Does the Senate know how to government?
There have been many times when I thought the Senate was getting too big for its britches, often forgetting that they are the second chamber and not the end all, be all of everything in the government. Basic civics teaches us that everything starts in the House of Representatives.
The Senate has received a lot of backlash, especially the Democrats, due to a deal to stop the government shutdown. Now the House has added to the criticism, with House Democrats claiming that the Senate has screwed them with the deal and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise stating that the lawmakers are not bound by the deal.
The fractures within the Democrat Party came into the spotlight after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY) reached an agreement with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) due to a promise “to hold a vote resolving the status of young undocumented immigrants by mid-February.”
The House Democrats
Yesterday, Kemberlee and Professor Jacobson wrote about the implosion within the Democrat party in the Senate after the chamber voted to stop the debate on the bill to end the shutdown and then voted on said bill.
That anger within the party leaked to the House. From Politico:
“They blink, they just do, and it’s unfortunate,” Illinois Rep. Luis Gutiérrez said about Senate Democrats. “I thought they were going to stand tall and firm.”
Rep. Gwen Moore of Wisconsin was blunter at a House Democratic Caucus meeting Monday afternoon. “How do we know the Senate isn’t screwing us?” she said, according to two sources.
“They are,” responded House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).
During the caucus meeting, the Democrats agreed that “they could shoulder some of the blame in the public eye for shutting down the government.”
Anyone could see the splinter between the Democrats in the chambers before anyone spoke out. Only 16 Senate Democrats voted against the funding bill while 144 House Democrats voted no, which is the majority of the caucus.
House Republicans Also Spoke Out
While the disagreements within the Democrat Party may catch the right’s eye, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that the House Republicans have also spoken out against the Senate deal. Over the weekend, the House Republicans told the Senate Republicans that they “will not be bound by any agreement reached across the Capitol on immigration.” Roll Call continued:
“I don’t see any of our people interested in some half-baked idea that’s produced by a self-appointed group of senators,” Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole said. “The only thing the speaker tells us that he has signaled to [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell he can do is change the dates.”
Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the shutdown “blew up” bipartisan, bicameral negotiations that were underway on an immigration measure to include border security and a replacement for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.
I guess everyone in the House is sick of the disrespect from the Senate because House Republicans haven’t backed down. Scalise had no problem voicing this to Politico:
SCALISE told us the House doesn’t feel at all bound by SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL’S (R-KY) agreement with Senate Democrats to consider immigration legislation by Feb. 8. “March is really the timeline. … The House wasn’t part of that deal.”
We asked SCALISE if Graham-Durbin — the bipartisan immigration deal du jour — stands a chance, and he said “not in the House.” “It’s good for everybody to put their ideas on paper but ultimately there are things that can and cannot pass in the House. And we have to work through those details and we’re working through them.”
SCALISE said he thought it would “excite our base” if they get a big immigration deal. But he said bluntly: “We’re not going to pass a bill that has amnesty. There are things that would anger our base that I don’t see us passing in the House.”
The Republican Study Committee (RSC), the largest group of House Republicans, has “called for a vote on a conservative border security bill, and warned it would reject a more moderate measure some Senate lawmakers are trying to advance.” The bill from the group protects those in DACA, “but would also implement significant border security and immigration reforms, including an end to chain migration and new funding for a southern border wall.”
The proposal from Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) won’t go anywhere in the house since the conservatives in the House have applied pressure to their leadership not to even bring the bill to the floor. They prefer a vote on the RSC bill.DONATE
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