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Davis Defends GOP Immigration Bill, Obama Lawsuit Measure

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(Duration: 3:31)

Congressman Rodney Davis

Republican Congressman Rodney Davis of Taylorville (Jeff Bossert/WILL)

Republican Congressman Rodney Davis is defending the immigration bill his party passed in the House last week.  The measure kept the chamber in session for an extra day, as Congress started its 5-week recess.

The Taylorville lawmaker calls the $694-million measure that was approved mostly on party lines Friday ‘more cost-effective’ than the Obama administration’s proposal. 

He said it ensures U-S would work with countries like Guatemala, where unaccompanied children are crossing the border.   The measure includes funds for immigration judges and National Guard troops.

It’s a measure opposed by Democrats, who lead the Senate. 

Davis said it’s disappointing that the other chamber doesn’t appear to be willing to compromise, and challenges Democrats to return to Washington during Congress’ recess.

"The bottom line is, in a divided government, in our constitutional republic, we did what the house was supposed to do, which is to pass our bill," he said, in an interview Monday with Illinois Public Media.  "Now it’s up to the Senate to take that bill up, or pass their own version so that we can begin the discussion on what that common sense solution looks like.  I believe ours is a common sense solution.”

Davis is also defending his party’s efforts to sue President Obama over the alleged abuse of executive powers, which centers on the president's decision to delay some parts of the Affordable Care Act.

The GOP believes he’s exceeded his authority with executive changes to the measure. 

But Davis admits suing the President is not his first choice.

"I'll be honest, I would rather us be able to sit down and have a common-sense discussion, like we did when we passed the Farm Bill and other great pieces of legislation that were done on a bipartisan effort," he said.  "But the president isn't engaged.  He doesn't want to get engaged.  He doesn't want to sit down and discuss those issues."

Davis is pursuing a second term against Democrat and former Madison County chief judge Ann Callis of Edwardsville.