The Corner

How the GOP Can Shut Down Obama’s Amnesty Order, But Not the Government

Congressional Republicans reportedly are unsure how to use the power of the purse to rein in Emperor Obama’s lawless executive order granting amnesty to some 5 million illegal aliens. Some want a direct confrontation that could force Obama to reject appropriations legislation before Washington runs out of cash on December 11. Obama’s veto would shut down the federal government — for which the old-guard media will blame the GOP. Some Republicans believe that saving the separation of powers merits this fight, right now.

Other, more nervous, Republicans reportedly would extend federal spending as is until October 1, 2015. Alas, this would give Obama a blank check for even further mischief.

What, then, is to be done?

Once again, a very wise man named Jonathan Rothenberg knows precisely what to do. I met Jonathan in autumn 2012 as he walked by my apartment building in Manhattan’s East Village clad in a Romney-Ryan T-shirt. This sight stunned me. We shook hands and soon became friends. The Wall Street Journal occasionally runs Jonathan’s sharp and insightful letters to the editor. He should write more often and should be heeded for more than just his commercial advice.

“The solution seems painfully simple,” Jonathan tells me. “Pass a continuing resolution funding all of the government except for the EPA, and a second CR funding EPA with a prohibition on amnesty. Few Americans will care if EPA is shut for a few weeks, and Democrats can decide which constituency is more pander-worthy.”

How fun to make Democrats choose between the environmentalists who finance their campaigns — such as the Sierra Club and former coal monger Tom Steyer — and illegal aliens, whom they hope eventually to recruit as future Democrats.

“If the lame duck Democratic Senate refuses to pass or the president refuses to sign the bills, it will be clear for all to see who is responsible,” Rothenberg adds. “Democrats will rely on their dutiful media allies to push a Republican shutdown story. But, with all due respect to Jonathan Gruber, the American people are not that stupid.”

Rothenberg’s proposal is simple, elegant, and should put Emperor Obama and his Democrats on defense. This idea also will show that Republicans can govern their way out of this tight spot.

How far into the future should such a spending plan run?

So long as Emperor Obama occupies the Oval Office, Republicans should avoid all long-term appropriations. GOP lawmakers must keep Obama on a very short, very tight chain — as if he were a hungry panther being walked through a nursery school.

Obama is a menace to society and a 24/7/365 danger to the principles of the American Founding. As such, Republicans must use their spending authority to prevent him from further assaulting the Constitution. It’s bad enough that Obama is America’s chief executive. Republicans must stop him from acting as this nation’s one-man parliament.

Thus, Republicans should enact appropriations only through the end of each quarter. For starters, any spending beyond this December 11 should expire no later than March 30, 2015.

This may cause more brinkmanship with Obama. But it also would mean that new spending bills could be written every 90 days to defund whatever new decrees that America’s autocrat might promulgate.

Obama is disturbingly comfortable ruling as a dictator. Now and — even more so — in the 114th Congress, Republicans must assure that Obama lacks the tax dollars to fund his authoritarian dreams.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.

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