U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, criticized House members Tuesday for voting to fund the Department of Homeland Security without taking action against President Barack Obama’s executive orders tied to immigration.
“The American people spoke overwhelmingly in November: Don’t fund President Obama’s unconstitutional executive actions. Unfortunately today the bill that passed the United States Congress maintains the ability for the government to fund them,” Jordan said in a statement.
House Republicans on Tuesday abandoned their attempts to use the Homeland Security Department’s spending bill to force concessions from President Barack Obama on immigration, and sent him legislation to fund the agency through the end of the budget year with no strings attached.
The outcome averted a partial agency shutdown which would have begun Friday at midnight. It was a major victory for Obama and the Democrats, and a wholesale retreat for Republicans, who have spent months railing against an “unconstitutional overreach” by Obama in extending deportation stays and work permits to millions of immigrants in this country illegally.
“We know President Obama’s actions are unconstitutional,” Jordan said. “Conservative and liberal legal scholars have said these actions are unconstitutional. President Obama said himself 22 times that he couldn’t do what he did. And the only federal judge to rule on his actions said that what he did was wrong. But Democrats in the Senate put President Obama’s actions ahead of national security and the will of the people.
Jessica Wehrman in our Washington Bureau reports that among Ohio lawmakers, only Republicans were split on the vote. All four Democrats in the Ohio congressional delegation, including Columbus-area Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Jefferson Twp., supported the bill.
On the other end of the aisle, House Speaker John Boehner, R-West Chester Twp., Reps. Pat Tiberi, R-Genoa Twp., Steve Stivers, R-Upper Arlington and Mike Turner, R-Dayton, supported the measure.
Reps. Steve Chabot, R-Cincinnati, Bob Gibbs, R-Lakeville, Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, Jordan, Dave Joyce, R-Russell Twp., Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green, Jim Renacci, R-Wadsworth and Brad Wenstrup, R-Cincinnati, opposed it.
Gibbs said he opposed the bill because he wanted the House and Senate to go into negotiations before moving forward.
“I’m tired of the Senate playing these games,” he said. “I don’t like that if we don’t do it their way, they’re not going to play ball.”
Stivers, however, said while he opposed Obama’s immigration executive action, the need to keep the Department of Homeland Security operating took precedence.
He said the courts were already effectively stopping the executive actions from going into effect.
“We needed to act to fund DHS,” he said. “The good folks at DHS have nothing to do with what the president did on immigration.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.