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House Republicans promise to stand their ground on DHS funding (UPDATE: Promises Broken. Again.)

House Republicans promise to stand their ground on DHS funding (UPDATE: Promises Broken. Again.)

Promises, Promises.

After almost two months of funding drama, Congress is no closer to resolving the Department of Homeland Security’s funding in a dispute over President Obama’s immigration executive action.

In a Ground Hog-esque day turn of events, we’re right back where we started. Thanks, Democrats.

Speculation that Pelosi and company agreed to support a one week bill because Boehner was considering a “clean” funding bill akin to the Senate, found its way into more than one mainstream media write up of the DHS debacle this weekend.

Because we’d rather not take someone else’s word for it, we inquired independently. This weekend, Speaker Boehner’s office assured us House Republicans had no plans to capitulate to the demands of Senate Democrats. As to the speculation that there was some kind of a deal with Pelosi? “There is no such ‘deal’ or promise,” says Boehner Spokesman Michael Steel.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise echoed the sentiments saying, “There is no such deal and there’s no such bill,” Scalise said on “Fox News Sunday.” “On Friday, there was a bill on the House floor to pass a clean funding bill. We rejected that because we said we’re fighting the president on what he’s doing illegally on immigration,” according to The Hill.

“We are not giving in to Senate Democrats’ blackmail,” Boehner said, “Will keep fighting Obama’s unilateral action on immigration to protect Constitution.”

Sunday, Speaker Boehner explained the House Republican’s position on Face the Nation where he said:

“The promise I made to Ms. Pelosi is the same promise I made to Republicans, that we would follow regular order. You know, the bill is back in the Senate. We’ve asked for a conference with the Senate. And, the Senate Majority Leader at the time, in May of 2013, said, and I quote, ‘we aren’t afraid to try resolve our differences in a conference committee. This has been the custom of the Senate and the House of Representatives for almost 200 years.’ We want to go to conference with the Senate.”

Across the board, Republicans agree that 1) DHS should be funded (Coast Guard and immigration enforcement all fall under DHS, after all) 2) they must do everything in their power to stop Obama’s executive overreach.

With a temporary injunction placed on Obama’s Executive Overreach, some Republicans believe it politically expedient to move forward with a “clean” funding bill, particularly when a DHS shutdown will not stop, bend, halt, or alter the President’s immigration order. Still others are demanding Congressional action (as much as Congress is able to do, anyway) that directly addresses the latest immigration order and see DHS as a bargaining chip.

DHS though, is by no fault of its own right smack in the middle of a nasty game of tug of war. Almost all DHS employees are deemed ‘essential’ and would be immune to a shut down if one occurred. But shutting down DHS won’t stop the President’s Executive Order. So why fight over it?

Using DHS as leverage ensures the President’s egregious executive expansion remain in the headlines and force Democrats to defend the practice of solitary lawmaking from the Oval Office.

Since the fifth circuit has yet to decide definitively on the President’s Constitutional shred fest, why forfeit the only collateral available? Keep giving the Democrats rope. Particularly when they’re quite literally insisting on removing all road blocks to a law who’s implementation would be illegal. If Democrats want to make illegal amnesty their battle cry, let them scream until they’re hoarse.

Last night, Senate Democrats yet again, blocked efforts to go to conference. The Hill reports:

But Democrats vowed repeatedly to block any attempt to go to conference, arguing the Congress should approve a clean bill funding the agency — without immigration measures attached.

Senate Republicans don’t have the 60 votes necessary to overcome the filibuster.

“This push by House Republicans to go to conference is the very definition of an exercise in futility,” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said from the Senate floor. “They want to turn it into something that cannot pass. … We will not be a party to yet another charade by House Republicans.”

How the two sides will reach an agreement by the end of Friday to fund the DHS and avoid a shutdown is unclear, though House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters Monday that House Democrats expect Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to bring a clean funding bill to the floor this week.

In one gianormous game of chicken, Democrats are banking on the House Republicans to fold like their Senate counterparts, who finally passed a “clean” funding bill. Why should Republicans give them what they want? Republicans hold majorities in the House and Senate, after all.

It’s time to call the Democrat’s bluff. No “clean” funding bill. No surrendering to the petulant cries of obstructionists. If Democrats insist on pitching a fit, let them. The pathetic decision to block discussion every.single.time. is one that deserves a swift kick in the pants. If the temper tantrums are allowed to persist without repercussion now, then temper tantrums are what we will see for the duration of the term. Enough is enough.

Get your game face on, House Republicans. We’re counting on you.


I’ll preface this by saying I believe Boehner is in an awful spot and is seldom given the credit he deserves. According to Politico, Boehner announced the House will vote on the Senate’s “clean” funding bill later today. Suggesting Senate Republicans are to blame, Boehner said Senate Republicans, “never found a way to win this fight.” And he’s right.

Speaker John Boehner announced that the House will vote Tuesday on the Senate’s bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security, a move that could enrage some conservatives but end the impasse over the agency’s funding.

“I am as outraged and frustrated as you at the lawless and unconstitutional actions of this president,” Boehner said to a closed meeting Republicans, in reference to President Barack Obama’s changes to the enforcement of immigration laws, according to a source in the room. “I believe this decision – considering where we are – is the right one for this team, and the right one for this country. The good news is that the president’s executive action has been stopped, for now. This matter will continue to be litigated in the courts, where we have our best chance of winning this fight.”

Boehner received a standing ovation, according to a source in the weekly Republican meeting. The decision shows that Boehner is refusing to be hamstrung by a pocket of conservatives who blocked the bill last week and that he will, instead, work with both parties to fund the agency through the remainder of the fiscal year.

The stalemate came after Obama’s decision to shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation. The House tried to gut those provisions, but the Senate was not able to get their bill through the chamber. Congress last week passed legislation to fund DHS through Friday.

Boehner (R-Ohio) told the closed gathering of Republicans that another short-term bill would not pass the House and said that Senate Republicans “never found a way to win this fight.”

“The three-week CR we offered would have kept this fight going and allowed us to continue to put pressure on Senate Democrats to do the right thing,” Boehner said in the meeting. “Unfortunately, that plan was rejected.”

A DHS shutdown, Boehner said, would be dangerous to national security.

“With more active threats coming into the homeland, I don’t believe that’s an option,” he said. “Imagine if, God forbid, another terrorist attack hits the United States.”

It’s hard to disagree with any reason Boehner gave for the sudden change of course, but the problem here lies in the fact that he promised otherwise. Senate Republicans caved, leaving Boehner in an impossible situation… Friday. So we’re left to wonder why House Republicans carried on as though they were armed and ready for battle, only to hoist the white flag this morning.

Whether using DHS funding as leverage was a miscalculation from the get go, or whether the Senate Republicans shoved House Republicans up the creek without a paddle, I’m not sure. Likely a combination of both, with a heavier dose of the latter, but undoubtedly poor strategy and an embarrassingly failed execution.

Yes, we have a temporary injunction on Obama’s order, but we’re already at least one week into those thirty days. Now at the mercy of the courts, Republicans have no leverage, no guarantee Texas v. United States will roll back Obama’s immigration overreach, and those watching from home have no reason to believe Republicans will make good on their promises when they consistently refuse to go toe to toe with the Democrats.

House Republicans came out swinging and passed a killer DHS appropriations bill, one that hammered enforcement. Taking up a piecemeal approach to immigration enforcement rather than an Omnibus bill is also a strategy that I wholeheartedly endorse. Yet when the House’s only play is to roll over to Senate Democrats, it’s all for naught.

The point is not DHS funding or even that as Boehner accurately pointed out, our best chance of fighting the President’s executive overreach is in the courts. The point is that he did not make good on his promise. To make matters worse, Boehner gift wrapped a (and arguably justified in this instance) “Boehner CAVED!!111” present for his dissenters, carving deeper the establishment v. everyone else striation.

Furthermore, as we discussed above, giving Senate Democrats everything they demand, when they demand seems like a less than stellar way to lead.

What an epic cluster.

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Hire a FLUCKING parliamentarian with…

1. backbone, and

2. creativity

THEN TAKE IT TO THOSE CRAP-WEASELS. Beat them like a rental mule on OwlGore’s tobacco farm.

    That’s part of the problem: Boehner is a “face man.” He’s a glad-hander and deal-maker. He’s not willing to put his nose to the grindstone and use the POWER that his office has, and he probably doesn’t actually KNOW, because my guess is that he’s never taken the time to LEARN Robert’s Rules of Order.

    The Republicans could force this through in any NUMBER of ways Let’s detail a couple of them, Starting with the Senate:

    1.) The “Senate Filibuster” is an entire load of horseshit. If McConnell was serious about it, he would hold the Senate IN SESSION and actually MAKE the Democrat Members stand up there and TALK (a la Rand Paul 2013). He won’t do that because he’s WEAK.

    2.) It’s a SPENDING BILL. Take up the house bill and STALL the Senate until the Democrat Members fail in the Filibuster above, then take it up and pass it under reconciliation. Let DHS funding lapse, and be out in front of the press EVERY DAMN DAY saying all the Democrat members have to do is have a debate. They can vote AGAINST the bill later, but they shouldn’t hold the United States hostage. PUT IT ON THE DEMOCRAT MEMBERS EVERY DAMN DAY.

    3.) Boehner could take up the Senate Bill, take it up under “Committee of the Whole” as the “Rules” Committee to allow for ONE amendment on the floor by the majority party, amend the bill to strip the “clean” language and insert the House Language regarding Executive Order limits, pass it and send it back to the Senate, and force the Senate to take it up AGAIN.

    Boehner has GOT to go as Speaker. This is now the 2nd time he’s BURNED the Conservatives and it’s only MARCH. I’m hoping that the rumors that I’m hearing ARE actually true, and that the Conservatives and Tea-Partiers are ready to rebel.

    It’s time for a “Motion to Declare the Office of the Speaker Vacant.” EVERY Conservative ought to be jumping up and down DEMANDING to be recognized by the chair for the purpose of making the motion. It’s time to make a public spectacle and embarrass Boehner out of the office.

      Ragspierre in reply to Chuck Skinner. | March 3, 2015 at 1:13 pm


      I dunno everything, but I DO know I can hire people who know what I don’t.

      I ain’t bashful about doing it, either.

      Any decent manager/leader knows this, and isn’t threatened by it.

      The “Senate Filibuster” is an entire load of horseshit. If McConnell was serious about it, he would hold the Senate IN SESSION and actually MAKE the Democrat Members stand up there and TALK (a la Rand Paul 2013).

      Exactly. The filibuster excuse is just a variation of, “The dog ate my homework.” McConnell is a nanny government liberal who wants amnesty (to please his CoC taskmasters).

      tiger66 in reply to Chuck Skinner. | March 3, 2015 at 5:30 pm

      Very well said sir. Doesn’t seem like it would be that hard, but Boehner doesn’t have the stones.

House Republicans promise to fold like a tent on DHS funding

There, that’s better.

Sammy Finkelman | March 3, 2015 at 9:54 am

Nancy Pelosi was just giving an excuse (and she wasn’t saying that she really expected the House to pass the Senate bill.

You have to understand what the Democrats did here. They voted against a 3-week extension. Then they voted for a 1-week extension.

The Democrats clearly want this to be in the news as much as possible, and/or they want the trap to be as good as possible.

The House Republicans are willing to go with a clean bill, provided a separate bill reversing President Obama’s immigration decision actually passes the Senate. It won’t,
and certainly not one that reverses also the 2012 “Dreamer” executive action.

But if it will pass, whatever will pass that doesn’t ratify at least 90% of what Obama did, Obama will veto it but it seems like this is an outcome the Democrats are trying to avoid.

Sammy Finkelman | March 3, 2015 at 9:57 am

The Republicans are talking like this doesn’t deal with real people, and the Democrats are not addressing the issue of reward for breaking the law.

One of the two things has to give way – either our common humanity, or the idea of a person not deriving a benefit solely from the breaking of law. It should be the latter that gives way. It’s not like they don’t do it anyway, in other places, even in immigration law.

Henry Hawkins | March 3, 2015 at 10:50 am

Mitch McConnell = Stan Laurel
John Boehner = Oliver Hardy

“Well, this is another fine mess you’ve gotten us into!”

buckeyeminuteman | March 3, 2015 at 12:45 pm

October 2013 – Government Shutdown: Boehner folds and re-opens government relying primarily on Democrat votes

December 2014 – Federal Spending Bill: Boehner folds and passes bill relying primarily on Democrat votes

March 2015 – DHS Funding with Support for President’s Amnesty: Boehner folds and passes bill relying primarily on Democrat votes

How is it that only 25 Republicans voted against him to remain Speaker???????

Boehner needs to be replaced with someone that has a spine.

Never fear.

The GOP will fight next time.

    cazinger in reply to Yujin. | March 3, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    LUCY: C’mon Charlie Brown, I know I have pulled the ball away just as you were going to kick it before, but that is exactly WHY it would be foolish of me to pull it away this time. You can trust that I certainly won’t pull the ball away this time, Charlie Brown.

The GOPe leadership in both the House and Senate are trampling each other to be the first to raise the white flag of surrender on amnesty. The Senate – now firmly under the control of Harry Reid again – is rubber stamping Obama’s radical nominees like Loretta Lynch. The GOPe is scheming for a way to dump Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, even if it means handing those Senate seats to the Democrat Party. And some Republican lawmakers are frantically trying to come up with a way to salvage Obamacare if the Supreme Court wanders off-script and strikes down part of the law. The GOPe has quite a list of accomplishments after a mere two months of being in power!

To paraphrase one writer over at Ace of Spades: I am done with being angry at the freckless GOP. Right now I am thinking about what comes after in a post-GOP world. The elections of 2008, 2010, 2012 and now 2014 have convinced me that there is zero chance of reforming the Republican Party. If there is any hope for the US – and I certainly would not bet the farm on it! – it will come from a third political party and not the Demopublican/Republicrat axis that we are stuck with.

i’m off to vote in today’s municipal election, even though it’s a waste of time.

then i’ll be re-registering as something other than “Republican”…

they’re doomed to irrelevancy by their own deliberate actions.

    redc1c4 in reply to redc1c4. | March 3, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    and i don’t care that they’re doomed, just that they want to take me, and the USA, down the drain with them.

Subotai Bahadur | March 3, 2015 at 2:44 pm

This Congress is going exactly as the Institutional DIABLO party wants. They are enabling their Democrat masters in everything. They are happy. They are depending on the Democrats to keep them alive as dependents after the Republican voter base gives up on them [which is well in process]. They have far more faith than deserved in the Democrats. They will be betrayed. To my joy.

    It is obvious now that the GOPe will not rescue the country from tyranny.

    I think the argument over the integrity of the GOPe has been won by those of us who have recognized since they first funded obamacare that the GOPe is not conservative and is best understood as an enemy of conservatism.

    The GOPe is a Progressive party that will work to grow in power, size and influence the reach of the federal government into and upon the people of these several states. There actions and votes are in direct opposition to the founding spirit of America.

    With that now obvious to what I believe is a critical mass of former GOPe voters, the question now turns to what those voters can do.

    1. I am praying for my beloved country, as I see her being squandered by those who swore to protect her.

    2. We now see that the Progressive GOPe will fight with everything they have the takeover of the party by constitutional conservatives. The Teaparty extended a hand of partnership and the GOPe spat on it. I do not think this avenue will be pursued with vigor.

    3. We have an Article V. process currently working its way through the hearts and minds of conservative activists.

    4. We have the american people arming themselves in preparation for war and a police/surveilance state preparing in opposition to them.

    5. What other avenues are there?

Well, after the vote today, my new name for Boehner is Ol’ Carlsbad.

A mammoth cave. It’s time for new leadership. Or SOME leadership.

I would like to hear what Andrew would have to say about the legal status of “Stand Your Ground” in Washington DC. It would seem that some believe there is a “duty to retreat”.

    Ragspierre in reply to gibbie. | March 3, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    Heh, I see what you did there…

    But retreating from your word…from the principles on which you were voted into office by people who trusted you…is different.


MarlaHughes | March 3, 2015 at 9:28 pm

Thank you Kimberly. You gave a great analysis of the entire situation. And, as usual, everyone’s so busy assembling the circular firing squad, they ignore your excellent points.

The Democrats are loving the disarray as Pelosi and Reid offer to help reload while we continue the constant infighting. I have to note that we would at least have had a 3 week extension to explore alternatives farther except a number of Republicans decided to vote with the Democrats against Boehner’s extension. Of course immediately those same Republicans went right back to blaming Boehner. It has become a public sport. Which allows everyone else to escape any accountability. Thank you again for reminding us of just how many other than Boehner share in the blame.

MarlaHughes | March 3, 2015 at 9:30 pm

Side note: I would have loved to have seen McConnell force the Democrats to stand up there like Cruz did and *really* filibuster instead of just threatening it. That would have made for some great sound bites in their next re-election, at least. Maybe if McConnell had threatened a bit harder on forcing them to do so we might not be in this situation now.

That Boehner remains as Speaker makes us one pathetic lot of a voting base, doesn’t it?

We deserve all the misery we get as a result.

JackRussellTerrierist | March 4, 2015 at 1:18 am

Really, I could just cry.

McConnell and Boehner may have just lost 2016 for us.

“A DHS shutdown, Boehner said, would be dangerous to national security.”

There it is, the ratchet effect.

The GOPe has no intention of rolling back the federal leviathan.

For those who think this is just sniping, I ask that you visualize yourself joining the Democrat or Socialist parties and working from the inside to change them; My guess, if you take my request seriously is that you would viscerally recoil from the deed.

That visceral recoil you feel is what I feel when I consider the prospect; we are alike in our bones on this.

What is new is that I now feel that same visceral “NO!” screaming inside when pondering whether I should be a Republican in order to effect change.

There is no circular firing squad as I have turned my back on the circle.