House Republicans pass measure to block Obama immigration plan

By Daniel Enoch

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WASHINGTON, Dec. 4, 2014 -- The Republican-controlled House on Thursday approved legislation aimed at undoing President Obama's executive action on immigration, despite little hope that it would pass in the lame-duck Senate, and in the face of a veto threat from the White House.

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The largely symbolic measure (H.R. 5759), introduced by Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., passed on a 218-199 largely party-line vote. It lets GOP lawmakers express their frustration at the presidential action, while allowing a short-term spending bill to keep the government open to move forward. The country is operating on a temporary funding measure that expires Dec. 11.

Obama's executive order, which protects millions of undocumented aliens from deportation, has drawn fire from Republicans, some of whom have threatened to include riders on government funding bills that would starve the immigration initiative.

“That's the beauty of this bill - there's no threat of a government shutdown,” said Yoho, who calls Obama's plan “blanket amnesty.”

In a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) released before the vote, the White House said Obama's senior advisers would recommend a veto if Congress approves the Yoho amendment. According to the SAP, the measure would “make the broken immigration system worse, not better.”

“By attempting to restrict the Administration's ability to conduct national security and criminal background checks on undocumented immigrants, H.R. 5759 would make the nation's communities less safe,” it said. “By attempting to make it more difficult for undocumented workers to register and pay taxes, the bill would hurt the nation's economy as well.”

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