On Tuesday, February 3rd at 2:30 p.m., the Senate is scheduled to vote on whether to begin debate on the House-passed measure to fund the Department of Homeland Security. The House bill fully funds every activity, program, and function of DHS that is authorized by law. It is a clean bill. The only actions it does not fund are those which fall outside the scope of the law.
Appropriations Ranking Member Mikulski has reportedly said that Democrats would consider blocking a vote to even begin debate on the measure. I hope that is not correct. Can it truly be their position that they will not allow debate on any measure unless it affirmatively funds outlaw behavior? If Congress yields and funds this unlawful action, it will have acquiesced in one of the most significant erosions of its own power in history.If Democrats want to fund an illegal amnesty, then let them offer amendments to that effect. Any Senator who votes not to begin debate on Tuesday is voting to sacrifice this institution—and their constituents—to imperial command.Who does Congress work for? The President’s action unlawfully gives work permits and benefits to 5 million individuals who are not legally entitled to them, allowing them to take jobs and benefits directly from our constituents. This is a policy explicitly rejected by Congress. These unlawful workers will be able to take good jobs at the coal mine, the timber mill, the park service, the oil fields, the retail outlet, or the county office. There are already too few jobs and too many applicants.Congress must resist the dangerous accumulation of executive power, fund DHS, and serve the interests of the American people. That is what the House bill does. We should move to it and have this debate before the whole nation.