Opinion: Why is GOP's Hal Rogers Afraid to Defund Obama's Amnesty Plan?

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Memo to Hal Rogers: If you fund President Obama's Executive Amnesty Order, you will own it with him.

Now that the President Obama has announced his executive amnesty order, it puts the spotlight squarely on Republican leaders such as House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, who seems to be at odds with most of the GOP.

Rogers suggested recently to a reporter that the GOP should pass a long-term spending bill even if it should include funding for Obama's upcoming executive order. Mr. Chairman: If the American people wanted Congress to fund amnesty programs, they would have kept the Democrats in charge.

Voters [will not] make the distinction between the one who gives the order vs. the one who funds the order. If funding for the President's amnesty order comes out of your committee, Mr. Rogers, you own it.

— David Bozell

Whether we are talking about a continuing resolution or omnibus spending bill is completely irrelevant. American voters were not just casually opposed to the president’s naive, unworkable, and unfair policy ideas, Mr. Rogers. Voters put your party back in charge of Congress to stop paying for Obama's unconstitutional schemes with their hard-earned tax dollars, once and for all.

Republicans across the board – both conservatives and establishment alike and reportedly even the Speaker of the House himself – are calling on Congress to not provide the president with any funding to carry out his plan to grant amnesty to millions of people who entered our country illegally. Why is the Appropriations Committee Chairman seemingly alone on the proverbial island in favor of funding?

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Countless conservatives ran against the president’s proposal and were overwhelmingly elected to office earlier this month – Joni Ernst, Ben Sasse, Cory Gardner, Tom Cotton, just to name a few. Ernst said, “I strongly urge the president not to sidestep Congress by granting executive amnesty. By acting alone, he will only be encouraging more illegal immigration, and worsening the existing crisis on our border.”

Conservative incumbents also rallied around this issue – Senators Jeff Sessions, and Ted Cruz have implored the GOP to reject the president’s demands. Even establishment Republican operative Karl Rove, certainly not known for linking arms with conservative members of his party, agreed. As he said in a recent interview, “Put riders on appropriations bills that say no money shall be spent to execute this [amnesty] policy.”

Most importantly, Rogers' own Speaker, John Boehner, reportedly told his Republican caucus last Thursday of the president's amnesty plans, "If [Obama] proceeds, we are going to fight it."

Before the election, the president himself said that his policies were “on the ballot.” The results are now in and it turns out Americans have emphatically rejected ObamaCare, amnesty, and more out-of-control spending.

Chairman Rogers is acting as if an election didn’t happen, as if he’s still in the nation’s capital where his party only controls one-half of one-third of government. He’s still living in the days of the old GOP that caves to Mr. Obama on issue after issue.

But it’s a new and beautiful day in Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood, as the GOP has a prodigious majority after double digit election gains in the House of Representatives. Over in the Senate, the GOP has already picked up eight seats and may pick up a ninth next month in Louisiana.

Even Gallup says Americans prefer the new GOP congressional majorities set the agenda going forward, not President Obama. This is not the time to return to cowering and caving; the American people want the GOP to lead.

Nor will voters make the distinction between the one who gives the order vs. the one who funds the order. If funding for the President's amnesty order comes out of your committee, Mr. Rogers, you own it.