Jim Bridenstine on amnesty and the "cromnibus"

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Conservatives want Congress to use its "power of the purse," by adding language to pending appropriations bills that would forbid the use of Federal funds to carry out President Obama's executive amnesty program. The Congressional Research Service has confirmed that even fee-funded agencies derive their authorization to spend those fees from Congressional appropriations, and Congress can restrict the use to which that money is put. That might include, for example,

The House leadership's proposal, which is supported by the Democrat leadership in the Senate, would fund all departments except Homeland Security until the end of Fiscal Year 2015; Homeland Security would be funded only until the end of March. December 11 is when the current continuing resolution expires; a new CR has to be approved by Congress and signed by the President in order for Federal agencies to have the authority to continue to spend money on non-essential functions.

RedState's Erick Erickson smells a rat and believes that the result of this proposal will be merely symbolic. Many believe that House Republican leadership is only half-heartedly opposed to President Obama's executive amnesty and would be quietly pleased with a futile protest vote and no effective roadblock to Obama's plan. He wants this bill stopped before it gets to the floor of the House, and he gave his readers a list of congressmen to call, to urge them to oppose the rule, which would effectively kill the bill. On the list was our own Oklahoma 1st District Congressman Jim Bridenstine.

I emailed Rep. Bridenstine's office Thursday to ask where he stands on this idea. Bridenstine's Communications Director Sheryl Kaufman replied Friday morning:

Yes, we have been getting a lot of calls. Erick's suggested strategy is unlikely to succeed. Very few Congressmen oppose the rule generally because it simply allows the underlying bill to be debated on the floor.

The real work is happening right now as Members let Leadership know that they won't support a CR or Omnibus or CROmnibus that does not include provisions blocking the funding of the President's unconstitutional, illegal executive amnesty. People should be calling their Congressmen to encourage them to demand that provision in any funding bill. If Leadership knows they face a lot of pressure, they may introduce an acceptable bill and opposing the rule will be a moot point. Of course, Congressman Bridenstine has made his position very clear and is encouraging others to do likewise.

BTW, it is always most effective for people to call their own Representative. Some Congressional offices don't even take calls from people outside their District. Our office will speak to people and listen politely wherever they live, but we only log calls from people from our District.

On that last point, I agree that a congressman's primary responsibility is to his constituents, but a congressman's actions as a committee member, chairman, caucus officer, or Speaker have national impact, and in those roles he ought to listen to voices from all parts of the country.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on December 6, 2014 2:46 PM.

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