Posted: 11:26 pm Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Congress digs in on immigration 

By Jamie Dupree

Even before any details were known about President Obama’s speech on immigration, members of both parties were already locked in a verbal duel about the merits of his executive actions, signaling what may be a sharply contested debate that seems sure to spill into the New Year.

“I don’t think it’s in the best interests of the country,” said Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) to reporters gathered off the House floor.

“I don’t think it’s in the best interests of immigration reform,” Cole added.

But just a few feet away, Democrats praised the President’s unilateral action, arguing immigration changes cannot stay on hold in the Congress forever.

“The nation has to move; the Congress has not done it,” said Rep. David Scott (D-GA).

“The President has the authority,” said Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), who said it was time for the President to be aggressive in the fight over immigration reform.

Other Democrats echoed that on social media as well:

Republicans, meanwhile were thoroughly aggravated at the talk of giving a legal status to millions of people in the United States illegally.

“He is making a political move,” said Rep. John Mica (R-FL), who accused the White House of “provoking a crisis.”

After making his speech on Thursday night – which won’t be carried live by CBS, NBC, ABC or FOX – the President will fly to Las Vegas on Friday to make a sales pitch for his plans.