Sen. Ted Cruz said Wednesday that Republicans should refuse to confirm any of President Obama’s nominees next year — with the exception of critical national security appointments — for as long as his temporary amnesty policy remains in place.
In a commentary piece for Politico, a Capitol Hill publication, the Texas Republican said the GOP should not shy away from using that “potent tool.”
With Republicans poised to hold at least 53 seats in the Senate next year — and possibly 54, depending on the outcome of a December run-off — the GOP will have control of the chamber floor, which means they can bottle up any nominees they wish.
“It is a constitutional power of the majority leader alone, and it would serve as a significant deterrent to a lawless president,” Mr. Cruz wrote.
Republicans are searching for leverage to oppose Mr. Obama, who will claim authority later this week to grant temporary legal status and work permits to millions of illegal immigrants.
Some Republicans want to see Congress use the power of the purse to defund the president’s ability to take action on immigration, but there are limits to that, including the risk of a government shutdown. And top Republican leaders have said they want to “clear the decks” of the current spending bills, which would mean the purse power couldn’t be used effectively until next summer at the earliest.
Mr. Cruz said Congress should instead pass bills funding all of government except for homeland security. Then the homeland security funding bill could be tied to a halt in Mr. Obama’s executive authority, and if he vetoes that legislation Mr. Cruz said the president “alone will be responsible for the consequences.
“A presidential temper tantrum is not an acceptable means of discourse,” Mr. Cruz said.