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US House Tag

Democrats threw up a roadblock today when they filibustered a GOP bill that would fund the Department of Homeland Security while neutering years' worth of Obama Administration policies favoring deportation amnesty. As I said earlier today, GOP leadership had to have known this was coming. The Dems have been apoplectic over Republican challenges to executive amnesty ever since they lost the majority, so a challenge to this aggressive change in policy is no surprise. What is surprising is how one of the Senate's most aggressive members addressed the possibility that the House bill would fail to make it to a vote. Via National Review:
Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and Senator Susan Collins (R., Maine) argued during a Senate GOP lunch that if Democrats filibuster the Department of Homeland Security funding bill — which blocks implementation of Obama’s 2012 deferred action program and his November 2014 “adult amnesty” — Republicans should respond by blocking only the 2014 orders. The thinking, according to a GOP senator who was in the lunch, is that Senate Democrats will have a harder time staying unified for a filibuster if Republicans have a narrower focus. “What I have said for months now is the central focus of Republicans should be stopping President Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty,” Cruz tells National Review Online when asked to confirm the details of his case. “That’s what Republican candidates promised the voters in November and that’s the promise we need to fulfill.”
That's...new. And huge. Back in January, Senator Cruz released a glowing statement, praising the House bill and its amnesty defunding provisions, saying that it was up to the Senate "to take up the House bill, preserving those key provisions, and send it to the President..." What happened?

Modern-day slavery. When I lived in Texas, I learned more about the horror and despair of human trafficking than I ever thought there was to know. It's the fastest growing business of organized crime, and especially in places along the border, it shows. It took me a long time to truly understand that, in (then) 2012, there were still people in this country whose trade involved the exchange of money for human flesh. The U.S. House of Representatives is taking advantage of this week's Super Bowl hype to tackle the problem head-on. Right now, human traffickers are shipping in their young victims to take advantage of the influx of tourists into Phoenix, Arizona---and while the police can help combat the rampant exploitation, they don't have the manpower or resources to reverse the tide. The House has launched a sweeping initiative to fight the horrors of human trafficking, and they're starting with a dozen bills and a big messaging push aimed at helping people understand how dangerous the situation has become for 20 million people worldwide: From the House Republican Caucus:

This morning, Speaker Boehner announced he's working with House members to finalize a plan authorizing legal action against the President for his immigration executive overreach. This latest effort is in addition to the work the House has already done to rein in immigration. The House tried to limit the president's executive overreach with the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill. The bill diverted funds to beef up immigration enforcement. Additionally, the House Department of Homeland Security Committee recently released the Secure Our Borders First Act, one of, if not the toughest border security bill considered by Congress. Yet as Boehner pointed out this morning, much of the latest executive sidestep falls outside of the jurisdiction of the House Homeland Security Committee.

John Boehner gave a speech today that I could have written for him about Obama's lawless immigration actions. The speech hit all the right notes in connection with passage of a House funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security which blocks using funds for Obama's executive immigration plan. That plan, devised by the White House, unilaterally creates a new class of people effectively exempt from being penalized for immigration violations by inventing a process to obtain legal status found nowhere in the immigration laws. It is not executive or prosecutorial discretion as to better implementing current law---it is a rejection of current law.

When I helped co-found a San Diego Tea Party group in 2009, one of our biggest action items was battling against Obamacare. Our members dialed Congress relentlessly, believing our representatives might weigh the will of the people.  What ever delusions I had about that concept utterly vanished when then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi paraded through a Tea Party rally by the Capitol with her big gavel. As for Obamacare passage, that's history, courtesy of congressional Democrats -- and reports on the new law's progress show that it is an even larger failure than we originally projected. So, imagine our opinion of of the Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner when he gave Pelosi a big kiss and a warm hug---especially since he holds that position courtesy of the hard work of Tea Party members across the country.

Here we go! The Washington Post has the updated whip count as of 10 this morning. They have also confirmed Reps. Amash and Webber as firm "nos," giving the anti-Boehner coalition 2 more votes toward an alternative candidate. Boehner is predicted to lose more votes than in his previous bid for speaker, but he also has more room for error:
As Politico reports, at least 12 House Democrats are skipping the speaker vote to attend former New York governor Mario Cuomo's (D) funeral. That increases the threshold for pushing Boehner to a second ballot to at least 35, making him even safer. That 35 number, we would emphasize, is a minimum. Boehner needs a majority, so if some members don't vote, Boehner's threshold for winning will be lower than the usual 218 votes — as it was in 2013, when it was 214 votes. So if some of these Boehner opponents vote for nobody — as Labrador and Mulvaney did in 2013 — that hurts Boehner less.
We'll be providing live updates and reactions to the vote, so stay tuned! You can watch a live stream of the House session here, via C-SPAN. UPDATES The live stream is up!

Tomorrow's vote for Speaker of the House will bring a welcome end to what has become our long national right-wing nightmare. According to reports from multiple sources, Boehner has drawn more fire this time around, and can expect to lose as many as 20 votes when the chamber finally votes.
“Washington is broken in part because our party’s leadership has strayed from its own principles of free market, limited government, constitutional conservatism,” new Rep. Dave Brat of Virginia wrote Sunday on the conservative website Breitbart.com. “While I like Speaker Boehner personally, he will not have my support for speaker,” added Brat, who shocked the GOP establishment by toppling then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a primary last year. Brat had once said he would back Boehner. “I want us to have [a] leader who is willing to stand up for conservative, religious principles I believe in,” North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones told a home-state newspaper Saturday, citing Florida Rep. Daniel Webster as a potential alternative. So far, Boehner’s two announced challengers are Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert and Florida Rep. Ted Yoho — both long-shot candidates at best. Gohmert said he would fight “amnesty tooth and nail,” while Yoho said Boehner is part of the “status quo.”
Big words from a small group of fighters, but it doesn't look like their efforts have drawn enough support from those who we expect to support Boehner. Here's what the vote breakdown looks like right now, courtesy of WaPo: Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 6.01.38 PM The anti-Boehner coalition needs 29 votes to force a second ballot; they currently have 10.
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