The Corner

House GOP Won’t Target DACA in Main Response to Obama’s Executive Orders

House Republicans have settled on a plan to withhold funding for President Obama’s most recent executive orders on immigration and related policies, but not the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that the president announced in the run-up to his reelection campaign.

The House will vote on a separate, stand-alone amendment that would withhold funding for the DACA program, according to an announcement from Representative Lou Barletta (R., Pa.), one of the lead authors on the original amendment. Both of these bills will be offered as amendments to the bill that finances the Department of Homeland Security beyond February 27.

The small groups of lawmakers negotiating the legislation seemed likely to include the DACA language in the larger package, but some Republicans pushed back on the idea during the House GOP conference meeting Friday morning. Republican representative Mike Coffman, who represents a tossup district with a significant Hispanic population, was among those arguing against the inclusion of the DACA language. (Coffman is one of the eleven Republicans who voted against attacking the DACA program when the issue came up during the summer border crisis.)

Some conservative lawmakers shared Coffman’s view, but for tactical reasons. Representative Mick Mulvaney (R., S.C.) “argued to leave DACA alone because that is what Obama will use to demagogue [Republicans] knowing that his adult amnesty is less popular,” one Republican congressman who was in the meeting tells National Review Online.

And so, DACA is out, but it gets a separate vote. Instead, the main legislation will include a ban on funding policies that are “substantially similar” to the November executive orders. “It also “prevent[s] any funds from any source from being used to carry out the so-called ‘Morton Memos,’ which directed immigration officers to ignore broad categories of illegal immigrants,” Barletta’s announcement says. Additionally, the bill declares that the president’s policies “have no basis in federal law or the Constitution and therefore have no legal effect.”

The lead authors on this final package are Barletta, Representative Robert Aderholt (R., Ala.), and Representative Mick Mulvaney. The bill is a compromise between Mulvaney (who preferred to focus on the November executive orders) and a more aggressive package that Aderholt and Barletta worked on with the help of Representative Lamar Smith (R., Texas).

“When we passed the cromnibus at the end of last year, I wanted to make sure that we fulfilled the promise that we would be back to block amnesty at the earliest possible moment,” Barletta says.  “If you look back at where we were in December, this bill will accomplish even more than we discussed back then.” 

You can read more about the negotiations here.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Elizabeth Warren Is Not Honest

If you want to run for office, political consultants will hammer away at one point: Tell stories. People respond to stories. We’ve been a story-telling species since our fur-clad ancestors gathered around campfires. Don’t cite statistics. No one can remember statistics. Make it human. Make it relatable. ... Read More
National Review


Today is my last day at National Review. It's an incredibly bittersweet moment. While I've only worked full-time since May, 2015, I've contributed posts and pieces for over fifteen years. NR was the first national platform to publish my work, and now -- thousands of posts and more than a million words later -- I ... Read More
Economy & Business

Andrew Yang, Snake Oil Salesman

Andrew Yang, the tech entrepreneur and gadfly, has definitely cleared the bar for a successful cause candidate. Not only has he exceeded expectations for his polling and fundraising, not only has he developed a cult following, not only has he got people talking about his signature idea, the universal basic ... Read More
White House

More Evidence the Guardrails Are Gone

At the end of last month, just as the news of the Ukraine scandal started dominating the news cycle, I argued that we're seeing evidence that the guardrails that staff had placed around Donald Trump's worst instincts were in the process of breaking down. When Trump's staff was at its best, it was possible to draw ... Read More

Feminists Have Turned on Pornography

Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the feminist movement has sought to condemn traditional sexual ethics as repressive, misogynistic, and intolerant. As the 2010s come to a close, it might be fair to say that mainstream culture has reached the logical endpoint of this philosophy. Whereas older Americans ... Read More
White House

The Impeachment Defense That Doesn’t Work

If we’ve learned anything from the last couple of weeks, it’s that the “perfect phone call” defense of Trump and Ukraine doesn’t work. As Andy and I discussed on his podcast this week, the “perfect” defense allows the Democrats to score easy points by establishing that people in the administration ... Read More