President Obama’s expected announcement on immigration that could shield up to five million people from deportation and provide work permits for many of them has inspired all sorts of indignation from conservatives and congressional Republicans. Washington Post syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer told Fox News’ Megan Kelly last week that Obama’s immigration order as described in media reports would be “an impeachable offense,” while House Speaker John Boehner has said that he would add the immigration issue to a lawsuit already pending regarding executive overreach.
Pinellas County U.S. Representative David Jolly doesn’t want to go that far – but he still would like to sting the president once he makes his immigration announcement.
Speaking on 970 WFLA’s AM Tampa Bay show Monday morning, Jolly said that “A number of us have written a letter to our leadership considering restricting any federal funds from being used to implement the executive order.” He said that with a year-end budget package being discussed right now that will be voted on before the middle of next month, “We can put a provision in there that says none of the funds provided to the Department of Justice, or any other departments, may be used to enforce the executive order.”
The recently re-elected congressman said he’s also been conferring with constitutional attorneys on the immigration issue about providing judicial standing to Congress. “Right now, Congress rarely has standing,” he told host Jack Harris. “It has to be an aggrieved individual.”
Jolly wrote to President Obama last week calling on him to eschew issuing an executive order and instead putting his plan in a “detailed legislative proposal to Congress.” But the president’s remarks overseas over the weekend indicated that he’s ignoring all such pleas by the GOP on the issue.
Jolly also weighed in on the XL Keystone Pipeline, which is poised to be voted on in the U.S. Senate Tuesday night. The long pending proposal would send oil from the Canadian tar sands across Nebraska and five other states to refineries in Texas. For years now President Obama has refused to make a decision on the issue, though for a time the case was in court. Officially it’s John Kerry’s State Department that has the authorization to approve or reject the proposal. Environmentalists have said it’s “game over” for saving the country from the ravages of climate change if Obama were to approve the pipeline. The State Department says it would create 42,000 temporary construction jobs and 50 permanent jobs.
No one has been more outspoken in calling for a vote on Keystone in the past few weeks than Louisiana Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, who may just have a few weeks left in her job unless she pulls off an upset and defeats GOP challenger Bill Cassidy in a run-off election in December.
“Hopefully we’ll get it on the president’s desk,” Jolly said Monday morning. “It’s time we enact this. The delays were important, because it did allow for re-routing some of the pipelines around environmentally sound areas. That’s been done now. All of the environmental concerns have been addressed. It’s important we get Keystone done.”