President Barack Obama's executive amnesty plan is unconstitutional and should be stopped, Arkansas Republican Sen.-Elect Tom Cotton
said Monday, calling for the government to be funded only on a short-term basis if the president doesn't back down.
"Congress should use every tool at our disposal to stop it," Cotton said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" show. "If we don't, we should fund the government in a short-term basis."
And after the new year, "when we have a new and accountable Congress and Senate, we should take action to stop the president from going forward with issuing 5 million new work permits and taxpayer identification numbers to illegal immigrants," the new senator continued.
At the same time, Cotton doesn't think the House should take major action, such as approving the Senate's bipartisan plan for immigration reform, while Congress is in its lame duck session, with many members either retiring or leaving office.
Meanwhile, immigration reform needs to focus on border security and internal enforcement, Cotton insisted.
"American people don't have confidence that Washington, D.C., is going to secure our border and enforce our immigration laws," Cotton said. "Until they have that confidence, it will make it harder to progress on any other front."
Further, he said that Obama's decision to enforce executive action on immigration came after the midterms, which he lost "in large measure because he wasn't paying attention to the economy to make it easier for illegal immigrants to get jobs," and that will make it more difficult to reform immigration.
But the American people have seen that whenever Washington passes a bill that stresses amnesty and not enforcement, "we always get amnesty and seldom get enforcement," said Cotton. "We need to give American people confidence we'll move forward with any measure passed into law."
Cotton also discussed the weekend attempt to rescue American photojournalist Luke Somers, saying that the forces behaved "bravely and competently" and the raid "just didn't go well."
However, he believes that any time an American is being held hostage and there is a chance to rescue that person, our "default position should be we go get our fellow citizens."
Cotton also discussed his evolving position on minimum wage, saying that while he had supported a statewide increase in Arkansas, a nationwide increase would be bad for the state's workers and businesses.
"The Arkansas measure was done at the state level so it was done closer to the people and it was a much smaller and incremental increase that accounted for economics in our state," said Cotton. "The Congressional Budget Office, a non-bipartisan research institute, said it would cost up to a million Americans jobs. I rather see a healthy economy where you have high demand for everyone's labor … and new clerks at Walmart or new cooks at McDonald's are getting $15 an hour because of the growing economy and not because of Washington's regulations."
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