The Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed and President Barack Obama signed the “Cromnibus” bill, approving a legislative budget to fund most government activities through September 2015 over criticism from some House Republicans that the bill did not block President Obama’s Executive Action on immigration (announced on November 20, 2014, parts of which will be effective as soon as it may be implemented by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
House Republicans vowed to introduce separate legislation to block the president’s Executive Action in early 2015. Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions recently confirmed that such an effort would be an immediate priority when the next Congress convenes in January. At that point, Republicans will be more likely to get such legislation to President Obama’s desk and forcing him to exercise his veto power, as they also will control the Senate in the next Congress.
The House appears to be intent on maximizing attention on the issue. While President Obama will not agree to block or limit his administration’s authority to implement the components of his just-announced Executive Action, the drama of a veto, a rarity during the first six years of this presidency, promises to keep immigration front and center in advance of the 2016 presidential election. Political candidates’ debate on immigration, together with a recently filed lawsuit challenging the constitutional authority of the President’s Execution Action not two weeks after it was announced, will ensure the controversy over fixes to the nation’s immigration system will continue to take center stage.