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Thursday, February 5, 2015

The New Republic: Opinion: Brian Beutler: Republican Homeland Security Spirals Out of Control

The New Republic: Opinion: Brian Beutler: Republican Homeland Security Spirals Out of Control 

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

For the life of me, I can’t figure out how Democrats lose to these Tea Party and Neoconservative Republicans in any elections outside of the Bible Belt. Congressional Republicans know that if they vote to overturn President Obama’s immigration executive order, they may pass it in the House, but probably pay a price for it in 2016. But it will die in the Senate with even some Senate Republicans not comfortable about voting for it. And Senate Democrats would block it anyway with all of their forty-six members and perhaps with some help from some Senate Republicans. And even it did somehow pass both chambers, President Obama would certainly veto it.

Which leaves Congressional Republicans with only one tool left and it is a big tool, but comes with a lot of risks and after effects if it is used. Sort of like a nuclear bomb and what they say is, “if we can’t overturn President Obama’s executive order, because we can’t either pass it ourselves and perhaps are even divided on it. So what, we’ll strip away the funding for his executive in the Homeland Security appropriations bill”. Thinking the President will have to sign it in order to fund Homeland Security, which is something the Federal Government has to do anyway.

Senate Republicans are now learning what it is like to be in the majority. That you don’t always get everything your way. Even when you control the entire Congress, both the Senate and the House. And especially when the President is from the other party. They are going to have to cave at least in the Senate because they have vulnerable members in blue states up for reelection next year. And have other things that they want to do in this Congress. Homeland Security funding runs out at the beginning of March and they don’t want to get blamed for that department and those workers getting shut down. Which they will because they decided to attach a rider to this bill about immigration. When a clean bill would’ve easily passed both the House and Senate and get signed by President Obama.

Now here’s where I agree with Senate Republicans, a small but important point. I hate the motion to proceed rule in the Senate to begin with and would simply just eliminate it. And let the Leader of the Senate bring up whatever bill and nomination he wants to that has been cleared by the appropriate committee. And then let the Senate Minority Leader block the final bill after debate has been completed and the amendment process has been completed, if he has the votes to do that. So I would’ve voted to proceed with the House bill and then proposed an amendment to strip the immigration defunding part of the bill out. And if that didn’t get a vote or wasn’t passed, then Senate Democrats should then block the bill at the end, but not at the beginning of the process.