September 19, 2014
In a procedural vote in the Senate on Thursday, a motion offered by Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to allow a vote on Pres. Obama's executive amnesty fell one vote short of passing, allowing the President to move forward with his reported plan to grant amnesty to work permits to an estimated 5-6 million illegal aliens after November's mid-term elections. Five Democrats -- four of which face difficult re-election bids -- joined the 45 Republican Senators in supporting the motion to move forward with a vote.
With the Senate and House poised to adjourn until after the mid-term elections, the motion was likely the last opportunity for Congress to stop Pres. Obama from moving forward.
"You (the American people) have been right from the beginning. You have justly demanded that our borders be controlled, our laws enforced and that, at long last, immigration policy serves the needs of our own people first," Sen. Sessions said just before the vote. "For this virtuous and legitimate demand, you have been demeaned, even scorned by the governing class."
In early-August, the House of Representatives passed a bill offered by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), H.R.5272, that would have prevented any congressionally-authorized spending to be used by Pres. Obama to grant work permits to illegal aliens. The bill would essentially block the President's plans to issue a large-scale amnesty and prevent renewals of work permits for illegal aliens who benefited through his earlier executive amnesties. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refused to bring the bill to the Senate floor for a vote in an effort to protect both Pres. Obama and Senate Democrats. A recent poll by "The Polling Company" found that nearly two-thirds of voters oppose Pres. Obama taking executive action on immigration. Senate Democrats would be forced to support an unpopular move by Pres. Obama or rebuke him.
With Sen. Reid's reluctance
to bring the
Sens. Sessions and Cruz
offered a motion to table the "amendment tree" while making it clear to other
Senators that the purpose of the motion was to allow a vote on the
This is the second time Sen.
Manchin has broken with the Democrats on the issue of Pres. Obama's executive
amnesties. In early-August, Sen. Sessions offered a similar procedural motion to
get a vote on the
Reports over the summer said the Obama Administration was considering an expansion of the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which granted amnesty and work permits to more than 500,000 illegal aliens who met certain qualifications. The President had first promised to take action before the end of the summer, but coming under pressure from several Democrats in tight re-election races, he announced earlier this month that we would delay the action until after the mid-term elections.