The Senate’s Obstructionist Eight


I've received a lot of questions about DHS funding. Here are the facts:

On Feb. 28, 2015, the continuing resolution to fund the Department of Homeland Security expires. The House-passed bill to keep the department open and running currently languishes in the Senate as a result of the "Obstructionist Eight," a group of Members who have indicated a desire to stand up to the President’s executive overreach, but now remain in lockstep with their fellow Democrats in preventing DHS funding... all to score political points. 

DHS FUNDING ACTION IN THE 114TH CONGRESS:

  • Jan. 9 – HR 240 introduced in the House
  • Jan. 14 – Passes House, 236-191
  • Jan. 16 – Received in the Senate
  • Feb. 3 – Senate moves to consider (cloture vote): Blocked by all Senate Democrats
  • Feb. 4 – Senate moves to consider (cloture vote): Blocked by all Senate Democrats
  • Feb. 5 – Senate moves to consider (cloture vote): Blocked by all Senate Democrats
  • Feb. 5 – Senate moves to consider (UC Request): Blocked by Senate Democrats Feb. 12 – Senate moves to consider (UC Request): Blocked by Senate Democrats

 

WHO’S HOLDING BACK FUNDING FOR DHS?

The following Senators, as quoted, initially opposed the president’s illegal executive action, but remain silent under Minority Leader Harry Reid’s obstructionist agenda:

Joe Donnelly (D-IN)

“It is clear the immigration system in this country is broken, and only Congress has the ability to change the law to fix it…I am as frustrated as anyone that Congress is not doing its job, but the president shouldn’t make such significant policy changes on his own. (“Donnelly sees Obama immigration move as too much,” The Courier-Journal, 11/20/14, http://cjky.it/14T2SW9)

Joe Manchin (D-WV)

I disagree with the President’s decision to use executive action to make changes to our immigration system, and I disagree with the House’s decision to not even take a vote on the bipartisan Senate legislation that overwhelmingly passed in June 2013.” (“Obama announces immigration plan; WV reps react,” MetroNews, 11/20/14, http://bit.ly/1vbQOcM

Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)

“I’m disappointed the president decided to use executive action at this time on this issue, as it could poison any hope of compromise or bipartisanship in the new Senate before it has even started.  It’s Congress’ job to pass legislation and deal with issues of this magnitude.” (“Obama fails to convince some Dems on immigration,” Politico, 11/20/14, http://politi.co/1yCcJdJ)

Angus King (I-ME)

“I worry that his taking unilateral action could in fact inflame public opinion, change the subject from immigration to the president. I also have constitutional concerns about where prosecutorial discretion ends and unconstitutional executive authority begins.” (“GOP leaders warn ‘impeachment’ is a dirty word,” Politico, 11/19/14, http://politi.co/1F0YPlI)

Transcript: “Sen. Angus King: Executive Action On Immigration Could Backfire”(90.9 WBURhttp://www.wbur.org/npr/365271507/sen-angus-king-executive-action-on-immigration-could-backfire)

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN)

“‘I have concerns about executive action,’ said Franken, who had previously declined to comment, in a statement Thursday. ‘This is a job for Congress, and it’s time for the House to act.’” (“Senate Democrats Urge President Obama To Delay Immigration Order,” Politico, 9/5/14, http://politi.co/1pwyMtR)

Mark Warner (D-VA)

“A big issue like immigration, the best way to get a comprehensive solution is to take this through the legislative process.” (“Warner: ‘Right decision’ to delay on immigration,” The Hill, 09/08/14, http://bit.ly/1tvyVRt)

Claire McCaskill (D-MO)

“Our immigration system is broken, and I support a comprehensive plan to fix it, but executive orders aren’t the way to do it.” (“Local Lawmakers Oppose Obama’s Immigration Action,” KOLR10 News, 11/20/14, http://bit.ly/1FHJdUy)

Jon Tester (D-MT)

“Asked whether he would prefer the President not do it by executive authority, [Tester] replied, ‘I would prefer that Congress act, yes.’” (“Sen. Joe Manchin Urges Obama to Hold Off on Immigration Orders,” CNN, 11/19/14, http://cnn.it/1yVqi8f)