GOP effort to block Obama executive action on illegal immigrants

Party pushing spending bill tactic


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," November 17, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, get ready for the big freeze, not the cold gripping the country, and how, the even bigger freeze gripping the Capitol, and the one the Republicans are promising for the president if he goes along and freezes millions of deportations.

Now, the president, we're told, is still set to do that. Better bundle up, because that all but guarantees a blizzard is coming, and fast.

Welcome, everybody. I'm Neil Cavuto.

And Republicans just told the presidency, make nice, not ice, but better put that on ice because the president clearly in no mood for a thaw. He is set to, as soon as this week, we're told, to delay or rescind deportations for up to five million illegals.

Republican Florida Congressman Ron DeSantis says, he does that, the president just froze himself out.

Explain, Congressman.

REP. RON DESANTIS, R-FLA.: Well, hey, Neil.

Look, the president himself several years ago acknowledged he doesn't have the authority to legalize people who are here illegally, and it's more than just not deporting people. He is not deporting people anyways. He is going to issue legal documents, Social Security numbers, work permits, when that is purely a legislative function.

And so if the president is going to try to usurp our authority in Congress, I think that we need to bite back and not give him the funds to do that when we pass the bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security, which we have yet to do, but I think we should do here shortly.

CAVUTO: We have been down this bridge before. Right? And the fear is that if you do that, the president is going to say, you can't piecemeal legislate like this. You can't line-item spend like this.

So, he's going to throw it back in your court and say, approve or disapprove, and put a government shutdown potentially on you. Are you ready for that?

DESANTIS: I don't know if he can get away with that, though, Neil.

I mean, regular order means you fund the departments of government with individual appropriations bills. Now that we have in new Senate coming in, in January, we're going to be able to put defense appropriations on his desk, Veterans Affairs. Is he really going to veto those bills that have broad bipartisan support?

CAVUTO: Yes, I think he would.

DESANTIS: I don't think so.


CAVUTO: I think he would, Congressman.

And I guess, saying cynically, seeing how it operates in the past, Republican, fairly or not, get the blame for being very, very tough when it comes to not spending more money.

DESANTIS: Well, Neil, but I would say...

CAVUTO: And he never gets the blame for wanting to spend more money.

The onus at least -- is going to be on you guys. Is that fair?

DESANTIS: But I think, though, we didn't control the entire Congress when we had the ObamaCare showdown. And Reid wasn't bringing up any of these bills.

CAVUTO: Right.

DESANTIS: I think it's different if the president is going to veto funding for veterans. But what I think is I don't want an up-or-down vote on all the spending at once.

I want to do the individual bill. I think if we put DHS on his desk and he vetoes that, that wouldn't shut down the entire government, but he would have to explain the people; 70 percent of the people in the exit polls think he doesn't have the authority to issue legalization by executive fiat.

So he is on the wrong side of public opinion here. And guess what, Neil? When he did the mini-amnesty in 2012, that harmed a lot of legal immigrants, people who were patiently waiting in line. I had citizens who were trying to bring over spouses from foreign countries. There were all sorts of problems.

So imagine if he is going to make a program way bigger than that. You're going to have serious implications for people who are actually following the law and trying to come here legally.

CAVUTO: Do you think he is trying to goad you into a shutdown, in other words, divide and conquer Republicans?

DESANTIS: You know, honestly, I think he -- if you look at his second term, what does he have to show for it? He has zero accomplishments in his second term.

He has promised that he was going to do some type of immigration bill and he has failed to do that. And so I think he is reaching for what he can call a -- quote -- "achievement." But I think when you're acting outside the Constitution, that's a dubious achievement at best.

CAVUTO: Do you think that if he goes ahead with this, Congressman, that is slipping past the Constitution, that it's actually an impeachable offense?

DESANTIS: Well, look, we don't have the political will or ability to do that.

But I do think he would be stepping outside the constitutional bounds. He admitted so himself several years ago. And I must have been -- I must have missed the constitutional amendments that have passed in this country in the last three years. I don't remember seeing any.

And so he is doing that. I think it's even more than that. He has taken this attitude, Congress, you what I want, and if you don't, then I'm going to do it anyway.

And I think that it is totally contrary to our system of separated powers, a system that the founding fathers did so well to design for us.

CAVUTO: Congressman, a real pleasure. Thanks for taking the time. We appreciate it.

DESANTIS: Any time.

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