9:34 PM, Nov 20, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Senator Jeff Sessions says he’s not convinced his fellow Republicans have a plan to successfully combat President Obama’s newly announced executive orders on immigration.
“I haven’t seen the details of a plan to confront this unprecedented power grab,” Sessions said in a phone interview Thursday evening. He added that while plenty of his Republican colleagues have released “tough” statements following Obama’s announcement, he hasn’t seen the party coalesce around a plan.
As for his own views, the Alabama senator tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD that there is plenty of precedent, as well as constitutional authority, for Congress to block the funding of executive orders. He acknowledged that a legal challenge would be “reasonable” though difficult given the courts’ recent history of staying out of disputes between the executive and legislative branches. The strategy he preferred would be to fight the president’s action by stopping its funds.
“The simplest and the greatest power of Congress is the power of the purse,” Sessions said. He cited the Boland amendments of the 1980’s, which passed Congress and restricted President Ronald Reagan’s administration to provide monetary aid to the Contras of Nicaragua, and the more recent efforts by Congress to block funds for closing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay.
But the debate among congressional Republicans over how to address the executive order still continues. Sessions and his allies have argued Congress should pass a short-term funding bill before the current government funding runs out on December 11, which would allow a united Republican House and Senate to block the funding for the order’s provisions in 2015. But House appropriations chairman Hal Rogers has pushed back forcefully on this idea, and his committee released a statement Thursday morning that the president’s actions could not be blocked this way.
“Congress does not appropriate funds for any of its operations, including the issuance of immigration status or work permits, with the exception of the ‘E-Verify’ program,” read the statement. “Therefore, the appropriations process cannot be used to “defund” the agency. The agency has the ability to continue to collect and use fees to continue current operations, and to expand operations as under a new executive order, without needing legislative approval by the Appropriations Committee or the Congress, even under a continuing resolution or a government shutdown.”
Sessions himself pushed back on this in another statement, saying the notion is “just plain wrong.”
The American people’s Congress has the power and every right to deny funding for unworthy activities. It is a routine and constitutional application of congressional power,” Sessions said. “There is no question that Congress has the power to block this expenditure and no doubt that it can be done. If such language is not included, the measure will be subject to the same 60-vote threshold in the Senate and simple majority in the House. This will require no more votes than passing a funding bill without the needed language.”
8:27 PM, Nov 20, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Senator Jeff Sessions responds to President Obama's executive amnesty speech:
"President Obama’s executive amnesty violates the laws Congress has passed in order to create and implement laws Congress has refused to pass. The President is providing an estimated 5 million illegal immigrants with social security numbers, photo IDs and work permits—allowing them to now take jobs directly from struggling Americans during a time of record immigration, low wages, and high joblessness.
5:00 PM, Nov 19, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Senator Jeff Sessions calls Barack Obama an "Emperor of the United States" now that the president is going ahead with executive amnesty.
"President Obama previously said he could not issue an executive amnesty because ‘I’m the President of the United States, I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.’ Well, apparently we now have an ‘Emperor of the United States,’" Sessions writes in a statement.
11:51 AM, Nov 14, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Senator Jeff Sessions wants Congress to stop the "president's unlawful executive amnesty." And he believes that's precisely why "Voters sent Congress a Republican majority."
8:04 AM, Nov 5, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Senator Jeff Sessions, who run reelection last night in an uncontested race, says last night's Republican victory is a "mandate" to block President Obama's planned executive amnesty.
"[T]he American people dramatically repudiated the policies of President Obama, Senator Reid, and Leader Pelosi. It was also a dramatic affirmation of the policies our GOP candidates campaigned on: controlling spending, balancing the budget, repealing Obamacare, unleashing American energy, and boosting wages through pro-worker reforms," said Sessions in a prepared statement.
5:54 PM, Sep 6, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Senator Jeff Sessions issues this statement in response to President Obama's decision to wait until after the mid-term election to take action on immigration by executive order.
4:01 PM, Aug 13, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Senator Jeff Sessions says Americans should be asking where their elected representatives in Washington stand on "executive amnesty," which the Alabama Republican says "could be increasingly imminent and broad in scope." Here's an excerpt from his statement:
7:39 AM, Aug 6, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Former House speaker Newt Gingrich told radio host Laura Ingraham Tuesday that if President Barack Obama proceeds to amnesty thousands of illegal immigrants through executive order, Republicans should make the case against such a move the party's "number one" campaign issue for the 2014 midterm elections.
4:02 PM, Jul 25, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The Obama administration is preparing to effectively "nullify" the immigration laws of the United States through an executive action, says one Republican senator. As Time reported Thursday, President Obama appears prepared to provide millions of illegal immigrants living in the U.S. work authorization via executive orders:
7:51 PM, Jun 24, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Senator Jeff Sessions argues that "lax enforcement" of border security is driving the illegal immigration "surge." Sessions, a Republican senator from Alabama, made the comments today on the Senate floor.
"Colleagues," Sessions began, "today there is an unprecedented crisis unfolding on our border. This crisis threatens the very integrity of our national borders, our laws, and our system of justice. It is a crisis of the Administration’s own making, and a crisis that the Administration continues to encourage."
1:09 PM, Jun 6, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Senator Jeff Sessions has released a statement that says, "7 Million People Have Left The Workforce Since The President Took Office." The statement is in response to today's jobs numbers.
"Today’s jobs numbers are only enough to tread even with population growth, maintaining unemployment at 6.3 percent. When you include discouraged workers, the unemployment rate doubles to an alarming 12.2 percent. There are still 3.2 million fewer full-time employed persons than there were in 2007," says Sessions.
12:34 PM, Mar 4, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Jeff Sessions, the ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee, says that President Obama's budget includes a $1.76 trillion tax hike.
11:30 AM, Mar 4, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama unveils his budget today. And the numbers aren't likely to satisfy fiscal conservatives and budget hawks, who might have been hoping for a budget that decreases spending and lowers the debt.
According to analysis by the Senate Budget Committee Republican staff, working for Ranking Member Jeff Sessions of Alabama, over the next decade President Obama's proposed budget increases spending by 63 percent and increases debt by $8.3 trillion.
Here are a couple charts from the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee showing the numbers:
11:31 AM, Feb 21, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Four United States Senators have a written a letter to FBI director James Comey about the indictment of author and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza. Senators Charles Grassley, ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, Jeff Sessions, Ted Cruz, and Mike Lee are the four senators, all Republicans, to have signed the letter.
The letter quotes Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz as saying, "I can't help but think that [D'Souza's] politics have something to do with it. ... It smacks of selective prosecution."
7:34 AM, Feb 14, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue says in an op-ed that the U.S. needs more low-skill immigration because Americans are not "qualified" or "willing" to do such work.