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Palmer Statement on Passage of DHS Funding Bill that Blocks the Obama Administration's Unconstitutional Executive Order


Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Representative Gary Palmer made the following remarks today concerning his vote in favor of the Department of Homeland Security funding bill that blocks President Obama's unconstitutional executive order concerning immigration.

"On Wednesday I voted for five amendments to H.R. 240, the bill authorizing funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The amendments have been wrongly characterized as anti-immigrant.

The five amendments were not about immigration. By using an executive order to give amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants President Obama created a constitutional crisis that every member of Congress is honor-bound to oppose. Speaker of the House John Boehner and the other Republican leadership team members made it abundantly clear that the five amendments that were added to the DHS appropriations bill were added with the sole intention of reversing President Obama's unconstitutional usurpation of the legislative powers of Congress.

The oath each member takes is to uphold and defend the Constitution. There are no exemptions to that oath. We cannot decide that we will uphold it in all cases except when it doesn't serve our political agenda. We cannot cite past incidences when other presidents or other Congresses violated the Constitution and claim those violations created a legal precedent that justifies more violations. And we can't claim that a compelling humanitarian interest gives the Executive Branch or Congress justification to act unconstitutionally.

Millions of people desire to come to the United States because our country is the freest, most prosperous nation in the world. We achieved that stature because our founding fathers gave us a republic based on a written constitution that divided our government into three branches with checks and balances for one reason -- to limit the power of government and protect the liberty of the people. By allowing the Executive Branch to assume to itself the powers of the Congress or the powers of the Court puts in jeopardy the very document that has made the United States so desirable to the millions who seek to come here.

The genius of the Constitution is not just that it is a written document outlining our sacred rights, but that it provides for the separation of powers to ensure those rights are not abused. When one branch of government checks the power of another, those rights are more likely to be respected. History teaches us that when the separation of powers is violated, it has unintended consequences that end in ugly results, no matter what the intent.

There is no justification for any elected official to willfully violate the oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. There are no loop holes. Every member of Congress swore to uphold and defend the Constitution. Every member of Congress who voted for the five amendments to H.R. 240 honored that commitment. I am proud to have been one of them."

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