Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) called for Republicans to pass a Department of Homeland Security funding bill and hope that the courts invalidate President Obama’s executive orders, a reversal from his position of two weeks ago.
“I agree with the Texas judge who said that the executive orders were illegal,” Graham said told George Stephanopoulos during an ABC interview. “I hope Republicans will come together and back the court case, file a friend-of-the-court brief with the court, and fund DHS. I am willing and ready to pass a DHS funding bill and let this play out in court. The worst possible outcome for this nation is to defund the Department of Homeland Security given the multiple threats we face to our homeland. And I will not be part of that.”
Two weeks ago, Graham backed passing a DHS appropriations bill that withheld funding for Obama’s most recent executive orders on immigration, although he would not target the 2012 orders, as the House-passed bill does.
“Seven Democrats have said in the past they thought the 2014 order was a bridge too far,” Graham told National Review Online on February 11. “If we could make the debate about that, I think we’re in a pretty good spot. The Democrats are really misplaying their hand here.”
Graham told ABC that he doesn’t want the GOP to get blamed for defunding DHS, even though it is the Senate Democrats who have filibustered a House-passed appropriations bill for the department.
“I hope my House colleagues will understand that our best bet is to challenge this in court, that if we don’t fund the Department of Homeland Security, we’ll get blamed as a party,” he said.