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Should Republicans Call Obama’s Bluff on Shutting Down Gov’t over Amnesty? (Reader Poll)

Should Republicans Call Obama’s Bluff on Shutting Down Gov’t over Amnesty? (Reader Poll)

Shut ‘er down?

Congress is under another tight funding deadline. Currently, the federal government is only funded until December 11. A spending bill must be passed by Thursday to avoid a government shutdown.

Thursday, John Boehner held a vote that passed legislation rebuking President Obama’s executive overreach on immigration. H.R. 5759 would’ve refused President Obama the authority to intervene in the deportation of illegal immigrants. Harry Reid indicated he will not bring the measure to the Senate floor for a vote in his last remaining days as Majority Leader.

Republicans are in a precarious situation. Obama has said, through his spokesman, that he will not sign any bill that defunds his quasi-amnesty.

But Government shutdowns are ripe with contention and not the way most congressional Republicans want to wrap up 2014, after what happened in October 2013.

Boehner has said he’ll do everything in his power to avoid a shutdown.

Currently, Boenher’s plan (or at least the plan made public) is to pass a bill that would fund the federal government for a year with the exception of one agency: The Department of Homeland Security, which oversees immigration.

DHS would only be funded until March when Republicans have control of the Senate and are able to pass substantive reform.

Bloomberg has the wrap up:

Here’s where we want to hear from you:

Should Republicans Call Obama’s Bluff on Shutting Down Government over defunding the Immigration Executive Order? What if Obama’s not bluffing, and we go through another version of October 2013?

Vet in wheelchair WWII Memorial

Poll Open until midnight (Eastern Time) on Sunday night, December 7, 2014.

Follow Kemberlee Kaye on Twitter.


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to the full extent allowed by law.


Zelsdorf Ragshaft III | December 6, 2014 at 4:21 pm

The fear of being blamed for shutting down the government? What the hell! Obama refused to sign a funding bill last year, shutting down the government and blamed the GOP. So what? A year later the GOP sent the Dems packing in the Senate. The people do not want Obama policies. If the GOP cannot keep their campaign promices, maybe we need different leaders. They will have ignored the will of the people. I will not again support GOP candidates for the house or senate if they do not stop Obama.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Zelsdorf Ragshaft III. | December 7, 2014 at 3:55 am

    Agree 100%. Six months from now Joe Sixpack will not remember it, if he even cared in the first place, but the 68% of the voters who are against the amnesty will long remember the ‘pubs giving Obama the money to do it.

    The ‘pubs have probably already forgotten that they got elected in large part because they stood against obamacare. Have they also forgotten that they have spoken vociferously against amnesty in their campaigns?

    Spot on. The prog media and the weepy GOP “leadership” like to promulgate this idea that the GOP will someone come out the “loser” in any “shut-down.” As you point out, it didn’t seem to damage the GOP brand too badly last time, now did it?

    What part of The Constitution do these morons not understand? The House has the “power of the purse”, and if they refuse to use it then they might as well hold a ceremonial self-castration ceremony on the DC Mall and henceforth refer to themselves as The Palace Eunuchs.

Midwest Rhino | December 6, 2014 at 4:22 pm

I’m not sure “calling his bluff” is the proper framing of the question.

He can veto “the will of the people” to fund most of government, and then it will be up to Democrats to refuse to override the veto on funding government.

Last time Harry Reid stated “I will not do this piecemeal” … give me everything or I shut it down, in other words. But that message was drowned out by media lies.

This time it would be more clear … Obama would be vetoing funding directly, (as opposed to Reid’s quiet pocket veto).

Republicans would have to try real hard to lose on this issue, but they have sold us out before. Of course it is Reid’s bluff we are calling first, since he again wants everything or he will pocket veto it. But can we make it till January without real problems? I think we can.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Midwest Rhino. | December 7, 2014 at 3:49 am

    Nobody can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory the way Boehner can.

    They absolutely should not fund amnesty, and they absolutely will fubar it to the max.

    But so be it. Do it anyway.

    This is Obama making the ‘pubs look like weak losers and that the ‘people’ should not have voted for them. As an aside, I’m sure there are millions of low infos out there who think the ‘pubs are already in control of congress. The ‘rats count on the gross ignorance of the public to get away with their scams.

    I doubt that Boehner has the cojones to ‘just do it’.

The Republicans ought to keep several departments they want to defund (Education, Commerce, EPA, DHS, FTC, etc) on a real short leash (budget for only 2 weeks or month at a time for the rest of Obama’s presidency). That way they’ll continue to have leverage over anything he tries to do. And they ought to be clean bills – no riders or pork amendments, just xxx dollars to fund this agency for 1 month.

Establishment Republicans will give all sorts of reasons why they should give in to Obama, but the real reason is they don’t want the spending to stop. The rest is just words to fill the space.

What ‘Immigration Executive Order’ ? As I understand it, there has been none signed. Directions to change policy implementations, yes, but ‘Immigration Executive Order’, no such thing.

If anyone disagrees, post here the number of it. They all have numbers, they are all public ( with very few exceptions, like national security). Post a link, and it’s number.

Hint – there can be no lawsuit against an executive order that doesn’t exist.

    Ragspierre in reply to pjm. | December 6, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    What there are are “Presidential Memoranda”, which have the same effect, or else no agency would have any authority to do what they are doing, and each agency head would be prone to an immediate slap-down by the courts.

Lady Boehner doth protest too much, methinks. Boehner and McConnell WANT amnesty, as long as they can blame it on Obama.

You post a false, or incomplete, choice. Let there be 12 separate appropriation bills, for different departments. Let Obama and Reid reject 11 bills in 11 days, before even getting to the bill involving DHS.

    Good point. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the omnibus appropriation system was a so-called reform in the wake of Watergate. It hasn’t worked. Time to eliminate it.

      gregjgrose in reply to Reticulator. | December 6, 2014 at 6:39 pm

      Before 1921, each spending was approved ‘department by department’, since then, a unified budget.

      The Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 … was landmark legislation that established the framework for the modern federal budget. … This act meant that for the first time, the president would be required to submit an annual budget for the entire federal government to Congress. source: Wikipedia

      You may be thinking of the loss of budget ‘impoundment’:

      Impoundment is [the] act [of] a President … of not spending money that has been appropriated by the U.S. Congress. Thomas Jefferson was the first president to exercise the power of impoundment in 1801. The power was available to all presidents up to and including Richard Nixon, and was regarded as a power inherent to the office. The Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 was passed in response to perceived abuse of the power under President Nixon. Title X of the act, and its interpretation under Train v. City of New York, essentially removed the power. The president’s ability to reject congressionally approved spending thus became severely inhibited.

      same source

      Or not, YMMV

” what happened in October 2013.”

Uhhh, that would be winning the midterms in a walk? What a horrible fate.

“Please don’t throw me in that briar patch!” B’rer Rabbit.

A broadsword was a terrible weapon, with enormous striking power. One important means of defeating a man with a broadsword was to step inside the arch of the blade. You took away the advantage of the weapon by counter-intuitively stepping up to your opponent.

Take away this weapon. Step up to Barracula, and just take the power out of his hands.

One of the prime…maybe THE prime…tool of a “community organizer” is to challenge a local government or business or organization, using any means at hand…fair or foul, legal or not. They are daring their opponent to resist for fear of the PR costs.

Take it away. Step into ScamWOW’s dare.

There is no need to bluff in order to pass a budget. All that is needed is some work, and here’s how it should go:

Split up the budget into the 12 appropriations bills the way it used to be for years. Insert a provision in the immigration department funding bill that forbids any increase in amnesty above what was permitted in 2012. Include provisions that remove officer holders from office who violate the numbers.

Now pass each bill with an associated second bill that only takes effect if the first bill is vetoed. The second bill provides 60 days worth of flatline budgeting for the agency *exactly* at the same dollar amount of last year.

Yeah, I know. Reid will refuse to allow the bills onto the floor, and will blame the Republicans for ‘Massive cuts.’ Hammer the real percentage increases in the budgets in your talking points, compare the numbers to 2007, and repeat until January, at which point they begin to land on the president’s desk, and the real fireworks begin. The key is not to fall into the trap that a 6 percent increase in funding is a cut. The chorus should be repeated: This agency received X percent increase in their budget this year, and it was vetoed. We sent a bill to hold funding at exactly the same as last year for 60 days and it was vetoed. The president is refusing to negotiate and is willing to shut down the government, despite our best efforts.

    Main problem is that the Republicans won’t hammer the issue in their talking points, because in their heart of hearts, most of them don’t want something like this to succeed. They’re not good at faking sincerity.

      And that, dear friends, is why it was so important to defeat the GOPE types. But no, the local committees buckled and supported the old, tired GOP Establishment fools, rather than the Conservatives who would have said “the forest of legislative budgeting has become overgrown with thickets, weeds and dead wood and it’s time to burn it to the ground so that a healthy, lean budget can be grown in its place.”

      We could have had Matt Bevin and Chris McDaniel. Conservatives who understood the will of the voters to say “ENOUGH!” Instead we continue to have the timid Mitch McConnell and the incompetent Thad Cochran. There’s a story at politico “Compromise shouldn’t be a dirty word.” Where was that attitude from the Democrat Senators since 2008?

      Mark my words: McConnell WILL reinstate all the “minority” rights that Reid stripped, and probably give the Democrat Membership MORE rights, when he should be saying “you made us live under the sword and told us ‘elections have consequences and we won.’ Now YOU get to live under those lovely rules.”

He’s not bluffing.

Call him on it anyway.

Subotai Bahadur | December 6, 2014 at 8:00 pm

It is not a choice between being meanies and shutting down the government -v- letting things go on as they always have gone. Under whatever name; Executive Order, Executive Memorandum, Decree, Ukase, Imperial Whim, or Führerbefehl Obama has arrogated unto himself the claimed authority to over-ride Congress’ enumerated powers and voided Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. If the Republicans do as they are indicating, absolutely nothing, it is a permanent cession of that power to the Executive and the end of the Constitution.

The Oath is to the Constitution; not a Führereid to Buraq Hussein Obama himself. It. Never. Expires.

if Congress does NOT go to the mat and stand up to Obola, the courts will, rightfully, not take up any case they might eventually file.

Shut it down and leave it shut down.

Yes, they should, but they won’t. The two political choices we have now are either ‘liars’ or ‘lip-service.’ The GOP is only a marginally better choice than the Dems at this point.

Henry Hawkins | December 6, 2014 at 9:49 pm

Staaaay the course, wouldn’t be prudent, someone might get offended.

The GOP will die with all of its arrows still in the quiver.

The pResident isn’t bluffing of course. He’ll be happy for the gov to shut down, believing it will be blamed on the R’s and to his political benefit. He will be wrong, just like he was this past time.

The current R leadership wants amnesty as bad as the pResident, so they will use the excuse of not allowing the gov to shut down.

Only if enough of the actual conservatives grow some will this be stopped. And that seems very unlikely.

Government shutdowns have only become real fodder for political posturing since Reagan – and Republicans ALWAYS get blamed, whether we hold the Congress or the White House side.

Even a plurality of self-identified Republicans oppose shutdowns over disputes. Independents oppose them 70-30.

– –

The idea that since we overcame the hit we did take in polling due to the last stupid shutdown a year later, and won the midterms, shutdowns don’t hurt, is illogical and wrong. It’s like seeing a dog poop on the sidewalk, and later that day it rains, and believing dog poop on the sidewalk makes it rain.

The only reason we were able to rebound so quickly and so far was due to the continuation of the ObamaCare rollout and other Obama actions. In fact, we interrupted the rollout with the shutdown and gave the Democrats a three week break from the disaster, which effectively killed Cuccinelli’s late surge in Virginia. That was the only tangible result.

– –

It should also be noted that Cruz and the other advocates of this insane ‘strategy’ have no plan to follow up. Just like last time. So we shut it down . . . THEN WHAT?

It’s the Underpants Gnome Business Plan all over again:

1. Collect underpants.
2. ???
3. Profit!

– –

And it is the wisdom of experience that doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result, is just crazy.

    Midwest Rhino in reply to Estragon. | December 7, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Hard to say precisely what made for the wave election, but even some in Hollywood noticed Obama went out of his way to close the mall to Veterans, then spent more money to open it for illegals.

    That made for some good imaging of what All Drama Obama and the left are up to.

    Ragspierre in reply to Estragon. | December 7, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    “So we shut it down . . . THEN WHAT?”

    Well, first of all, you are lying.

    WE don’t shut anything down. WE fund the legitimate functions of government.

    Pres. ScamWOW SHUTS IT DOWN…if, in fact, he has the sand to do that.

    Your argument is like, “If we elect Abraham Lincoln, some hot-head in the Carolinas might take exception”.

    Or, “If we declare independence, it might piss of King George.”

    Yeah. Gee. We might have to take our balls in our shorts and do something…I dunno…right. Ineluctable. Consequential. Risky. Historic.

    Or we could be a bunch of poltroons like you.

      gregjgrose in reply to Ragspierre. | December 7, 2014 at 6:23 pm

      Macbeth: If we should fail?
      Lady Macbeth: We fail! But screw your courage to the sticking-place, and we’ll not fail.

      It’s not possible to screw the inscrutable…

      I’m with you, no guts no glory, but what in the ?!$&@ can we expect from Congress-critters?

        Ragspierre in reply to gregjgrose. | December 7, 2014 at 7:09 pm

        IF we don’t push, prod, and provoke, I expect the status quo.

        Happy to see the shiny new Senator from Arkansas calling for EVERYBODY to contact their Congresscritters this coming week.

        If we can’t move them on this, things are going to get ugly.


    “Government shutdowns have only become real fodder for political posturing since Reagan – and Republicans ALWAYS get blamed, whether we hold the Congress or the White House side.”

    “Even a plurality of self-identified Republicans oppose shutdowns over disputes. Independents oppose them 70-30.”

    You would have us all believe that the GOP Majority’s “Power Of The Purse” is automatically null & void because Liberals & RINOs control the Democrat-Media Complex thus said Liberals & RINOs control the views and wishes American population?


    Maybe that was once true but the fact that the history-making 2014 election cycle was a political annihilation of Obama’s policies in spite of the propaganda spewing Democrat-Media Complex.

    – – – –

    “The idea that since we overcame the hit we did take in polling due to the last stupid shutdown a year later, and won the midterms, shutdowns don’t hurt, is illogical and wrong.”

    Since you are an obvious enemy of Tea Party Principles, who are you to tell us TP Americans what we think and believe?

    To that, I say… Buzz off, Bozo.

    – – – –

    “The only reason we were able to rebound so quickly and so far was due to the continuation of the ObamaCare rollout and other Obama actions. In fact, we interrupted the rollout with the shutdown and gave the Democrats a three week break from the disaster, which effectively killed Cuccinelli’s late surge in Virginia. That was the only tangible result.”

    You left out the indisputable fact that RINOs joined with Liberals in attacking GOP lawmakers (voters who put them in office)who bravely did what they promised to do if elected.

    In fact, as memory serves, Mitch McConnell did not dispute/discourage a McConnell-primary-supporting super-PAC which trotted out the Liberals’ racism weapon to attack his conservative opponent/supporters.

    – – – –

    “It should also be noted that Cruz and the other advocates of this insane ‘strategy’ have no plan to follow up. Just like last time.”

    No plan? I can’t speak for Senator Ted Cruz, but I plan to celebrate the defeat of Obama’s lawless amnesty decree and watch him glare with his flashy whites-of-the-eyes as he turns his head from side to side while gnashing his teeth and acting like a little boy denied his cookies.

    You RINO types want political media war with us?

    Fine by me, Sir/Ma’am.

    Bring It

While I’m about garnering your ‘down-twinkles,’ let me also address the bitter facts about elections. First, they matter.

And while your lunatic fringe cabal may have successfully hijacked the Tea Party movement (accounting for the decline in positive impressions of the TP by the public from 60% in 2009 to 25% today) and foisted upon the GOP such flawed candidates as Christine McDonnell, Angle, Buck, Joe Miller, Maese, and Mourdock who lost winnable seats (not counting Akin, who wasn’t the TP guy – but if Sarah Palin hadn’t urged Stockman to become the third one in the primary, he could not have won), you are slipping.

Your challengers to incumbent Republicans failed this year – as did your public wishes for Democrats to win those seats instead. When all the RINOs win and you ‘True Republicans’ lose, maybe it is YOU and not them who are ‘in name only.’

– –

The proverb says, ‘If you set out to kill the King, kill the King.’ There is no partial success in palace revolutions. And the consequences for the rebels who fail can be severe.

Now, we victors don’t intend to behead you brigands, but this reprieve and olive branch should not be construed as an invitation to resume your usual braying. STFU, you have forfeited your seat at the policy table for now.

Or do what you always threaten, ‘start a third party.’ But of course that would mean not participating in our 2016 primaries, wouldn’t it? No matter, we will soldier on somehow without you, keeping a stiff upper lip.

    Ragspierre in reply to Estragon. | December 7, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Who is this “we” you keep referring to, establishment man?

    Yujin in reply to Estragon. | December 7, 2014 at 11:20 am

    “we will soldier on …”

    Oh,OK,that’s working out well isn’t it?

    Midwest Rhino in reply to Estragon. | December 7, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    your lunatic fringe cabal may have successfully hijacked the Tea Party movement (accounting for the decline in positive impressions of the TP by the public from 60% in 2009 to 25% today)

    The establishment, mostly Dems, saw a huge threat from the grassroots tea party concept, brought alive by Santelli’s nationally televised rant. They countered with the astro-turfed Occupiers, and as Schumer said on a hot mike “the word we are told to use is EXTREME”. That has worked in Pavlov dog fashion.

    But I agree there is a lot of co-opting as well, and part of it was the hyper-“religious” that insisted on riding Santelli’s wave as their own vehicle.

    Akin was Huckabee’s boy, and had support and votes from Democrats in the primary, so maybe he is the one that should have backed out. The other two both got about a third, without Democrat support, so why blame Palin? To me it is the hard stance on “all abortion is murder, from conception” crowd, with implications (real or not, easily campaigned against) of zero tolerance like Chile, that lost the most middle ground votes.

    Still, it is the left that systematically assaulted the “tea party” brand on all fronts, from late night comedy, to blame for every mass shooting, to racism, even claims about making birth control illegal scared the LIV.

    But the basic concepts of smaller government, lower taxes, (and I’m adding) “sovereignty”, remain popular with about two thirds of voters. Maybe states’ rights fits in there too, with so many federal unfunded mandates from the King.

    Barry in reply to Estragon. | December 7, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    You’re so full of shit.

    Your “bitter facts” are nothing more than opinion, designed to influence the unknowing. You will not find the unknowing here very often.

    Sure, we all need to support those Top. Men. Because they have our interests at heart, like more illegal immigration, amnesty for the illegals, spending on the deadbeats, higher taxes, and pretending to be opposed to obamacare while doing nothing – nothing – about it.

    Geez, maybe they can pretend to sue the pResident or something.


    We are not going about creating a “third party.”

    We are going about taking back the Republican party from you smug self-important RINO-Liberal asshats.

    STFU, you say to us?

    You first asshole. 😉

    See ya in the primary trenches in 2015/2016.

    BTW, if a Christie or a Jeb Bush wins the GOP nomination for president in 2016? My only decision will be whether to not vote or to vote against that poser.

    We must take back the Republican party from the RINO herd …one way or the other.

    Who is this King you refer to?

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Estragon. | December 8, 2014 at 10:33 am

    You f**king moron, you and the establishment GOP are ‘the king’.

“shutting down the Gov’t.” is about spending. Tip Oneill shut it down when Reagan was President,but he was looking out for the little guy, the working man, The Children…(you all know the routine).
Then came the shut down of 95-96. Newt vs. Clinton. Someone in Clinton’s mob organization came up with an idea.(My money is on James Carville) The Democrat Party collaborated with the Media,shocking, I know. They pulled the Chicken Little routine loudly. Panic the public and your average Congress critters. Then they concern-trolled the Influential GOP members. “Oh this is going to hurt you guys.” They found RINOs that agreed with them and heaped on the praise. They beat the GOP over the head and convinced them that shutting down the gov’t. to cut spending was unacceptable. The GOP should never try to stop Democrat spending by using this tool.
The reality is that it didn’t hurt the GOP at election time. Look at this last election as well. The last shut down the GOP got the blame, but that didn’t hurt at the polls.
The GOP has been conditioned to fear shut downs. It has been effective. The polling data coming out now is merely a continuation of this conditioning.
Our country is being destroyed at an ever increasing pace.
Shut it down.

Our house is on fire and we are worried about getting things wet.

I really cannot see Obama shutting down the government over amnesty. He would be saying he values 5 million illegal aliens more than 330 million Americans. I would call that bluff. He would lose even Democrats if he tried that.

One further thought…

This isn’t about politics and maneuvers and getting over on the other guy.

THIS is about an oath of office, and fidelity to the very core of our nation and its laws.

And every one of the people who have the incredible honor of taking that oath need to be brought to a remembrance of the trust voters put in them. THEN they need to honor that oath and that trust.

Yes, call the bluff coming from Obama Island..where he’s exiled himself.

I remember a lot of the talking points being about the Senate vs the House and how it was the House’s fault last time. That was the media narrative back then. I’m sure they’ll come up with a new spin but polls show that people don’t give much of a damn what pile of crap the media flings on the wall these days. Further, this will involve Obama effectively trying to ignore the entire legislative branch for his own agenda…his narcissism will shine through even harder this time and it will be difficult for even the most willfully-ignorant liberals to ignore the glare as they try to mirror this arrogance onto the discussion to deaf ears.

One other thing… A govt shutdown really isn’t. In spite of the declaration some 80% or so of the govt is still operating.

Paul In Sweden | December 8, 2014 at 7:19 am

Shut it down! Run two years of Senate and House investigations to all the scandals. Two years of no new laws and regulations would be a reprieve.

“lunatic fringe cabal”

This is how the GOP establishment and its biggest fan on LI regard the conservative base.



Even the suggestion of a “shutdown” is not a good idea. But do we really want to fund the entire fiscal year at this point? What happened to the idea of funding through January, and then using the GOP majority as leverage to deal with a more balanced approach?

    Ragspierre in reply to IrateNate. | December 8, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    That is an idiotic, self-contradictory set of blather.

    What kind of deal do you imagine the GOP can “leverage” without any…you know…LEVERAGE?

    What do you call “balanced”…???