Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas) proposed a plan to stop President Obama’s administrative amnesty, the first step of which can only be taken by incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.).
“Step number one that I have called for is the incoming majority leader should announce that if the president implements this lawless amnesty, that the Senate will not confirm any executive or judicial nominees, other than vital national security positions, for the next two years, unless and until the president ends this lawless amnesty,” Cruz told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. “If the majority leader would announce that, it would impose real consequences on the president and the administration.”
Cruz didn’t say if he regards the attorney general as a “vital national security position,” leaving open the question of whether he wants the GOP to block confirmation of Loretta Lynch, Obama’s nominee to replace Attorney General Eric Holder.
“The second constitutional power we’ve got is the power of the purse,” Cruz continued. “And we should fund, one at a time, the critical priorities of the federal government, but also use the power of the purse to attach riders.”
By riders, Cruz is likely referring to an appropriations bill that would fund the Department of Homeland Security but stipulate that none of the funds appropriated may be used to implement Obama’s recent executive orders. And, following Cruz’s thinking, if Obama vetoes that bill next year, it wouldn’t result in a government-wide shutdown because Congress will have passed bills funding other parts of government.
Cruz’s plan is very similar to the one he hoped to execute during the fight to defund Obamacare, with one crucial difference: Republicans now control the Senate, so Harry Reid, in theory, can’t block the bills that would fund the rest of government.
“We’ve got to demonstrate that the campaign words Republicans used on the trail were more than just talk, that we’re willing to honor or commitment,” Cruz said.