“This Congress needs to speak. We cannot allow executive orders to be issued by a president that eradicates plain law. To do so is wrong. The American people are watching this. They are not going to be happy that this Congress didn’t take action, and expressions of concerns among senators really are not enough,” said Sessions.
Sessions read portions of a Wall Street Journal article published Tuesday, which said President Barack Obama was set to announce plans to use executive action “soon after Labor Day,” attributing it to an administration official.
“It’s one of the most pathetic excuses for abusive of power by a court or a president that you could imagine. And I think this Congress, this Senate has a responsibility to speak to that question and to avoid an issue,” Sessions said.
Sessions said Obama has been meeting with immigration activists, “promising them things he has no power to promise.”
“He has promised them things that constitutionally he’s not able to do, and this Congress needs to say no to that, and we can do that by simply barring the expenditure of money in the future to execute such a scheme,” Sessions added.
Sessions said the article “should send shivers through every member of this body.” He predicted that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Ariz.) would not allow the Senate to act on the president’s plan.
“We need to bring this up, and Senator Reid is - I predict – is not going to allow it to happen,” he said.
According to the article, the White House shifted its thinking on the issue “after House Republicans said they wouldn’t take up immigration legislation.”
“So the president is saying that I have legislation, and the House won’t pass it. Therefore, I’m going to do it myself,” said Sessions.