage Foundation, alerted its supporters to the pending action this morning, calling it “a show vote … against Obama’s amnesty.”
Heritage Action spokesman Dan Holler said the vote was “purely symbolic.”
“Even if enacted into law,” Holler said, “it would not have stopped the president from granting quasi-legal status, work permits and Social Security numbers to people who are in the country illegally. Next week, the Republican-controlled House should pass a funding bill that blocks Obama’s dangerous actions.”
Yoho discussed the bill yesterday in an interview with Laura Ingraham.
Meanwhile, a senior White House official told the Weekly Standard that the implementation of Obama’s executive action is “well underway,” and that the administration will “proceed” despite the House’s efforts to block it.