Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 5, 2016

Ted Cruz Rallies House Conservatives to End ‘Obama’s Amnesty’

Ted Cruz immigration reform news DACA meeting House conservatives

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ted Cruz rallied conservatives Wednesday to “end President Obama’s amnesty” in a meeting late Wednesday — as GOP leaders agreed to vote on legislation Cruz is backing to do just that.

Meeting in Cruz’s Dirksen office over We, The Pizza; Starburst; Skittles; Shiner Bock beer; Yuengling; white wine; and three selections of Dr. Pepper — Diet Dr. Pepper, Dr. Pepper Ten, and the original, full-flavored stuff — 13 House Republicans stopped by the Cruz gathering, which lasted more than an hour and 40 minutes.

The members, in the order in which they arrived, were: Reps. Steve King of Iowa, Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan, Steve Stockman of Texas, Randy Neugebauer of Texas, Paul Broun of Georgia, Todd Rokita of Indiana, John Fleming of Louisiana, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, and finally Tim Huelskamp of Kansas, who showed up for the last 10 minutes of the meeting.

The major topic of discussion, members said, was opposition to the $659 million border supplemental bill if it did not include legislation Cruz wants ending President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which grants deportation relief to children brought here illegally by their parents.

House leadership was sufficiently concerned with the nascent revolt that they decided to move ahead with a plan that would require a vote on Blackburn’s bill to prohibit the administration from applying DACA to additional illegal immigrants provided the House passes the border supplemental. Blackburn, in fact, left the meeting early, telling reporters she was “heading back over to the Capitol.”

Because they will be separate votes, the House could still pass the border supplemental but turn back the DACA bill — something members on the fence about the supplemental might not like. And the Senate would be free to take up the border money and ignore the DACA legislation.

The news turned the Cruz strategy session into more of a discussion about ongoing issues at the border. Members talked about their personal experiences visiting Central America and the border, and they told stories of what they’ve heard, from Central American girls being given birth control before they make the journey to the United States in case they are raped — an issue King has been telling reporters about in recent days — to gang members from MS-13 seeking asylum in the country.

After the meeting, Cruz emerged and told reporters what he hopes happens on Thursday is that “the House passes a bill ending President Obama’s amnesty.”

“And I hope that following that, the Senate, for once, does our job, stands up and passes the same bill and sends it to the president for his signature,” he said.

Cruz acknowledged that Senate passage of a bill ending DACA was unlikely, but he felt that was the central issue to the border crisis. Asked if he felt any responsibility to provide the administration with funding to deal with the crisis as Congress debates issues like DACA and altering a 2008 law on human trafficking, Cruz indicated he didn’t think more money would solve the issue.

“Listen,” Cruz said, “I understand that for President Obama, the solution is always money, money and more money. Every approach of the president is more government spending, more debt, and making the hole deeper and deeper and deeper. If we want to solve this problem, the only way to solve it is to solve the root cause.”

Cruz said he believed the House would “stand up and lead tomorrow.”

“And if they do, if the House stands up and leads, and eliminates President Obama’s amnesty, then the burden will shift to the Senate.”

It wasn’t immediately clear late Wednesday, though, if Cruz was on board with the two-bill plan from House GOP leaders.

Emma Dumain contributed to this report.


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  • DrGeneNelson

    As a conservative, it is hard for me to see any value in a purely symbolic House vote demanding that President Obama stop handing out immigration amnesties. Obama has thumbed his nose at House conservatives almost since Inauguration Day, 2009. Ditto for Obama’s fellow advocate for illegal aliens, the current Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV.) Harry Reid has already threatened to conference S. 744 with any House-passed legislation that involves immigration policy. I think it would be far wiser to decline taking the bait that is being proffered by House leadership.
    Recall that Speaker Boehner hired Rebecca Tallent as an immigration advisor a few months back. Recall Boehner’s wishy-washy “immigration principles” that likely had Rebecca’s fingerprints on them. (“House Speaker John A. Boehner announced Tuesday that he has hired a longtime advocate of legalizing illegal immigrants to be an adviser,” Per William A. Jacobson, December 4, 2013 ) McCarthy has also tilted towards immigration amnesty. I personally witnessed the strength of this tilt when I was a member of groups advocating for the employment rights of American citizens twice last year in front of McCarthy’s Bakersfield, California office. Instead of symbolic gestures, Boehner and McCarthy should reflect on how House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was decisively defeated in a June 10, 2014 primary in Virginia by Professor Eric Brat as a consequence of Cantor’s advocacy for illegal aliens.

    • Layla

      Thank God we have an election in November. Many on BOTH SIDES are going home. Lots of surprises from the American people ahead.

      • Anthony Ru

        Only communist democrats are going home you dumbass

  • stafford123

    If Ted Cruz wants to be Speaker or Majority Leader, why doesn’t he resign his Senate seat and run for House? Or does he engage in this sort of stupidity becaue he has completely lost any credibility in the Senate?
    He just wants to stir up sh** so he can keep his name in the papers. This has nothing to do with actually governing and everything to do with an over-developed sense of self-worth. It’s a sad day when someone like Cruz can be considered a “leader” of anything more than a group of frat boys on spring break.

    • Layla

      I think many Americans will tell you this problem is being politicized by both parties, meantime our border security is non-existent. Congress needs to be voted out of office for allowing this in the first place, both sides.

    • Freedomswatch

      Senator Cruz is helping lead the Conservatives in the House and giving them cover against the RINOs that would give our hard-earned personal incomes to illegal aliens. Cruz is leading because Boehner and Mc Connell are in the pocket of the US Chamber of Commerce, who want cheap labor. I would much rather have Cruz fighting to let me keep my own hard-earned money and help my kids with it, not illegal “kids” and M13 gang members.

  • NOamnestyEVER

    JAMES WALSH: THE OBAMA CONSPIRACY – The Hispanicazation of America and surrender of U.S. sovereignty to Mexico.

  • NOamnestyEVER

    Ted Cruz stands up to Mexico and Obama’s LA RAZA looting!

  • NOamnestyEVER


    can they stop Obama-funded MEXICAN FASCIST PARTY of LA RAZA from electing another LA RAZA SUPREMACIST to the White House…. like Hillary

  • NOamnestyEVER




    Wilkes noted that “Hispanics will account for 52 percent of our nation’s total population growth” throughout the coming four decades and will “make up 74 percent of the growth in the nation’s labor force from now until 2020.” The 11.3 percent unemployment rate among Latinos suggests that “having a wireless phone can make the difference between someone receiving the all for a job interview or missing that opportunity altogether.

  • NOamnestyEVER

    ………….. the surrender of our borders so DEMS can build their LA RAZA party base of illegals!
    DO A SEARCH FOR LA RAZA… obam funds it and operates it out of OUR white house! (CECILIA MUNOZ)
    “The watchdogs at Judicial Watch discovered documents that reveal how the Obama administration’s close coordination with the Mexican government entices
    Mexicans to hop over the fence and on to the American dole.” Washington Times

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