By Elizabeth Beshears
Republican members of Alabama's congressional delegation on Tuesday spoke out against the US House's vote to approve funding for the Department of Homeland Security through the remainder of the fiscal year--including funding for President Obama's executive immigration program.
The final tally was 257-167, including GOP House leadership and 75 other Republican House members joining every Democrat--including Alabama's Terri Sewell--to approve the measure.
"This is about more than just immigration," said Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL1). "This is about the rule of law and standing up for our Constitution. We must use all the tools at our disposal to fight back against President Obama's illegal executive amnesty."
"We cannot sit idly by while the President uproots our system of checks and balances. I hope and truly believe the Judicial Branch will stand with the House of Representatives and find President Obama's executive action to be unconstitutional. In the meantime, I will continue to stand up for our Constitution every day in Congress."
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) echoed Rep. Byrne's sentiments in a statement saying, "The will of the American people cannot be forever denied. Republicans will have to come to realize that it falls on their shoulders to give voice to the just demands of the American people for a lawful system of immigration that serves their interests, defends their jobs, protects their security."
Representative Martha Roby (R-AL2) also expressed her displeasure with the bill passed by the House Tuesday.
"I'm beyond disappointed," Rep. Roby said. "Of course what the Senate Democrats did to block this bill was ridiculous and shameful. When the House and Senate produce variations of the same bill, a conference committee is formed by delegates from both chambers who meet and work out the differences. Unfortunately, Senate Democrats refused, putting the president's ill-advised amnesty plans above the well-being of the American people and before the rule of law."
Representative Mo Brooks (R-AL5) said in his statement that he is pleased DHS is funded for the remainder of the year, but is concerned about the precedent Congress's action sets.
"It is rare when all three branches of the federal government agree," Rep. Brooks said. "A majority in the Senate and House have declared that Barack Obama's executive amnesty for illegal aliens is unlawful and unconstitutional. President Obama himself has publicly admitted at least 22 times that his executive amnesty is illegal and unconstitutional. Federal judges in both Texas and Pennsylvania have found that Barack Obama's executive amnesty conduct is illegal and unconstitutional."
Newly-elected Congressman Gary Palmer (R-AL6) also released a statement on Tuesday's vote.
"I have no higher priority as a member of Congress than restoring Constitutional governance," Rep. Palmer said. "When it comes to funding DHS, the focus has been on immigration, but that is really not the issue. The real issue is the separation of powers set up by our Constitution. I believe the President, the Congress and the Courts should have the power given to them by the Constitution but not one power more."
"Congress can and should pass legislation to secure our borders and fix our immigration system, but nothing in the law justifies unilateral action by the executive. The Constitution forbids the executive from unilaterally making law, and that is precisely what the President is attempting to do. I have consistently opposed measures that would legitimize President Obama's unlawful executive action and I am deeply disappointed that this bill has passed. "