Would the Republican-controlled Congress shut down the Department of Homeland Security to halt Obama's program delaying deportation of undocumented immigrants whose children are U.S. citizens?
Colorado's own Rep. Ken Buck would do it.
Last week, the Republican-controlled House zeroed out funding, from the Department of Homeland Security's annual appropriations bill, for two programs initiated by Obama to help undocumented immigrants.
In one case, Obama used his executive authority to temporarily halt deportations of young undocumented immigrants who came here illegally as children. He's also launched a program delaying the deportation of immigrants whose children are American citizens.
Denver talk-radio host Randy Corporon gets a moment of respect for asking Buck directly, during an interview Jan. 14 on his "Wake-Up" show on KLZ 560-AM, whether he'd shut down the Homeland Security Agency, if an impasse with Obama arose, to end the immigrant programs. (Beginning at 1:50:30 here)
Corporon: Republicans in the past anyway have shown a willingness to cave in the face of public pressure and media assaults. When the president says, 'Hey, look, Congress is messing with the security of the United States,' are you guys in Congress ready to make the case that we've put the bills on his desk... and are you going to have a message that keeps you guys standing together and actually lets this thing play out?
Buck: I can tell you this: Ken Buck will. I will make the case, and I will make sure that we are not funding those portions of his executive action that are so repugnant.
So repugnant? Keeping parents together with their American kids?
Buck told "Righty" Corporon the Republican-controlled House is ready to shut down the government to stop this repugnancy (not a word, but I used it anyway to highlight Buck's own grossness).
If [Obama] vetoes the appropriations bill, he is shutting down that segment of government. And that will be on the president," Buck told Corporon.
He did his best to put that on Republicans last time when we wanted to de-fund parts of Obamacare. With a Republican Senate, this will clearly be on the president's watch, that he will be shutting down the Department of Homeland Security.
I can tell you, I don't know what the Republicans in the United States Senate will do. And I'm not sure they can get the six votes that they need from the Democrats in the United States Senate to actually move a tough DHS appropriations bill forward. I do think there are the votes in the House to continue down this path.
Buck is in a decent position to know. He's not only the president of the freshman Republican class in the U.S. House, he's also on the House immigration subcommittee. (He got the assignment just after saying, "I don't owe people who are here illegally anything.")
Corporon set up the conversation by asking Buck how congressional Republicans could design a bill that would ensure no funds would go toward deferring deportation of select immigrants, while allowing the Department of Homeland Security to carry on its other work, like securing the border that causes Republicans such consternation.
Corporon: If this bill got through both houses of Congress, got on the president's desk, how would that work to just de-fund only specific areas and activities and programs within the Department of Homeland Security? Don't you just write them a check?
Buck: No, we don't write them a check. They receive line-item authority, and the authority may be for a broad area, like processing the applications for work permits. But then Congress can put in that language that work permits cannot be granted to people who've lived in this country, or whatever language we want. And so really, the key is, this is an appropriations bill. And we're arguing about language that will go in the appropriations bill. When the Senate passes their version, and it will come back, we'll work on it in conference, and we'll send the appropriations bill to the president.