WASHINGTON, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- House Republicans are taking the caucus' first steps against President Obama's executive order, drafting a bill that seeks to specifically strip the executive branch of the authority to suspend deportations of undocumented workers.
"This president, what he is doing is unilaterally rewriting the law," asserted Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla.
"He cannot do that."
In conjunction with other House Republicans, Yoho is authoring H.R. 5759, the Preventing Executive Overreach on Immigration Act.
"This is something to block the executive order that he did November 20 and its retroactive from that date forward. It exclusively says that the president does not have the authority to go ahead and rewrite the laws. It brings out the authority of the Constitution, Article I, Section 8, that says all naturalization laws are the sole responsibility of Congress, that the president can't step in there and unilaterally rewrite these on his own."
Yoho says although the language is specific to deportation, the bill seeks to set limits on what his party perceives as executive overreach.
"This is not just for this president. This is from this point forward, to have a line drawn that says Congress is paying attention, and we are going to abide by the Constitution, and we're going to hold our presidents to that, as we should."
Despite Yoho's zeal, the bill will almost certainly die in the Senate, where the Democrats retain control for the duration of the lame duck session.
"Time and again Republican leadership in the House has promised to fix our broken immigration system, time and time again they have broken that commitment to bring legislation to the floor," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday.
Pelosi and other House Democrats spoke outside the Capitol to address Yoho's pending bill with a group of immigration supporters.
"In the face of the failure of the Republican leadership in the House to follow the lead ... the President of the United States has appropriately announced executive action to help."