- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 17, 2015

House Speaker John A. Boehner said Tuesday that a judge’s ruling halting President Obama’s deportation amnesty bolsters the GOP’s push on homeland security funding, which has prompted a Democratic filibuster in the Senate and threatens a possible shutdown of the Homeland Security Department later this month.

Congressional Republicans have been trying to halt Mr. Obama’s new deportation policies through the annual appropriations process, but Democrats have balked, arguing what Mr. Obama did was legal.

Late Monday, federal Judge Andrew S. Hanen, ruling in Texas, issued an injunction blocking Mr. Obama’s policies, finding they went beyond his powers.

“The president said 22 times he did not have the authority to take the very action on immigration he eventually did, so it is no surprise that at least one court has agreed,” Mr. Boehner said. “Hopefully, Senate Democrats who claim to oppose this executive overreach will now let the Senate begin debate on a bill to fund the Homeland Security Department.”

The entire Democratic caucus, joined by Sen. Dean Heller, Nevada Republican, has voted to filibuster the bill, preventing it from even reaching the Senate floor for a debate or amendments.

Democratic senators gave no indication early Tuesday that their plans have changed. Congress is on a week-long vacation this week, so any decisions will have to be made early next week, with just a few days to go before homeland security funding expires on Feb. 27.

The spending bill, which cleared the House last month on a near-party line vote, halts Mr. Obama’s November policy granting a stay of deportation, Social Security numbers and work permits to as many as 4 million illegal immigrants.

But the House bill also goes back and blocks Mr. Obama’s 2012 policy for so-called Dreamers, which wasn’t part of Judge Hanen’s ruling, and which has given Democrats an opening to accuse the GOP of wanting to deport the most sympathetic figures in the debate: illegal immigrant children and young adults brought to the U.S. by their parents.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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