President Barack Obamas executive actions on immigration that would protect millions from deportation came to a screeching halt this week after a federal judge in Texas granted a preliminary injunction.
But even now that U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen has temporarily blocked Obamas executive actions, Republicans are still not backing down from their plan to use the Department of Homeland Security funding bill to try to reverse the presidents immigration policies. Instead, they seem to have been emboldened by the judges ruling.
Now, Republicans in Congress say the ruling underscores why Senate Democrats should allow debate to begin on a House-approved bill that would fund DHS but block Obamas executive actions on immigration. Senate Democrats have filibustered the bill three times this month.
Hopefully, Senate Democrats who claim to oppose this executive overreach will now let the Senate begin debate on a bill to fund the Homeland Security department, House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell echoed that message, saying: Senate Democratsespecially those whove voiced opposition to the Presidents executive overreachshould end their partisan filibuster of Department of Homeland Security funding.
But those comments by Republicans seem to have fallen on deaf ears, as Democrats show no signs of budging. They continue to say they wont support a DHS funding bill that would block Obamas executive actions on immigration.
They also note that the judges decision to issue a preliminary injunction blocking the federal government from enacting Obamas executive actions on immigration is not final. Instead, it only blocks the actions temporarily while the lawsuit proceeds.
Its perfectly appropriate to take this issue to court, but it is completely unacceptable for Republicans to hold up funding for the Department of Homeland Security while the case wends its way through the legal system, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement.
This procedural ruling, in our opinion, is very unlikely to be upheld, Schumer continued, but regardless of the outcome Democrats remain united in our belief that funding for the Department of Homeland Security should not be used as a ransom by Republicans, period.
Obama is not budging either. On Tuesday, the president said he disagreed with the judges ruling and indicated his administration will appeal it.
This is not the first time where a lower court judge blocked something or attempted to block something that ultimately was shown to be lawful, he said. And Im confident that it is well within my authority and position of the executive branchs prosecutorial discretion to execute this law.
Obama also had a message for Republicans in Congress. He said if they are seriously concerned about immigration and securing the borders to keep criminals out of the country, then they should start by funding DHS.
With only a few days left before DHS runs out of funds on Feb. 27, the deadline to pass a funding bill is quickly approaching. But it seems that even with the judges decision, Congress continues to be at a standstill over what should be included in the DHS funding bill.