GOP Senators Try to Defund Justice Department's Lawsuit Against Arizona

It's an unlikely route, given that Harry Reid essentially controls the amendment process, but they're giving it a try: Republican Sens. Jim DeMint and David Vitter are preparing to introduce an amendment that would prevent the Department of Justice from suing Arizona over its new immigration law.


They plan to offer the amendment as part of the small business tax credits bill being debated in the Senate. Reid preempted amendments when he brought the bill up, but Republicans and Democrats have been negotiating over how to proceed, with the Senate voting on some. It's unlikely that this amendment will see a vote.

The two senators want to prevent the lawsuit, filed last week in federal court in Phoenix, by depriving the administration of the funds to pay for it.

DeMint, from the press release: "States like Arizona shouldn't be prosecuted for protecting their citizens when the federal government fails to do so..."

Vitter: "The Obama administration should not use taxpayers' money to pay for these lawsuits that the American people overwhelmingly oppose."

Here's the text of the amendment:

Purpose: To prohibit the funding of any suit by the Department
of Justice seeking to invalidate the Arizona immigrant
registration law.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES-111th Cong., 2d Sess.
(no.) 

Referred to the Committee on llllllllll and
ordered to be printed
Ordered to lie on the table and to be printed
AMENDMENT intended to be proposed by Mr. DeMint (for himself) and Mr. Vitter

Viz:
1 At the appropriate place, insert the following:
SEC. ll 2 . No funds made available 
3 in any provision of law may be used to
4 participate in any lawsuit that seeks to invalidate those
5 provisions of the Arizona Revised Statutes amended by
6 Arizona Senate Bill 1070, 49th Leg., 2nd Reg. Sess., Ch.
7 113 (Az. 6 2010) (as amended by Arizona House Bill
8 2162, 49th 7 Leg., 2nd Reg. Sess., Ch. 211 (Az. 2010)).
Presented by

Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

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