WASHINGTON – The White House has issued a veto threat for a symbolic resolution House Republicans planned to pass Thursday that opposes President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration. The resolution is expected to pass on straight party lines.
“The bill’s objective is clearly to nullify and block implementation of these executive actions, which would have devastating consequences,” the veto threat read. But it’s unlikely the president will ever need to veto the bill. The Senate is still controlled by Democrats, and they won’t allow a vote. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has called the likely move by the Senate “an act of monumental arrogance.”
The decision to vote on the resolution condemning Obama's executive orders is seen as a move by the House Republican leadership to calm unhappy conservatives. The resolution is sponsored by Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla. Many of the GOP’s right wing want to see a bigger fight between Congress and the White House over the executive orders that would extend new rights to roughly 5 million illegal immigrants.
“The simplest way this would work is, it will bring a stop to the action that the president wants,” Yoho told the New York Times. “He talks about how he has a pen and a phone. This will take the ink out of the pen.”
But since Democrats control the Senate for the rest of the month, Republicans still have little leverage in Congress. If they were to attach the anti-executive order language to a spending bill that must pass by next Thursday, it could lead to a government shutdown.
Obama issued his executive orders after the Senate passed a bipartisan immigration bill that went unconsidered in the House for more than 500 days. House Republicans have expressed interest in passing a bipartisan deal, but pressure from their most conservative members prevented them from moving foward. Whether the GOP could rally behind a comprehensive immigration overhaul during the next session of Congress is yet to be seen.
Obama’s decision to act alone outraged Republicans in Congress and elsewhere, who equated the president’s move with a dictatorship and accused him of violating the Constitution.