Amanda Sakuma, MSNBC, March 17, 2016
In a highly unusual step to weigh-in on a case pending before the Supreme Court, House Republicans on Thursday voted to state for the official record that Congress stands in firm opposition to President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
The final tally divided almost entirely along party lines, authorizing House Republicans to file an amicus brief to excoriate the initiatives as a dramatic overreach of the president’s executive authority. It now stands as the Republican-led House’s official stance in the contentious legal battle that brings the actions before the Supreme Court next month.
“I believe this is vital. This is not a question of whether or not we are for or against a certain policy . . . . This comes down to a much more fundamental question,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said on the House floor ahead of the vote. “This is about the integrity of our Constitution.”
By bringing up the resolution for a vote, Paul is “doubling down on Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Ben Ray Lujan said in a press conference on Wednesday.
“This vote does not address supposed executive overreach, as they will argue,” he added. “It is an anti-immigrant vote, plain and simple. You better believe that this is a true manifestation of the Party of Trump in the House.”
Obama’s immigration actions–two widely popular programs within the immigrant community that aim to protect as many as 5 million people from deportation–have been on hold for more than a year, trapped in a lengthy legal battle that will remain unresolved until the Supreme Court decision in June.
Congressional Democrats have tried to sway the court opinion in favor of the initiatives, known as DACA and DAPA. Last week, 225 House and Senate Democrats filed their own amicus brief in support of the administration.