On June 3, The House of Representatives passed by a 222-204 vote an appropriations bill (H.R. 2578) that denies funding for the Obama administration to file appeals in the case wherein a federal judge enjoined the administration from implementing its executive actions granting amnesty to four million illegal aliens.
U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Brownsville issued the injunction against the administration on February 16. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans rejected the administration’s request for an emergency stay of that order on May 25, but will hear further arguments in the case next month.
The defunding was the result of an amendment offered by Representative Steve King (R-Iowa). “My amendment prohibits any of the funds from being used to further defend this unconstitutional amnesty position,” explained King.
The exact wording of King’s amendment, which was approved on a vote of 222-204, was:
None of the funds made available by this Act may be used with respect in the case State of Texas, et al. v. United States of America, et al. (No. B-14-254 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas and No. 15-40238 in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit).
AP reported that the House also voted 227-198 for an amendment that would block federal funds for state and local law enforcement aid to localities that refuse to report names of suspected illegal aliens to federal immigration authorities. (The wording of the amendment was “… in contravention of the Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.”)
“All we’re saying is follow the law.... They are undermining the rule of law,” AP quoted King.
The Hill reported that even before the amendments were added, the White House had threatened to veto the legislation because of what it considers to be insufficient funding levels that would hamper Obama’s policy to normalize relations with Cuba and policy riders that would relax gun restrictions and block funds for the transfer of any detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison to the United States.
King’s amendments are likely to increase the likelihood of a presidential veto. Of course, since Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution states that all bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives, a steadfast House could always tell the president, in effect: “Take it or leave it.” However, such political courage in Washington is rare these days.