Yesterday, when the Obama administration unveiled a number of proposals that would relax restrictions on foreign workers and their spouses, Chuck Grassley was all verklempt.
"The Obama administration claims it wants immigration reform, but they can't wait for Congress. They act on their own," Grassley, a top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on the Senate floor, according to his prepared remarks. "What's next? Will the president unilaterally legalize the undocumented population because he can't have his way with Congress?"
Grassley's feeling that the president is overstepping his powers in revamping immigration policy via executive action is something of a change of heart. Back in June of 2008, when President George W. Bush used an executive order to require federal contractors to participate in the Homeland Security Department's E-Verify system, Grassley was all for it.
Appearing on CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight several days after the announcement in 2008, Grassley voiced his support for Bush's action, saying, "It's so important that the president do that," since Grassley would have put something similar in legislation of his own if the president hadn't. "It's quite a victory to get it done by executive," Grassley said at the time.