Federal Relations

December 5, 2014

House Narrowly Passes Immigration Response

In a fairly narrow and mostly party line vote, the House passed a measure disapproving of Obama’s immigration action yesterday. It likely stops there: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the Senate won’t take it up. 

Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL) has lead the effort in the House meant to channel conservative anger and stop the Administration’s recently announced Executive Order on immigration. 

On November 20th, President Obama announced the US would extend legal status to an estimated 4 million people who have lived in the United States for at least five years and are parents of U.S. citizens or of lawful permanent residents. The move is designed to end deportations that separate families that have been together in the United States. This action will reinforce a 2011 prosecutorial discretion order telling customs and Justice Department officials to focus deportations on immigrants who threaten public safety or national security. The Executive Order will not go into effect until next year.

Late Thursday, House lawmakers passed the bill, HR 5759, the Preventing Executive Overreach on Immigration Bill, sponsored by Rep. Yoho, which would prohibit the administration from exempting or deferring from removal certain categories of undocumented immigrants. It also would prohibit the executive branch from treating such undocumented immigrants as if they were lawfully present, had lawful immigration status or providing them authorization to work legally.

In a 219-197 vote, Seven Republicans voted against it, three Democrats voted for it, and three Republicans voted present.

The bill and the vote is largely symbolic since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has already announced that the Senate will not take up the measure.

Republican lawmakers are seeking other routes for nullifying the President’s executive order, including via a year-end fiscal year 2015 appropriations omnibus that would fully fund most of the government but provide only temporary spending for immigration-related activities as a way to revisit the immigration issue in the next Congress.