Remember the CRomnibus fight on Capitol Hill? Republicans said they would not hold up that spending bill and cause the dreaded government shutdown. We were told that the Department of Homeland Security would be funded through THIS month, and THEN the GOP would get tough on Obama’s amnesty decree.
Surprisingly, the House has walked the walk and talked the talk. The Senate, however, voted 98-2 yesterday to allow a vote on fully-funding DHS — including money for amnesty implementation. (Jeff Sessions of Alabama and Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma were THE ONLY TWO to say no.) :
The Senate vote to advance the spending bill was 98-2 and came after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., promised Democrats he will allow amendments to the legislation that would strip out language to curb President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
The Senate deal includes a separate vote on a measure to block the president’s immigration directives, but it is likely to be blocked by Democrats.
Once lawmakers pass the bill in the Senate, it heads to the House, where conservative opposition has been unfaltering.
Far-right lawmakers have said they will oppose the deal because it uncouples the spending bill from language blocking the president’s executive action, which they say is unconstitutional. “That is the one tool we have to work with, which is funding and defunding,” Rep. John Fleming, R-La., told the Washington Examiner. “And that is the one we are going to use.”
With so many Republicans opposing it, the bill can only pass with Democratic support in the House. The dynamic puts intense pressure on House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who would have to decide whether to abandon his conservative base by putting the bill on the floor for a vote, or risk shouldering the blame for failing to pass legislation in time to stop Homeland Security funding from running out.
Republican leadership has signaled many times they will not let funding for Homeland Security run out. The option of letting funding lapse appears increasingly unlikely following recent terrorist threats in the United States, including one involving the Mall of America in Minnesota.
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., said he is prepared with legislation to fund Homeland Security beyond Friday, in either a short-term or a long-term measure.
But conservatives, including Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, say they are not concerned with a funding lapse, noting that most of the department are deemed essential employees who would report to work. They’ll vote against any “clean” funding bill, they said, and are eager for Boehner to face off with Obama over his executive actions.
“Just bring it,” King said. “Let’s see who cracks first.”
Time for a testosterone check in the Carolinas House delegation. (That hormone is apparently severely lacking on the Senate side.)