Tea Party lawmakers pushed their colleagues on Friday to deny funding for President Obama's recent decision to shelter millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation, saying Republicans who told midterm voters they'd put a stop to the president's "amnesty" need to put their money where their mouth is.
"Just about every Republican candidate in the country campaigned saying, 'If you elect us, we will stop president Obama's amnesty,'" Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said at a news conference from the steps of the U.S. Capitol, flanked by several tea party-affiliated colleagues. "What I'm here urging my fellow Republicans to do is very, very simple: do what you said you would do. Honor your commitments."
Republican congressional leaders are gauging support for a spending bill that would punt any attempt to defund the president's proposal into next year, averting the imminent threat of a government shutdown and allowing the incoming, GOP-controlled Congress to take the lead on the issue.
Some of the most conservative members of the congressional GOP, though, are pushing their leaders to take a stand now, not later.
"Congress should stand up and use the power of the purse to say we will fund the government, we will fund the operation of the federal government, but we will not allocate taxpayer dollars to lawless and illegal amnesty," Cruz explained.
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, one of the fiercest critics of the president's immigration policies, suggested members who vote to fund Mr. Obama's executive action, even if temporarily, will have violated the public trust.
King said he can't fathom "how it is that anybody can step into the House or Senate chambers January 6th and take an oath to uphold this constitution...having voted to fund the president's lawless unconstitutional act."
"That crosses a line that can't be tolerated!" he exclaimed. "And anyone that would vote to fund it can't sincerely take this oath next January."
Rep. Randy Weber, R-Texas, accused Mr. Obama of behaving like a "dictator."
"There's no reason on earth that we should be voting for a budget, any part of the budget that funds his illegal activities, his actions," Weber said. "The American people demand that we stand up and do the right thing on their behalf."
And Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, who's retiring from Congress at the end of the current session, pushed Republicans to honor their commitment to the people who voted them into office.
"We are going to do everything within our power to not pay for the president's illegal actions," she said. "If the president wants to make an illegal action, he can pay for itself...he can hold a bake sale, he can do whatever he wants to do, but we aren't, with our vote, going to give him one dime to execute his illegal action."