WASHINGTON -- Mere weeks into his first term as a U.S. congressman, Republican Rep. Tom Emmer is challenging the right flank of his party.
Just after midnight Saturday, Emmer issued a statement calling out Republican House colleagues who don't support fully funding the Department of Homeland Security because of President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration.
Some House Republicans have said they only support funding the Department -- responsible for border and airport security, customs, immigration -- if cash is stripped out to execute Obama's immigration executive orders issued last year.
Democrats and the White House find this position unacceptable and the issue has sparked a stalemate on Capitol Hill. A few hours before DHS ran out of money Friday at midnight, the Senate approved a seven-day funding bill and the House did the same. This means it will have be resolved, again, by this Friday.
"I am disappointed that many of my colleagues chose to put the security of Americans at stake and waste time playing politics," said Emmer, who replaced Rep. Michele Bachmann in January. "Congress has a solemn responsibility. As a body, we should never hold America's safety hostage simply for political gamesmanship ... With recent terror threats to the Mall of America hitting so close to home and the potential need for natural disaster relief in Minnesota during the winter months, it is imperative we approve the funding the DHS needs."
Emmer said he disagrees with Obama's immigrations actions, but thinks it will be solved in the courts. Two-dozen states, led by Texas, are challenging the constitutionality of the immigration orders.