Conservatives Lambaste 20 GOP Senators Who Voted for Amnesty

By Barbara Hollingsworth | December 17, 2014 | 2:38pm EST

Senate Conservatives Fund president Ken Cuccinelli (AP photo)

(CNSNews.com) – There is a growing backlash against 20 Senate Republicans who less than a month ago publicly stated that  President Obama’s executive amnesty was unconstitutional, only to turn around and vote in favor of funding it last week, conservative leaders say.

“This was easy. All of them said they were against amnesty. All they had to do was press a button,” Ken Cuccinelli, president of the Senate Conservatives Fund, told CNSNews.com.

“For them to roll over so close to an election in which Obamacare, executive amnesty, and Obama’s massive and lawless expansion of presidential power were the top three issues is pretty amazing.”

Cuccinelli said he is “shocked” that 20 Senate Republicans “defected from the Constitution, defected from the Founding Fathers,” noting that the grassroots is indignant over what it correctly views as a betrayal of conservative principles.

“We just had a judge yesterday reconfirm that what the president did was unconstitutional. There’s no good excuse for what they did, which was to vote completely contrary to their own recent remarks,” Cuccinelli added. “This is beyond any reasonable understanding, unless they did not really believe what they were saying.”

Characterizing the 20 Republicans who voted with the Democratic majority in the Senate as “turncoats”,  Brent Bozell, chairman of ForAmerica, condemned their “cowardice” while praising senators who voted against the measure.

"The American people owe a debt of gratitude to Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL) for upholding their oath to defend the Constitution and forcing a vote to stop President Obama’s lawless executive amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants,” said Bozell, who is also president of the Media Research Center (MRC), the parent company of CNSNews.com.

ForAmerica chairman & Media Research Center president Brent Bozell.

“Unfortunately, their efforts fell short in part because of the cowardice of 20 of their Senate Republican colleagues who betrayed their constituents as well as their oath of office by voting for Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty.”

“What this has done is formally lance the boil: There is now clear separation between true conservatives who uphold their oath to the Constitution and liberal Republicans who 'Gruber’ their constituents," Bozell said.

“Exquisite hypocrisy,” agreed Richard Viguerie’s ConservativeHQ, blasting Republicans “who prefer to campaign like conservatives at home while voting with President Obama when they are in Washington.”

Led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), 20 Republican senators who had previously condemned the president’s executive amnesty as unconstitutional joined 54 Democrats in voting against the constitutional point of order raised by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) late Saturday, which would have sent the $1.1 trillion “cromnibus” bill back to the House to remove funding for amnesty.

“All [20] have spoken out against President Obama for overstepping his constitutional authority,” noted Dan Holler, communications director of Heritage Action, which compiled a list of the 20 GOP senators who condemned President Obama’s executive amnesty just three weeks before voting to fund it.

All but 13 Senate Republicans, five Democrats and one Independent also voted for cloture, which ends debate and sends the bill to the floor. A total of 24 Senate Republicans voted for the final version of the controversial bill.

“To overcome a Senate cloture vote, the minority party, Republicans in this case, needs only 41 votes to stop a bill. The Senate cloture vote on the ‘cromnibus’ was the only opportunity for the bill to be stopped without Democrat support,” explained Gaston Mooney, executive editor of Conservative Review.

“In politics, there is nothing more defining than a vote,” Mooney wrote, pointing out that Senate Republicans could have defeated the bill if they chose to do so.

But they can’t have it both ways, he pointed out. “Politicians that stated they opposed [President] Obama’s amnesty and thought it unconstitutional could not hold that claim while also rubber-stamping the president’s actions by funding them.”

“It is a missed opportunity,” Holler told Politico. “Conservatives will be paying very close attention to see if a Republican-controlled Congress will actually do what is necessary to stop Obama’s amnesty.”

But Cuccinelli believes that any action taken by the next Congress will be “partly dependent on public reaction.”

His group’s super PAC is running radio ads in the congressional districts of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) informing their constituents that, like their colleagues in the Senate, the House Republican leadership did not fight to defend the Constitution’s separation of powers.

“Instead of fighting to defend the Constitution, Speaker John Boehner schemed with the Democrat-controlled Senate to rush through a massive spending bill that fully funds Obamacare and the president’s unlawful amnesty… Tell John Boehner if he likes being speaker, he better start listening to the people who put him there,” the ad running in Boehner’s Ohio district says.

Passage of the cromnibus bill “emphasizes the need for us to unify behind a solidly conservative presidential nominee,” Cuccinelli told CNSNews.com. “I believe the Republican majority [in Congress] will swing heavily behind the leadership of a Republican president, so a good conservative, limited-government president should be our goal.”

And all those Republicans who betrayed their constituents and voted to fund executive amnesty should watch their backs, he warned.

Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA). (AP photo)

Conservatives are “fired up and motivated. There’s some depression, but it’s turning to action. They are going to respond. Probably hundreds of people who never thought they would run for office are now for the first time considering primary challenges,” Cuccinelli told CNSNews.com.

The unanticipated primary defeat of former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor earlier this year by Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) will be an “enormous factor” in making that decision, he pointed out.

“It was no coincidence that the Republican co-sponsors of the amnesty bill in the House dropped from 140 to 7 just a week after the June 10th primary. Dave Brat stands as an inspiration for them. He did everything right last week. He voted like he said he would. He beat the majority leader even though he was outspent 10-to-1.

“People now know it can be done.  And all the GOP Establishment’s money can’t keep it from happening,” Cuccinelli said.

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