Even as reports emerge demonstrating that President Obama’s executive amnesty will precipitate voter fraud by granting driver’s licenses and social security numbers to illegal immigrants, Republican leaders are already preparing to cave on the immigration issue.
The House of Representatives has passed a bill that would fund the Department of Homeland Security except for President Obama’s executive amnesty program. Now, the Senate is stonewalling, with Democrats voting repeatedly not to take up the bill, insisting instead that Republicans pass a bill funding the executive amnesty along with the rest of the DHS.
Which means that we’re nearing Republican surrender.
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) maintains that it is time for Democrats in the Senate “to get off their ass and do something other than vote ‘no.’” But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is preparing the groundwork for the cave, stating, “I think it’s clear we can’t go forward in the Senate unless you all have heard something I haven’t. And so the next move, obviously, is up to the House.”
That’s nonsense. When Republicans represented the Senate minority during the Obamacare shutdown, the media declared that Republicans were obstructionists. Now that Democrats are in the minority, the shoe is on the other foot. And despite Republican fears that the Obamacare shutdown would crush electoral prospects, Republicans won a sweeping victory in 2014.
But Republican leaders are frightened nonetheless. They are frightened of media members blaming them for any flaws in security stemming from DHS funding, and too afraid to say what Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) has correctly said:
It’s a very dangerous game. If we have a successful terrorist attack – all the dead Americans from that should be laid at the feet of the Democratic caucus…In the end, [Democrats] have to defend the country. They have sworn the allegiance to do that. They need to live up to their oaths of office. In the Democratic mind, politics is everything. I would say to them, politics is not everything. If you don’t have a country to defend, what is the purpose of politics?
Many top Republicans don’t have Kirk’s backbone. And so they fall into the trap of blaming other Republicans for a DHS shutdown even though Democrats are fully responsible for that shutdown. Or, more cynically, they seek to garner mainstream media love for throwing their colleagues under the bus.
Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) says, “I certainly do not think that’s a good idea at this time, when we have lots of national security interests.” Senator John McCain (R-AZ) said, when asked how to avert a shutdown, “I don’t know. I don’t know…We should not cut off funding for the Department of Homeland Security.” Senator John Thune (R-SD) agreed: “We’re not going to shut the government down, including that. We recognize it’s important that we fund the government. Now that we are in the majority, we have the responsibility to do that.” Senator Jim Risch (R-ID) added, “We are unable to get on this bill to amend it. And a result of that, the House is going to have to send us another bill that we can get on.” Democrats, Risch said, “are locked up against it.” He concluded, “There’s nothing we can do.”
Republicans could stand tall. But in the Senate, they won’t. They could force Democrats to keep filibustering – and they could force an actual filibuster, rather than the pro forma filibuster to which Americans have grown accustomed. They could invoke the nuclear option and kill the filibuster altogether, forcing President Obama to veto funding for the Department of Homeland Security. They could even split the DHS funding bill into separate smaller bills funding each section of DHS specifically, and forcing Democrats to stonewall those bills.
Or they could wait for Boehner to cave. And it seems that the latter possibility is also the most likely. On Wednesday, Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) told House Republicans that they couldn’t get the 60 votes necessary to put the bill to a vote. House Republicans, for now, told the two Senators to go back to the Senate and work on it.
But several members of the House have already come out in favor of a cave. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) said, “I didn’t necessarily think this was the best ground to fight on because I’ve seen this movie before.” Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) told CNN yesterday, “We won’t shut the government down, that would be really, really stupid.” Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) said, “From a political perspective … you’re better off passing a clean Homeland Security appropriations bill, because it makes a lot of important changes, many of this in the Republican side wanted — more detention beds and all sorts of improvements of border control.”
The Republican leadership is still split on the immigration issue. But it’s unlikely that they’ll remain split for long. When in doubt, bet on surrender.