Morning Action: Surprise! Obama Bypassed Congress, Undermined States’ Authority Yet Again

AMNESTY. The Heritage Foundation explains that President Obama has issued directives that grant amnesty to illegal immigrants, yet again bypassing Congress, which has not passed immigration legislation:

Last week, the Obama Administration issued the latest in a line of policy directives granting amnesty by default. This latest directive instructs Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials not to enforce immigration laws in cases where an illegal alien is the primary provider for any minor child—regardless of the child’s immigration status—or the parent or guardian of a child who is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.

Instead, fixing America’s broken immigration system requires a more thoughtful approach. Neither sweeping executive action nor a massive, do-it-all-at-once bill offers truly meaningful reform. In fact, any path that promises amnesty would only make matters worse.

There is a better way forward—a practical, fair, and responsible path to address the nation’s broken borders and immigration mess. If only Congress and the Administration would listen.

MARRIAGE. The Obama administration just put out new policies that disregard states’ authority over marriage ad redefine marriage for a variety of federal purposes.  Heritage’s Ryan T. Anderson explains:

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the IRS and the Department of Health and Human Services put out press releases today announcing they’ll be recognizing same-sex marriage even in states that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

The agencies announced that they will recognize same-sex couples as married provided that they were married in states that have redefined marriage, even if they now reside in states that retain the historical definition of marriage. As Treasury and IRS put it, “The ruling applies regardless of whether the couple lives in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage or a jurisdiction that does not recognize same-sex marriage.”

The Obama Administration’s actions today go beyond the scope of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Windsor decision. Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion in that decision clearly states that marriage law is the purview of the states: “[T]he definition and regulation of marriage has been treated as being within the authority and realm of the separate States.” The Obama Administration has chosen not to respect state policy on this and is further eroding the meaning of marriage.

Anderson notes:

We should work to defend the rights of all Americans to make marriage policy. And we should promote the truth about marriage between a man and a woman and why it matters for children, civil society, and limited government.

OBAMACARE.  Heritage’s Alyene Senger explains that states that have chosen to accept Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion will not be able to get out later if they wish:

Some states have said that if the federal government ever reneges on its promise of enhanced funding in the future, they’ll just withdraw from the expansion. But new legal analysis by the Buckeye Institute, an Ohio-based state think tank, shows there are both legal and political reasons why Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion is likely to be permanent.

While many states have already signed up for the expansion using this flawed backup plan, Ohio is still in a heated debate regarding expansion, and this idea is being used to garner support for it. For instance, one proposal would “create a ‘circuit breaker’ that would automatically roll back the expansion if the federal government didn’t stick to its end of the deal.”

IMPACT. U.S. News put out a list of 5 moments of Congressional recess that matter so far.  Our Defund Obamacare Town Hall Tour made the list.  The description is, of course, not exactly a favorable one, but the impact and momentum are undeniable, even for the Left:

Ted Cruz Inspires Town Hall Outrage: Freshman Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has spent his recess in search of a “grass roots tsunami” to support his plan to stop Obamacare once and for all.

He hatched the plan to use the continuing resolution, a funding mechanism to keep the government functioning, to defund the Affordable Car Act. The idea is House Republicans pass a continuing resolution that funds all aspects of government except for the president’s signature health care law. Most Republicans have dismissed it as unachievable and foolish, but Cruz has devoted his recess to promoting the plan, traveling with former Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., across Texas.

Finding senators to back his plan has been hard to do, but the plan has caught fire at town halls across the country. From Illinois to Oklahoma, congressmen and senators have been forced to engage in tactical discussions with rowdy and disgruntled constituents. In 2010, the tea party members were giving Democrats a hard time for health care. Now, the tables have turned and the GOP is under fire for not going along with Cruz’s plan.

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