- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Retiring Rep. Jack Kingston, Georgia Republican, said Sen. Ted Cruz’s push over the weekend for an on-the-record vote by his peers on President Obama’s executive actions on immigration puts pressure on Republicans to follow through next year.

Mr. Kingston, who lost to GOP Sen.-elect David Perdue in a primary in the race to fill the seat of retiring Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss, acknowledged the school of thought that says the move by Mr. Cruz, Texas Republican, to get a vote in the Senate on the constitutionality of Mr. Obama’s plan was at least partially intended to boost Mr. Cruz’s profile ahead of 2016.

Democrats are claiming that the gambit also allowed them to move more quickly on some of President Obama’s nominees, perhaps most notably Surgeon General nominee Vivek Murthy, who was confirmed Monday and whose nomination had stalled over past statements about gun control, while Mr. Cruz’s office has said the nomination votes were going to happen anyway.

“However, what I do think it does is sets a high bar for the coming year,” Mr. Kingston said Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “In the coming year, we really will have to perform — everybody who ran for Congress or Senate made the promise — ‘no amnesty, repeal Obamacare, cut spending.’ “

“And I can say this that there will be absolutely no excuses in January for the Republican party,” he said.

The trillion-dollar spending bill that passed Congress funds most of the federal government through the end of the fiscal year but homeland security only through early next year, when GOP leaders say the party will be in a better position to fight Mr. Obama on immigration with control of both the House and Senate.

But some hardline conservatives said they couldn’t support a measure that did not immediately withhold funding for the president’s move to grant temporary legal status to millions of illegal immigrants in the country.

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