PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Dom Giordano talked with Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT about legislation regarding immigration and the potential for President Obama to take executive action to move the process forward.
Casey said that Senate has already passed a comprehensive immigration bill and encouraged the House of Representatives to consider holding a vote.
“This is a problem that has to be solved. A lot of people would like to push it down the road and not do anything about it. It’s a problem that has to be solved, number one. Number two is the United States Senate, for all the criticism of the Senate, and a lot it is warranted, we came together last spring, I’m talking about June of ’13, after strenuous efforts by four Democrats and four Republicans…This was not President Obama’s bill, it was a Senate bill that was overwhelmingly bipartisan. Fourteen Republicans voted for it in addition to virtually every Democrat. It got 68 votes. That went to the House, and they did nothing with it. They talked about it and talked about it, so that’s when the President said, ‘Well, if the House is not going to act on the bi-partisan Senate bill, I may have to take executive action.’ I think we’re better off if the Congress comes together and passes something. I would argue something very close to what the bi-partisan Senate bill has, but the President has to use some of that pressure of executive action to get the House to move.”
He reiterated that short of both houses of Congress passing a bill, he supports the President moving forward with an executive action.
“I’m for any President using the legally appropriate executive actions that they can take. Why would you want a President to never take executive action on anything? It’s part of being President. Every President has some executive authority, and if you think you can exercise that for the betterment of the country or even to move the Congress to do something, I think that’s not a bad thing to explore.”
Casey also addressed the problems with the Department of Veterans Affairs and what he is working on to fix the mess.
“The Congress has to do a lot more work in terms of making sure the VA works. While we came together, both parties on the VA healthcare bill, still a long way to go to get that in place, but at least it’s been voted on and moving forward. What I’m trying to do now is to begin to fix this disability claims backlog, over 250 days, veterans have to wait, whether you’re in Pittsburgh, that region, or the Philadelphia region, or places across the country. So we’ve got to move that, and Veterans Day is a good day to talk about it.”