WASHINGTON – A group of conservative lawmakers joined a small crowd outside the Capitol on Wednesday to show their opposition to President Barack Obama’s immigration executive orders. The crowd of about 100 carried signs and cheered when lawmakers denounced the president for acting like a “monarch.”
The group of sign-waving protesters cheered for a government shutdown and shouted insults about Obama. Two of the biggest opponents of immigration policy changes – Reps. Steve King, R-Iowa, and Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. – rallied their supporters in the cold. King and Bachmann are calling for the lame-duck House to pass a spending bill that defunds the immigration orders, a move that could lead to a government shutdown.
“Will we be a people who decide we are going to go with the freight train of what Washington, D.C., wants?” asked Bachmann, who is about to leave Congress. “The people’s voice must prevail here. … What they said is very clear. Secure our borders. Keep our people safe. Uphold the laws of the land. I am here today as a part of the coalition to do the bidding of the American people. Not the bidding of a lawless president.”
The rally began with a prayer. “We are rampantly becoming a lawless nation,” the preacher said as the participants bowed their heads.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, decried Obama’s executive orders, calling him a “monarch” to cheers from the crowd. Cruz said he would work to block all of Obama’s nominations, except for those affecting national security, until the president reverses himself on immigration.
“The Framers were quite aware of the dangers that a president might assume upon himself the powers of a monarch to disregard the laws of the land,” Cruz said. “So they put into place powerful authority for Congress to rein in an out-of-control executive.”
Cruz joined the call to defund any part of the federal government that would carry out Obama’s executive orders.
"We will not allocate taxpayer dollars to lawless and illegal amnesty,” Cruz told reporters.
King read the oath of office that members of Congress take, emphasizing that Obama also takes a similar oath to the Constitution that he is required to uphold. He argued that anyone who takes the oath of office in Congress shouldn’t be voting for the proposed spending bill that would keep in place the fees used to process visas.
“That crosses the line that can’t be tolerated,” King said. “Anyone who would vote to fund it can't take seriously that oath of office.”