News December 4, 2014: Jenna Bush admits to hanky-panky in the White House when her dad was president

Politics December 4, 2014: GOP House passes bill to roll back immigration executive actions Obama vows veto

GOP House passes bill to roll back immigration executive actions Obama vows veto

December 4, 2014, 3:41 PM MST

Speaker John Boehner steered the House of Representatives’ passing of a bill nullifying President Barack Obama sweeping executive action on immigration and deportation, Dec. 4, 2014

Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Republican controlled House of Representatives voted 219 to 197 on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014 to pass a bill that would scale back President Barack Obama‘s recent executive actions on immigration reform. The bill and its message are mostly symbolic since the lame duck Democratic Senate will not pass the bill and President Obama has promised to veto it.

The bill H.R.5759 entitled “Executive Amnesty Prevention Act of 2014” is meant “To establish a rule of construction clarifying the limitations on executive authority to provide certain forms of immigration relief” basically makes the president’s actions “null and void and without legal effect.” Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla. Sponsored the bill that also had an addition 17 co-sponsors. Of the votes cast three Democrats crossed party lines to vote with Republicans supporting the bill while seven Republicans voted with the Democrats opposing it.

The president’s actions that would pre vent the deportations of 4.7 million illegal immigrants in the country who have children who are citizens or permanent residents of the US. The actions would provide them work permits, social security numbers and allow them to pay taxes for the next three years. The 10-point executive actions essentially give amnesty to the illegal immigrants. Among those in the immigrant community, many feel the actions do not go far enough, and the public in general opposes the president taking unilateral action on this issue.

The Republican Congress and its leadership strongly oppose them. President Obama announced his plans just two weeks after the GOP won more seats in the House and took control of the Senate, Republicans do not believe the president has the mandate or the Constitutional rights to make laws Congress has to decide upon and is their responsibility. Among the GOP’s varied solutions include shutting down the government in an attempt to defund the actions, suing, censuring or even impeaching the president.

President Obama has promised to veto the bill if by any chance it passes the Senate. The White House issued a statement of administration policy against the bill on Thursday. The policy paper accused the GOP’s bill of trying promote lawlessness and cause economic problems, while praising the president’s actions, and declaring “If the President were presented with H.R. 5759, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.”

The White House listed that “H.R. 5759 would make the broken immigration system worse, not better. By attempting to restrict the Administration’s ability to conduct national security and criminal background checks on undocumented immigrants…. would make the Nation’s communities less safe. By attempting to make it more difficult for undocumented workers to register and pay taxes, the bill would hurt the Nation’s economy as well.”

In an attempt to be dramatic and vilify the GOP as much as possible, the White House also listed all the dire consequences of the bill passing. Continuing, the administration stated; “The bill’s objective is clearly to nullify and block implementation of these executive actions, which would have devastating consequences. It would lead to the separation of families and prevent additional DREAMers from fully contributing to American life. It would also make it more difficult for immigration officials to conduct background checks, for undocumented workers to help the economy by paying taxes, and for the Federal government to focus on removing serious criminals, recent border crossers, and other threats.”

President Obama also personally spoke out against the GOP bill at a College Opportunity Summit on Thursday, emphasizing the effect blocking his actions would have on students. Obama expressed; “But it does not make sense for us to want to push talent out, rather than make sure that they’re staying here and contributing to society. So rather than deport students and separate families and make it harder for law enforcement to do its job, I just want the Congress to work with us to pass a commonsense law to fix that broken immigration system.”

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-OH stated at the GOP leadership press conference on Thursday the Republican members of the House “will make clear today that we are rejecting unilateral actions.” While House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise, R-LA commented on why the House voted on the bill, explaining, “The president thinks he can just sit in the Oval Office and make up his own laws. That’s not the way our system of government works. This legislation says you can’t do that, Mr. President. There is a rule of law.”


Bonnie K. Goodman is the Editor of the Academic Buzz Network, a series of political, academic & education blogs which includes History Musings: History, News & Politics. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies, both from McGill University, and has done graduate work in Jewish history at Concordia University as part of the MA in Judaic Studies program. She covers US, Canadian & Israeli politics, with a particular focus on the Obama presidency, Congress, domestic policy, and elections.