WASHINGTON – Congressional Republicans stepped up their rhetoric against President Barack Obama’s immigration order, vowing to reverse his move to allow as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants stay in the U.S. temporarily.
Republicans from the House and the Senate said his actions are more sweeping than those of his predecessors and contradict the will of Congress.
“If this president can impose his own immigration laws unilaterally, then the next president can impose his own laws,” Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, said on the “Fox News Sunday” program.
Obama defended his action as no different from executive orders imposed by previous Republican and Democratic presidents.
“I have issued fewer executive actions than most of my predecessors, by a long shot,” Obama said in a taped interview that aired today on ABC’s “This Week” program. “If you ask historians, take a look at the track records of the modern presidency, I’ve actually been very restrained.”
Sen. Richard Durbin, the upper chamber’s No. 2 Democrat, said Obama “had no choice” but to issue an executive order because the Republican-controlled House had refused for more than a year to take up a bill passed by the Senate.
“They have to step up and govern,” the Illinois Democrat said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” program.
Obama urged Congress to supersede his order by passing new legislation. Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said Republicans are instead weighing whether to use “the power of the purse” to cut off funding.
“We are not going to shut the government down,” McCaul said on the CBS program. “But we are going to shut down the president and his actions as it pertains to granting amnesty to 5 million people.”
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