Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday said President Barack Obama’s threat to take steps on immigration without Congress show he has so far shown an inability to deal maturely with the midterm election results.
When asked on Fox News how he perceives Obama’s reaction to the election, Graham said, “Spoiled child. He is in denial about what happened, he is arrogant about the results.”
A day after Republicans won seven Senate seats, Obama said he’s been patiently waiting for Congress to act on immigration, and said he would move on his own unless Congress takes some step. But Republicans have said those comments show that Obama is ignoring the will of the voters, who supported the GOP in order to put a check on Obama’s executive action.
Obama’s comments prompted House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to warn that moving alone on immigration is like playing with matches, and that Obama would “burn himself” if he moves ahead. Graham echoed that warning on Sunday.
“If the president goes it alone on immigration, I think there will be a backlash in the country,” he said. “He’s completely tone-deaf as to the result of the election.”
Obama is thought to be considering tweaks to federal regulation that expand the number of green cards available to illegal immigrants, possibly by allowing people to cover their entire families without requiring each family member to hold a separate, distinct green card. But many say that would be a radical departure from how the law has been implemented for decades, and Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) warned on Fox News that such a change would have explosive results on Congress.
“I think it’d be like the president pulling the pin out of a hand grenade and throwing it in as we’re trying to actually work together,” he said.
“I believe it will hurt cooperation on every issue,” he added. “Nobody ran for office and won a Senate race based on the president having more executive authority to take executive actions on amnesty or health care or any other of those issues.”
Republicans are known to be considering a strategy to stop Obama from acting on his own. One option is including language in the next spending bill to prevent the administration from using any funding to design or implement a plan to expand legal status to illegal immigrants.
If that doesn’t work this year, the GOP could decide to pass a short-term spending bill, and let the new GOP-led House and Senate try again early next year.