Why we need better Senate Republicans… DHS funding edition

posted at 3:31 pm on February 22, 2015 by Jazz Shaw

I really need to stop watching political news coverage on Sundays because I can’t afford to buy a new TV every week if I start throwing bricks through the screen. As we have discussed here ad nauseam, the funding for the Department of Homeland Security is ready and waiting to be spent. The House has approved it and it only requires the Senate to do likewise, followed by a quick signature from President Obama. Done and done. The deadline for action – which is being blocked by the Democrats – is quickly approaching. In fact, it will arrive while we’re all down in the vicinity of our stalwart GOP representatives during CPAC. All the GOP needs to do now is make sure that the bill in the Senate is ready and waiting for a vote at any moment the Democrats would care to allow one. Nothing else is required except for a bit of intestinal fortitude on the part of the Republicans.

So let’s see how we’re doing on that front. First, the head of the DHS has the media singing his tune, as he claims that the Democrats aren’t blocking anything.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson claimed that Democrats are “not blocking debate” on the DHS funding bill that they have filibustered in the Senate. “Democrats are not blocking debate,” Johnson said on Fox News Sunday.

When asked why Democrats refused to take up the House-passed DHS appropriations bill, which contains language denying funding for Obama’s executive orders, and try to amend the bill to remove that language, he explained that they are unwilling to debate the executive orders in the context of DHS funding.

Well, Johnson is part of Team Obama, so you’d expect him to spout some nonsense like that. No surprise there. So let’s hear from some prominent Republicans as they put him in his place. First up, Lindsey Graham.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) called for Republicans to pass a Department of Homeland Security funding bill and hope that the courts invalidate President Obama’s executive orders, a reversal from his position of two weeks ago.

“I agree with the Texas judge who said that the executive orders were illegal,” Graham said told George Stephanopoulos during an ABC interview. “I hope Republicans will come together and back the court case, file a friend of the court brief with the court and fund DHS. I am willing and ready to pass a DHS funding bill and let this play out in court. The worst possible outcome for this nation is to defund the Department of Homeland Security given the multiple threats we face to our homeland. And I will not be part of that.”

Let the courts handle it? Seriously? Senator Graham, the finish line is in sight. You have one job at this point, and that’s to ensure that the Democrats have every opportunity to help fund DHS or to give them enough rope to hang themselves. What are you possibly thinking?

Perhaps you can have some sense talked into you by your colleague, Senator McCain.

“I’d love to be a friend of whoever is taking this case all the way up to the United States Supreme Court,” McCain said, adding that he was confident that the matter would ultimately be settled there, and that the states would prevail. As for shutting down DHS, McCain said he opposed that plan of attack, and believed it would ultimately fail in the Senate.

“I don’t want to see that movie again,” he said, referring to the 2013 government shutdown, and specifically to the thousands of visitors turned away from National Parks in its wake. Left unsaid was that a possible DHS shutdown would affect only a small percentage of the agency’s workforce, since 87 percent of Homeland Security employees are deemed “essential,” meaning they must continue working in a shutdown, and the other 13% can easily be recalled to work in an emergency.

If I could offer up a plaintive question to both Lindsey Graham and John McCain… why do you hate us? This was why we fought and won the election of 2014. You have all the tools you need to accomplish a significant goal which is desired by the very people who kept you in your lofty positions of power. And we’re really not asking you to do much of anything… just let the Democrats destroy themselves and enjoy some popcorn while they do so.

I’m very close to losing faith entirely. These guys have victory in their grasp and they are about to turn tail and let it slip away. In the process, they will hand a massive victory and election talking point to the people who the voters rejected last November. They could simply show up for work every day for the rest of the week, sit on their hands while saying nothing (unless the Democrats agree to a vote) and the job would be done. But apparently this is too much to ask of the Senate GOP.

It’s time for a gut check, gentlemen. We expect you to pass this test, but you’re not doing anything to inspire confidence at the moment.


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Comments

Good article. Miss Lindsay and Juan McCain aren’t exactly hardliners on the immigration issue, so I don’t see how any of this could possibly be surprising.

Redstone on February 22, 2015 at 3:41 PM

The Senate can’t pass it without the house. We don’t need the Senate to block it. They need the House to pass it. The House therefore dictates terms.

Immolate on February 22, 2015 at 3:42 PM

The so-called Department of Homeland Security has become Orwellian named if ever there was such a thing.

VorDaj on February 22, 2015 at 3:44 PM

I’m very close to losing faith entirely.

Mine’s gone. It’s the Senate Fascist-Democrats who are defunding DHS.

rbj on February 22, 2015 at 3:44 PM

It’s time for a gut check, gentlemen. We expect you to pass this test, but you’re not doing anything to inspire confidence at the moment.

Jazz, that’s because the GOPe wants amnesty every bit as much as the Obamanation Administration does. They just do not want to take the hit at the ballot box they know passing it will cause. So, they will instead allow Obama to pass it and claim that they could not prevent its passage.

oscarwilde on February 22, 2015 at 3:47 PM

We need a new party, period.

The immediate unconditional surrender by Boner and McConnell the morning after the biggest midterm landslide in a century convinced me there is no hope for EVER fixing the Republican Party. It’s a country club gentry socialist party that only wins elections when the conservative base turns out. There is no fixing that kind of stupid.

The 2014 midterm was probably the last Republican national victory there will ever be.

ConstantineXI on February 22, 2015 at 3:48 PM

Jazz, that’s because the GOPe wants amnesty every bit as much as the Obamanation Administration does. They just do not want to take the hit at the ballot box they know passing it will cause. So, they will instead allow Obama to pass it and claim that they could not prevent its passage.

oscarwilde on February 22, 2015 at 3:47 PM

Exactly. The RINOS were probably angrier than Obama at that Texas Federal judge who had the audacity to halt His Imperial Majesty.

ConstantineXI on February 22, 2015 at 3:49 PM

McCain and Graham are being deliberately obtuse and supportive of Dem talking points. Either that, or they don’t understand that the House passed the DHS budget on security issues.

onlineanalyst on February 22, 2015 at 3:53 PM

When a “government shutdown” wins you the 2012 elections, why is another “government shutdown” a bad thing?

Are the R leadership all insane?

profitsbeard on February 22, 2015 at 3:55 PM

They’re caving before they even have to suit up for a fight.

Wasn’t it Jaun McLame, the maverick legislator, who once shouted “Fight with me! Will you stand with me and Fight?..FIGHT for this country!”?

Must have been someone else.

Mimzey on February 22, 2015 at 3:57 PM

You quoted two people who fly under false flags.

Another Drew on February 22, 2015 at 3:58 PM

Oops, that’s the 2014 election.

(I only wish it had been the 2012 as well.)

profitsbeard on February 22, 2015 at 3:58 PM

Jazz, that’s because the GOPe wants amnesty every bit as much as the Obamanation Administration does. They just do not want to take the hit at the ballot box they know passing it will cause. So, they will instead allow Obama to pass it and claim that they could not prevent its passage.
oscarwilde on February 22, 2015 at 3:47 PM

While of course this is true, I think that’s possibly even giving them too much credit.

They were mad about Obama’s executive amnesty since it made it even harder to pass “immigration reform”.

This is their goal, the “border security” bill was crafted by Becky Tallent.

Obama’s amnesty doesn’t go far enough for the GOPe.

Redstone on February 22, 2015 at 3:58 PM

The shutdowns produced some of the best oppo-videos, and the 2014 success (which lasted until Boehner and McTurtle got back to DC).

These turkeys in DC, most all, are for amnesty.

All else is fooling the fools.

Schadenfreude on February 22, 2015 at 3:59 PM

#StrategicSurrender

ShainS on February 22, 2015 at 4:01 PM

Graham & McCain are singing the media’s talking points because – as always – they want the media to say nice things about them.

Problem is, it’s (1) all reported as “Republican obstructionism” and a majority of our fellow citizens – according to the polls – buy it and (2) people like Graham, McCain, et al. aren’t about to educate anyone.

BD57 on February 22, 2015 at 4:01 PM

But, but, the media will blame the GOP like they did last time and you saw what that cost us in the 2014 elections! Oh, wait…

Rancher on February 22, 2015 at 4:01 PM

But, but, the media will blame the GOP like they did last time and you saw what that cost us in the 2014 elections! Oh, wait…

Rancher on February 22, 2015 at 4:01 PM

The Establishment doesn’t want a shutdown not because they affect elections (the 2013 shutdown clearly had no negative effect on this election for Republicans) but because:

1. They want to spend like Democrats.
2. They are for Amnesty like Democrats.
3. It makes them uncomfortable at Beltway cocktail parties.

ConstantineXI on February 22, 2015 at 4:04 PM

So, Jazzz….

At what point will you be willing to consider that the Republican leadership is going to go along as a full partner in Obama’s amnesty-struction of the former United States?

All R’s require is some scrap of rhetorical fig leaf to give them cover for their whacko bird base so we’ll keep electing them. Conservatives are enormously stupid, apparently (note the political blogger still pleading with Republican leadership to go for a gut check after they just delivered him a b!tch slap.)

How is it possible that otherwise intelligent people are so willfully blind when it comes to the actual goals of the Republican Party leadership?

Dolce Far Niente on February 22, 2015 at 4:06 PM

Way OT-

Go Dale JR!

wolly4321 on February 22, 2015 at 4:07 PM

I’m very close to losing faith entirely.

Mine’s gone. It’s the Senate Fascist-Democrats who are defunding DHS.

rbj on February 22, 2015 at 3:44 PM

Mine’s gone as well.

These guys have victory in their grasp and they are about to turn tail and let it slip away. In the process, they will hand a massive victory and election talking point to the people who the voters rejected last November.

They don’t care. The next election isn’t until November 2016, so they don’t have to campaign – and they are arrogant enough to believe that they know better than the proles. It’s far easier to go along to get along, to keep raking in the friendly press, the appearances on the talking head shows, the invites to the parties inside the Beltway, the power, the celebrity, they K street / Lobbyist funding.

All of that means more to the GOPe than defending the Constitution or honoring their campaign promises. They look at us the exact same way that Gruber articulated in his videos.

We all know that the Senate Democrats, in order to push a crisis and the expected surrender by the GOPe, filibustered the House funding bill of DHS – which doesn’t fund Obama’s amnesty.

We also know that the GOPe, led by McConnell, already telegraphed their surrender by their refusal to use the Congressional power of the purse to put pressure on the Administration – even to the point that they’ve announced no shutdowns. They fear the spin of the media – and it’s clear that the media will carry water for the Administration.

McConnell can take steps to change the optics and to put the pressure on Obama – but it will require him to either kill the filibuster (as Harry Reid did via the ‘nuclear option) or follow the same process of reconciliation used by Reid to ram Obamacare through the Senate. That would put the DHS funding bill, less the amnesty funding, on Obama’s desk to either sign or veto. Obama’s action would define if DHS runs out of funding or not. A veto would be hard for even this craven media to spin as a GOP caused shutdown. They’ll try, but isn’t the same as the message they now have.

That McConnell is loath to undertake either of these steps is a betrayal to those who voted the GOP to it’s largest Congressional majority since the 1920’s. It shows his craven priorities….which don’t include representing the people or defending the Constitution.

Athos on February 22, 2015 at 4:07 PM

This isn’t a shut down, the essential employees, the ones we LIKE, have to show up for work. Boehner can send a trickle of cash to pay them, if Obama wont sign the bill.

Fleuries on February 22, 2015 at 4:08 PM

I’m very close to losing faith entirely. These guys have victory in their grasp and they are about to turn tail and let it slip away. In the process, they will hand a massive victory and election talking point to the people who the voters rejected last November.

Jazz, you can’t really think they want to stop amnesty. Can you?

The GOPe defines victory as amnesty. The fight is only to try and fool the base into thinking they don’t.

Once you acknowledge that Lindsey and John and all of the leadership want amnesty…everything is very obvious and you can predict every move that is made.

Stop pretending they care about the Consitution and you will be able to tell how this proceeds.

ChrisL on February 22, 2015 at 4:10 PM

It further affirms my suspicions that Lyndsay Graham and John McCain aren’t really Republican.

Actually, I haven’t believed McCain to be Republican for a very long time. He was just pro-military which for some reason automatically made people THINK he was Republican.

But given he has stood by while NASA and our military has been completely plundered….without hardly a raised concern…

Republican senators need to wake up and smell the next election because if they don’t…THEY WON’T BE IN IT. The party is OVER. Grow your balls back and remember why we voted you into office. Remember why we got rid of Pelosi and Reid.

MomofFour on February 22, 2015 at 4:12 PM

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson claimed that Democrats are “not blocking debate”

he’s playing a semantic game. the dems aren’t blocking debate, they are blocking a cloture vote which would end debate and allow a vote. but, yeah, the dems are blocking the bill from going to the prezzy’s desk.

chasdal on February 22, 2015 at 4:13 PM

May those that do not love her drown on their way to starvation.

Bmore on February 22, 2015 at 4:04 PM

Schadenfreude on February 22, 2015 at 4:14 PM

It would have been better if McConnell lost…he is absolutely worthless and will set the conservative movement back years with how he is completely botching the GOP victory.

WisCon on February 22, 2015 at 4:16 PM

The dims are the Party of Old People, and Republicans are the Party of Stupid.

cat_owner on February 22, 2015 at 4:17 PM

How is it possible that otherwise intelligent people are so willfully blind when it comes to the actual goals of the Republican Party leadership?

Dolce Far Niente on February 22, 2015 at 4:06 PM

Its a really great question.

I’d love an answer so we can start working on the real problem.

ChrisL on February 22, 2015 at 4:19 PM

I don’t think Graham and McCain are representative of the entire Republican Senate caucus any more than Cruz and Lee are. Both examples are at opposite ends of the GOP spectrum. To paint Graham and McCain as “the GOP Senate” isn’t exactly fair.

Here is what is liable to happen if DHS funding is allowed to expire:

Obama will make some draconian cuts by decree designed to p*ss off the maximum number of people. For example, cut DHS staffing to cause delays at airports, cut port customs to delay goods shipments, cut border crossing staffing to cause delays there.

Then the top of the hour AM radio station news will broadcast every hour that it is all due to the Republicans. While the GOP will have a different story, the real mainstream media where most people get their news will never, ever, carry the GOP message no matter how good it is, on that top of the hour ABC or CBS radio news broadcast.

So Obama will upset a lot of people and blame Republicans for it.

crosspatch on February 22, 2015 at 4:23 PM

Juan McLame and Grahamnesty agree with El Jefe, not the GOP. So does Marco Rubio. No surprise there.

ezspirit on February 22, 2015 at 4:25 PM

To paint Graham and McCain as “the GOP Senate” isn’t exactly fair.

True. Who in the Senate Leadership do you think disagrees with what Graham and McCain said?

While the GOP will have a different story,

Really? Again, please name someone in the leadership that has a different story.

So Obama will upset a lot of people and blame Republicans for it.

Probably. What do you propose be done about it?

ChrisL on February 22, 2015 at 4:28 PM

I really need to stop watching political news coverage on Sundays because I can’t afford to buy a new TV every week if I start throwing bricks through the screen.

I quit watching on Sundays right after Obama was elected, but I understand you don’t have the luxury of choosing to do so. Before I quit, however, I kept a Nerf gun next to the TV. It came in handy, and was a great stress reliever. I saved a bundle on new TVs, too.

Just a thought…

kakypat on February 22, 2015 at 4:31 PM

Only a blithering idiot believes Democrats will be blamed for not funding DHS. Never gonna happen, you are dreaming to think so.

Republicans are always blamed, ever since Reagan, although short term shutdowns already had a long history by then. Reagan was able to tough it out because he was President and popular.

Even a plurality of Republican voters oppose not funding DHS over the amnesty policy. Independents oppose it by at least 2-1.

Suicidal mania is not a good long-term policy.

Adjoran on February 22, 2015 at 4:33 PM

It would have been better if McConnell lost…he is absolutely worthless and will set the conservative movement back years with how he is completely botching the GOP victory.

WisCon on February 22, 2015 at 4:16 PM

I tried. I voted for Bevin in the primary, then on election day I wrote in “Thad Cochran”.

Right now it’s looking like I’ll be writing my own name in for President this time.

ConstantineXI on February 22, 2015 at 4:44 PM

I’m sick. I think I’ll just throw up and send it to the Senate, c/o McLame and Grahmnesty.

vnvet on February 22, 2015 at 4:55 PM

Sessions: Congress Must Not Fund an Executive Amnesty That’s Been Blocked by a Federal Judge

“We cannot and must not establish the precedent that we will fund illegal actions on the hope that another branch of government will intervene and strike down that illegal action at some later point.”

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/413929/sessions-congress-must-not-fund-executive-amnesty-thats-been-blocked-federal-judge?target=author&tid=1211485

lynncgb on February 22, 2015 at 5:30 PM

It is of some note we are posting our opinions on a site whoes owners are running enterferance for the GOP 1/2 of the two party evil money cult that is selling U S out.

It is U S. against the two party evil money cult
now.

Stand the ground without U S the evil of the world would eat them for breakfast.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on February 22, 2015 at 5:37 PM

John McCain and Lindsey Graham – two of the leading, and most overexposed, actors in the GOPe Kabuki Theater.

Athos on February 22, 2015 at 5:38 PM

Looks like the liberal woman like val jarrett and moochelle have more testosterone than some repubs….shameful….

crosshugger on February 22, 2015 at 5:44 PM

I said this last week — why can’t we get Republican senators who actually support the Republican position to go on TV and distract attention away from people like McCain and Graham who are being counterproductive with their statements?

J.S.K. on February 22, 2015 at 5:48 PM

We knew what sort of leadership we were going to get, in the Senate, if McConnell was the Leader. we knew what sort of leadership we’d get in the House, if Boehner was the Speaker of the House. We’ve got it and the only way to stop it would be for both bodies to revolt and vote in someone else. That’s not going to happen so, once again, we voted the stupid part some power and they’re going to blow it.

bflat879 on February 22, 2015 at 5:50 PM

I tried. I voted for Bevin in the primary, then on election day I wrote in “Thad Cochran”.
Right now it’s looking like I’ll be writing my own name in for President this time.
ConstantineXI on February 22, 2015 at 4:44 PM

Had one of Cochran, McConnell, Boner, Graham etc. lost to their dem opponent, we would probably be in a better place right now.

Probably the GOPe would not have been brazen enough to attempt the Cromnibus.

Defeating powerful incumbents in primaries is very difficult, you need to fly under the radar like Dave Brat.

Redstone on February 22, 2015 at 5:53 PM

Az. Voters vote for McCains pork.

Same wit Boehner.

We sell ourselves.

The ones who do not vote are the base of the evil.

They do nothing when evil men act.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on February 22, 2015 at 5:55 PM

May those that do not love her drown on their way to starvation.

Bmore on February 22, 2015 at 4:04 PM

Schadenfreude on February 22, 2015 at 4:14 PM

…?

JugEarsButtHurt on February 22, 2015 at 6:31 PM

The definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.

Keep voting the GOPe Rino’s back into their cushy jobs.

Oxymoron on February 22, 2015 at 6:45 PM

Let’s hear again how terrible it is for Conservatives to sit home rather than reelect RINOs.

katiejane on February 22, 2015 at 6:51 PM

Let’s hear again how terrible it is for Conservatives to sit home rather than reelect RINOs.

katiejane on February 22, 2015 at 6:51 PM

But, but…Dems are worse.

Voting for a third party just….

Just kidding. I can’t even pretend it matters….

ChrisL on February 22, 2015 at 7:47 PM

“I really trusted McCain and Graham to stand strong on illegal immigration and fight for American sovereignty!”

-something that has never been said by anyone, anywhere.

Redstone on February 22, 2015 at 8:23 PM

A major source of revenue for Arizona is tourism in national parks and national monuments. RINO McCain IS A SENATOR FROM Arizona.

burt on February 22, 2015 at 8:41 PM

And now you know WHY the Tea Party Exists!

jaydee_007 on February 22, 2015 at 9:18 PM

Thanks SC for putting shitbag graham in.

bbinfl on February 22, 2015 at 9:24 PM

We fought and won this election NOT for legislators like these two nimrods… I wish FOX would cast a wider net than the same tired old retreads.

dpduq on February 22, 2015 at 9:28 PM

A major source of revenue for Arizona is tourism in national parks and national monuments. RINO McCain IS A SENATOR FROM Arizona.

burt on February 22, 2015 at 8:41 PM

But we’re not talking about funding or not funding the National Park Service. It’s not part of DHS.

J.S.K. on February 22, 2015 at 9:50 PM

Whether the “shutdown” is laying off some DHS admin staff or the “whole” govt, the R will get the blame in the public’s(MSM) eye will not know how to handle it!!

KenInIL on February 22, 2015 at 11:36 PM

Lindsey Graham said, “I agree with the Texas judge who said that the executive orders were illegal.” The obvious followup question should have been, “So Senator Graham, you just said that the Presidents Executive orders were illegal. AG nominee Loretta Lynch has said she believes the orders are legal and will implement them. Given that Loretta Lynch has pledge to implement illegal Executive Orders how can you vote to confirm an AG that has pledge to implement illegal actions?

dmeyers1 on February 23, 2015 at 12:34 AM

I have informed my SEnators that they can call Graham and McCain class A morons to their face if they want. They are too classy do that, but they would vote YES on the House bill.

hurricane567 on February 23, 2015 at 2:00 AM