Harry Reid buries White House talking point with opposition to bipartisan border crisis bill

posted at 6:41 pm on July 15, 2014 by Noah Rothman

President Barack Obama sent thrills up the collective legs of his supporters (and a few journalists) last week when he quoted Martin Scorsese’s The Departed during a campaign-style event. “I’m the guy doing my job. You must be the other guy,” Obama said, referring to congressional Republicans.

“It is lonely me just doing stuff,” the president continued. “I’d love it if the Republican did stuff, too.” It is worth noting that the president resorted to this bravado while he was ignoring calls from members of his party to see the border with his own eyes.

The president’s answer to that crisis was to harangue the House GOP for not passing one of his preferred legacy items, comprehensive immigration reform, and to insist that they pass a supplemental funding package before he will deign to address what he called the acute “humanitarian crisis” on the border.

In response to the president’s nakedly political effort to create some distance from this potentially damaging crisis, Congress has done what the president demanded: they are acting. Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn and Lone Star State Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar joined forces this week and introduced a plan to deal with the surge of unaccompanied minors crossing the border from noncontiguous nations.

The bipartisan plan to reverse the effects of a 2008 anti-human trafficking law which helped increase the number of migrant children crossing the border and expedite deportation and asylum hearings has, however, encountered one major obstacle: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

“The Senate will receive a briefing for all 100 lawmakers on Wednesday evening, and Reid (D-Nev.) seemed unwilling to lay out a precise blueprint for how the chamber will move forward on the border crisis until senators speak to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and other top administration officials,” Politico reported on Wednesday.

Asked about the bipartisan, bicameral bill, Reid called it “too broad” and concluded: “The answer from me is: No, I won’t support it.”

“The law that has created some of the controversy now, there’s leeway there [so] that the executive branch of government doesn’t need new legislation,” Reid said of a 2008 human trafficking law that treats Central American unaccompanied minors differently than other migrants. “The Cornyn-Cuellar legislation covers a lot of issues, other issues than the problem we’re having at the border.”

Responding to his Democratic critics, Cornyn said that Congress can’t just “throw more money at this crisis” and dared Reid and others to present an alternative.

Those readers of news outlets that care to report such minor details as the accuracy of the president’s rhetoric will recognize that blocking legislation is nothing new from Reid. Democrats on the stump like to remind their voters that this Congress is one of the most inactive in American history, and they presumably hope that their audience will conclude that condition is the fault of House Republicans.

That is not entirely true.

“Aside from the several resolutions and less-critical bills that the Senate passes by unanimous consent at the end of the day, the Senate has held roll call votes to advance or pass legislation just 21 times in 27 weeks — less than one a week,” The Blaze’s Pete Kasperowicz reported on Tuesday. “And a full one-third of those votes have failed amid GOP complaints that they have no input into the process.”

Many have tagged the 113th Congress as the least-productive in history. Congress has passed the fewest number of bills into law in decades, a fact that some blame on the Republican House.

Last year’s statistics showed just how slow Congress, and in particular the Senate, has become at passing legislation. President Obama signed about 60 bills into law — a record low — and most of those bills originated in the House. Until the last few years, Congress had been able to send more than a 100 and sometimes more than 200 bills to the White House.

Maybe, just maybe, this latest and most brazen round of blocking employed by Reid will compel the media to report that it is not House Republicans but the Democratic Senate that has dramatically reduced legislative productivity. Perhaps the mainstream press will note that Obama has paid lip service to the urgency of the crisis on the border, but his chief ally in Congress is doing everything in his power to prevent a measure which would address a law which many of the president’s allies in the press have blamed for the present crisis.

Or maybe they are just hoping for another story to emerge which will dominate the news cycle and let them off the hook. The latter is a safer bet.


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The democrats are really on the verge of starting a real shooting civil war.

Real Americans are sick of this shit and those “dreamers” will pay the ultimate price.

redguy on July 15, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Obama belongs in an insane asylum.

VorDaj on July 15, 2014 at 6:46 PM

It is expected that the admin will wait for another story to get them of the hook. Why change their method of madness now?

31giddyup on July 15, 2014 at 6:47 PM

Who knew Harry Reid was an obstructionist teatard??

.bama is going to be so mad when he reads about this in the paper.

HumpBot Salvation on July 15, 2014 at 6:48 PM

Many have tagged the 113th Congress as the least-productive in history. Congress has passed the fewest number of bills into law in decades, a fact that some blame on the Republican House.

Last year’s statistics showed just how slow Congress, and in particular the Senate, has become at passing legislation. President Obama signed about 60 bills into law — a record low — and most of those bills originated in the House. Until the last few years, Congress had been able to send more than a 100 and sometimes more than 200 bills to the White House

.

Maybe, just maybe, this latest and most brazen round of blocking employed by Reid will compel the media to report that it is not House Republicans but the Democratic Senate that has dramatically reduced legislative productivity.

From the WSJ in January 2014 -

It’s often said the 113th Congress is on track to become the “least productive” in history—but that tagline obscures crucial details. The Republican House in fact passed more than 200 bills in 2013. Some were minor, and others drew only GOP votes. But nearly a dozen were bipartisan pieces of legislation that drew more than 250 Republicans and Democrats to tackle pressing issues—jobs bills, protections against cyberattack, patent reform, prioritizing funding for pediatric research, and streamlining regulations for pipelines.

These laws all went to die in Mr. Reid’s Senate graveyard. Not that the Senate was too busy to take them up. It passed an immigration and a farm bill. Yet beyond those, and a few items Mr. Reid was pressed to pass—the end-year sequester accord; Hurricane Sandy relief—the Senate sat silent. It passed not a single appropriations bill and not a single jobs bill. Of the 72 (mostly token) bills President Obama signed in 2013, 56 came from the House; 16 came from the chamber held by his own party.

At the start of this summer, the count of bills sitting without action on Reid’s desk, or in his trash can, numbered slightly over 250.

Barak Obama needed to run against a ‘do-nothing’ Congress and was facilitated in this fallacy by both Dingy Harry and the corrupt, mendacious, and feckless mainstream media. This is just another ‘crisis’ created and maintained by the Administration and its allies for the sake of political expediency.

Athos on July 15, 2014 at 6:49 PM

Destruction is the plan.

Chaos is the result lusted for.

Down with the rule of law.

Down with sanity.

Bring it all down.

No borders.
No law.
No escape.
No justice.
No No No

APACHEWHOKNOWS on July 15, 2014 at 6:51 PM

Maybe, just maybe, this latest and most brazen round of blocking employed by Reid will compel the media to report that it is not House Republicans but the Democratic Senate that has dramatically reduced legislative productivity.

Are you crazy, Noah?

antipc on July 15, 2014 at 6:52 PM

With friends like Harry…

Destruction is the plan.

Chaos is the result lusted for.

Down with the rule of law.

Down with sanity.

Bring it all down.

No borders.
No law.
No escape.
No justice.
No No No

APACHEWHOKNOWS on July 15, 2014 at 6:51 PM

Be careful of that for which you wish…

formwiz on July 15, 2014 at 6:56 PM

If we did not know better you would think the two party evil money cult was not in it together.
Seems they know they are a “failed state”, broke, $20 trillion in short term debt and $200 trillion in unfunded buy the voters give a ways.
So they taunt U.S. into a civil war where they can rule by total lie like they lust to do.

The R’s are good at “they made us do it” and the Commie Hate America William Ayers/John Kerry/B. Obama thugs are good at the lie for power evil.

They will force some kind of fight. It looks like they are in a panic to me.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on July 15, 2014 at 6:57 PM

Stay calm maybe. And try to think about how to completely milk this in terms of the electoral advantage for Republicans. Outrage is growing.

And make sure there are no vocal amnesty squishes in the Republican party anymore. Send them packing because they are going to completely muddy our effort to take advantage of this issue. Mainly we got the problem of arguably the top R leader being all out for amnesty, and in fact shockingly mocking anti-amnesty Republicans. I don’t care if we have to vote for the Dem to get Boehner out of there.

anotherJoe on July 15, 2014 at 6:58 PM

Until the sane people of America get a voice in the main media, we are going down the toilet. IIRC, there were over 50 “Jobs Bills” passed in a bipartisan manner in the HOR that were shelved in the senate by the accused pederast and obstructionist Harry Reid. If that does not get out to the sub 90 IQ voters it’s all over.

jukin3 on July 15, 2014 at 7:01 PM

I don’t care if we have to vote for the Dem to get Boehner out of there.

Putting Nanzi Pelosi back as speaker is committing suicide. There will be no recovery from two more years of fascist-democrat party control of the government…NONE.

jukin3 on July 15, 2014 at 7:04 PM

Obama belongs in an insane asylum.

VorDaj on July 15, 2014 at 6:46 PM

…what about Harry?

JugEarsButtHurt on July 15, 2014 at 7:04 PM

Who knew Harry Reid was an obstructionist teatard??

.bama is going to be so mad when he reads about this in the paper.

HumpBot Salvation on July 15, 2014 at 6:48 PM

Best HotAir handle ever… I laugh every time I see it… LOL

PointnClick on July 15, 2014 at 7:10 PM

But of course

cmsinaz on July 15, 2014 at 7:13 PM

Barak Obama needed to run against a ‘do-nothing’ Congress and was facilitated in this fallacy by both Dingy Harry and the corrupt, mendacious, and feckless mainstream media. This is just another ‘crisis’ created and maintained by the Administration and its allies for the sake of political expediency.

Athos on July 15, 2014 at 6:49 PM

I don’t see the Republicans doing anything to refute the lies. They should agree to talking points and keep repeating them the way the Democrats do.

crankyoldlady on July 15, 2014 at 7:18 PM

Many have tagged the 113th Congress as the least-productive in history. Congress has passed the fewest number of bills into law in decades, a fact that some blame on the Republican House.

I take that as more of a feature than a bug. The only people who insist that productivity in government is passing even more legislation and regulations, are those in government itself, and their benefactors.

The only bills worth passing are those that expand liberty, and help remove government’s jackboot on the citizenry.

can_con on July 15, 2014 at 7:20 PM

Putting Nanzi Pelosi back as speaker is committing suicide. There will be no recovery from two more years of fascist-democrat party control of the government…NONE.

jukin3 on July 15, 2014 at 7:04 PM

Agreed, but we will actually have a wave of R victories in November, so we will have a Republican as Speaker, just not Beohner if we can get him out of there. And two years later Boehner’s district will go Republican again with a new R candidate. Apparently the only way we have to get Boehner out of there as GOP leader is to vote him out. Cantorize him. And a Boehner loss will really really get the amnesty shills to go back into their shills (shells I means). Look again please at this video, Boehner is not good for us at this stage: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2014/04/25/boehner_mocks_conservative_colleagues_on_immigration.html

anotherJoe on July 15, 2014 at 7:21 PM

Congress has passed the fewest number of bills into law in decades

The fewer, the better, IMHO.

IrishEyes on July 15, 2014 at 7:21 PM

It’s all Kabuki theatrics to keep the American people off balance and subject to whatever shenanigans the Federal Gummint wants to get past the low info, expertly divided electorate. As always and forever, the Bureaucracy rules, laughing all the way to another round of tax funded bonuses.

vnvet on July 15, 2014 at 7:22 PM

When an infected wound drains less, we call it ‘healing’.
When Congress drains fewer laws into the national pool, it’s called ‘inaction’.

Personally, I regard both as a sign of improvement.

orangemtl on July 15, 2014 at 7:43 PM

OT; But of Course he was released:

The Department of Homeland Security confirmed Vargas was processed at the McAllen Border Patrol station, provided with a notice to appear before an immigration judge, and ultimately released after consultation with ICE.

“Mr. Vargas has not previously been arrested by ICE nor has the agency ever issued a detainer on him or encountered him,” DHS said in a statement. “ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes the agency’s resources to promote border security and to identify and remove criminal individuals who pose a threat to public safety and national security.”

yes, over at HuffnPuff

can_con on July 15, 2014 at 7:44 PM

Did I miss it or did Hot Air not report on the July 7 agreement between Mexico and Guatemala to issue temporary passes to let illegals pass through from Mexico’s southern border to ours?

This after we gave Mexico billions to help “secure” their southern border?

If you are skeptical, Rep. Kay Granger very briefly, even stutteringly, referenced it on Greta tonight (watch repeat later.)

IrishEyes on July 15, 2014 at 7:55 PM

That is not entirely true.

Actually, it’s not true at all. The House has passed bills that have ended up in Dirty Harry’s trash can.

This is just the latest example of Reid being the demagogue he is. And in this case, even some Democrats are starting to agree with Republicans.

cat_owner on July 15, 2014 at 8:00 PM

antipc on July 15, 2014 at 6:52 PM

Yes, Dirty Harry knows the MSM will cover for him. It might make Fox news, and other conservative websites, but that’s it.

cat_owner on July 15, 2014 at 8:03 PM

Harry Reid is a despot.

In February, 2009, when the $800B “stimulus bill” was in Pelosi’s House, an amendment to ensure that all the taxpayers’ money was spent on legal workers passed 407-2. Then Sen. Nelson (D) and Sessions (R) wrote a bi=partisan letter asking for a similar vote in the Senate, but it was not to be. King Harry did not allow a vote in the Senate. Estimated $10B or more went to illegal alien workers.

I fed a question to reporter Nathan Baca, who then asked Reid about it, and Reid denied any illegal workers in Nevada:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzFfK5B6kLg

And now, with Nevada’s new driving privilege card for illegal aliens, they magically show up!!

http://lasvegas.cbslocal.com/2014/07/01/dmv-nearly-49000-nev-residents-have-taken-written-tests-to-obtain-state-driver-authorization-cards/

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) – Nearly 49,000 Nevada residents have taken written tests since January to obtain state driver authorization cards, and just under 16,400 people have gotten the documents as of June 11, state Department of Motor Vehicles officials said Monday.

The cards are available under a new law that made Nevada the 11th state to offer driving privileges to people in the country illegally. Backers say the cards allow immigrants to take a driving test, get insurance and drive legally…

fred5678 on July 15, 2014 at 8:11 PM

IrishEyes on July 15, 2014 at 7:55 PM

I don’t believe there was a post about it, but I do remember seeing the story linked a few times in the comments sections over the past week.

can_con on July 15, 2014 at 8:12 PM

I don’t believe there was a post about it, but I do remember seeing the story linked a few times in the comments sections over the past week.

can_con on July 15, 2014 at 8:12 PM

Thanks, can_con. Seems like it would have been blog-worthy to me, especially compared to a number of others here I’ve simply bypassed. HA seems to have gotten less on “hard news” lately, compared to when I first signed up. At least, it seems so.

IrishEyes on July 15, 2014 at 8:29 PM

IrishEyes on July 15, 2014 at 8:29 PM

Can’t argue with you there. I have been supplementing Hot Air reading time with former Hot air columnists over at libertyunyielding.com in the past few months. J.E. Dyer has been writing some great articles on ISIS as well as the southern border.

can_con on July 15, 2014 at 8:33 PM

can_con on July 15, 2014 at 8:33 PM

Thanks. I’ll add them to my reading list! :)

IrishEyes on July 15, 2014 at 8:35 PM

Hope they don’t have all of the auto-start video ads that are proliferating here. :(

IrishEyes on July 15, 2014 at 8:36 PM

IrishEyes on July 15, 2014 at 8:36 PM

You’re welcome. I haven’t seen any auto vids there either.

can_con on July 15, 2014 at 8:39 PM

“MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, PERHAPS, OR MAYBE” the media will report accurately.

Sorry, it’s not even funny anymore. The U.S. is swirling down the drain and the media is locked into “The Narrative” with their eyes and minds tightly closed.

pilsener on July 15, 2014 at 8:40 PM

Just another reason to designate Nevada as the nation’s nuclear waste dump.

Call it – getting even for sending Harry Reid back to the Senate.

GarandFan on July 15, 2014 at 8:52 PM

Has dingy even read the bill? I thought dear leader liked big comprehensive broad bills so he could pick and choose which parts to implement.

Kissmygrits on July 16, 2014 at 9:09 AM