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Sessions: Senate Democrats would rather defend Obama than defend the country

YH Jeff Sessions
WASHINGTON — As Congress inches closer to a partial shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) is concerned Senate Democrats are more willing to protect the President’s controversial executive actions on immigration than the United States’ national security interests.

“Once again, Senate Democrats have filibustered legislation to fully fund the Department of Homeland Security,” Sen. Sessions said Tuesday. “They have done so for the sole purpose of protecting an unconstitutional action that many of these same lawmakers previously said they oppose. They continue to form a defensive wall around the President’s order instead of acting to defend the interests of their own constituents.”

A bill funding DHS passed the House but has for weeks been held up in the Senate, where Democrats are filibustering even the possibility of a vote unless Republicans concede to also fund what Sessions often refers to as Obama’s “executive amnesty.” DHS’s current funding runs out February 27th.

A shutdown would force “non-essential personnel” to stay home, while “essential personnel,” including border agents, TSA agents, and the Secret Service, would work without pay until the funding impasse is broken.

Sessions expressed concerns that a DHS shutdown would exacerbate the national security threat already posed by the president’s immigration policies.

“As our immigration officers have warned, President Obama’s executive amnesty gravely threatens national security—suspending the very immigration laws designed to shield the nation from harm,” he said. “President Obama shut down immigration enforcement at the Department of Homeland Security the day he ordered our nation’s loyal immigration officers to defy the very laws they swore to uphold. Only a Democrat filibuster now prevents these immigration officers from carrying out their sacred oaths.”

But while the immigration stalemate has received the bulk of the press attention, Sessions said the debate is bigger than that, going as far as to call the president’s unilateral executive actions “an affront to constitutional order.”

“(The House) has funded the Department of Homeland Security but refused to fund an illegal act,” Sessions quipped. “No Congress should ever fund a Presidential edict which is unlawful, unconstitutional and which demolishes its own powers.”

Senate GOP leadership is now reportedly working on a compromise that would allow the Senate to vote on a bill funding DHS, including the president’s executive actions on immigration, then take up separate measures to stop executive amnesty at some point thereafter.

Senate Democrats, meanwhile, have held fast in supporting the President’s immigration policies, though several have periodically expressed concerns about what they consider to be executive overreach.

Sen. Sessions is confident he is on the right side of the issue, and that Americans agree with him.

“Sooner or later, Americans will be heard,” he said. “The just demands of a great majority cannot forever be denied by a small few. Those filibustering the funding of immigration enforcement would do well to remember that.”

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