Congress: Republicans are headed towards losing their nerve against President Obama on amnesty by passing a “clean” homeland security bill. If they do, many 2016 voters will consider it a dirty betrayal.
The Homeland Security/immigration amnesty showdown is, in the words of the Washington Post, “a fractious and politically harmful family feud” among Senate and House Republicans now enjoying a majority in both congressional chambers.
Republicans’ ability to govern in united fashion is at stake, the dominant media, and the liberal Democratic politicians they cater to, tell us.
But this is really about something much bigger: maintaining GOP nerve, especially considering Republicans’ 2014 campaign promises to stand up against Obama and top Senate Democrat Harry Reid.
If the party lets itself lose this battle, Democrats will repeat their Senate filibuster strategy over and over again this year and next.
As a GOP Senate aide earlier this month told National Review’s Joel Gehrke: “If the Democrats, as a minority in the Senate, can not only tell the majority what bills they can bring up and whether or not they can or can’t have amendments, but also feel like they have the power to tell the House what bills they have to pass, it’s going to be like this on every single issue.”
In this particular case, the public should view the White House and Senate Democrats, not Republicans, as sacrificing homeland security on the altar of politics.
The department’s funding officially expires at midnight Friday. But a DHS “shutdown,” in fact, will have no real negative effects on the safety of the nation since 85% of its employees are “essential,” exempt from furloughs. TSA workers will still grope airline passengers during such a “shutdown,” just as before.
So the “shutdown” is a bully scare tactic that the Republicans should call the Democrats bluff on, but the Senate doesn’t have the backbone for it.
Moreover, as House Speaker John Boehner pointed out to reporters on Thursday, “we passed a bill to fund the department six weeks ago — six weeks ago!”
As Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, correctly recalled regarding the last DHS shutdown, “I don’t remember anybody noticing.”
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, this week strongly opposed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s “clean” DHS bill, with separate anti-executive amnesty legislation later. “Congress is obliged to use every constitutional check and balance we have to rein in President Obama’s lawlessness, and that includes … the power of the purse,” he said.
Many Republican senators have six or four years to go before worrying about re-election; with a two-year term, GOP House members don’t have that luxury.
If the Stupid Party wants to get smart and make next year one of victory in the executive and legislative branches — instead of going home to angry “town hell” meetings with base voters — it will stand strong now. (IBD)