Worth posting not because Cruz actually intends to try to shut down the government before the midterms but because Democratic leaders and lefty media will gorge on the mere possibility. Now that amnesty’s dead until November, they need something to goose their base. Another shutdown scare will do nicely.
The tea party hero, who aggressively pushed the anti-Obamacare strategy that spurred last year’s 16-day government shutdown, has seized on immigration executive moves from the Obama administration as the root cause of the border crisis this summer.
Although Obama said this weekend that he would delay any executive actions on immigration until the end of the year, Cruz indicated Tuesday that he still wanted to target the issue this month.
“I think we should use any and all means necessary to prevent the president from illegally granting amnesty,” Cruz said when asked Tuesday whether he wants to include such provisions in a continuing resolution to fund the federal government. “That certainly, I think, would be appropriate to include in the CR, but I think we should use every – every – tool at our disposal.”
In theory, the House would pass a Republican bill demanding the end of DACA as a condition to new funding for the government, Reid’s Democratic Senate majority would shoot it down, and then we’d be stuck a la last October as the clock ticked towards the expiration of the current funding bill. In reality, that’ll never happen. For one thing, even while talking tough today, Cruz wouldn’t say that he’d try to block a House bill that lacked the DACA language. (“I have a habit of waiting to actually see what’s in legislation before I make a decision whether I will support or oppose it.”) A man who’s thinking seriously of running for president isn’t going to mess with another shutdown.
For another thing, if worse came to worst, Boehner would surely defy House tea partiers and agree to pass a clean funding bill without the DACA language to avoid a pre-midterm shutdown. The tea partiers in his caucus might be grumpy about that but they wouldn’t hold much of a grudge knowing what a shutdown could do to their own prospects on election day. The only snag for Boehner is whether House Democrats would help him by voting for a clean bill or whether they’d hold out until a majority of Republicans agreed to vote for it too. That could ensure a shutdown by leaving Boehner far short of 218 votes, but it’d be tricky politically. How would Dems justify opposing Boehner on a bill that gives Obama and Reid exactly what they ask for?
As inconvenient as Cruz’s DACA talk might be for the GOP leadership, one nice thing about it is that it keeps amnesty front and center before the big vote. Obama took a lot of knocks for that over the weekend from Democrats after he announced that he was postponing his executive order. If he’s worried that Republicans will make electoral hay of that order, Dems wondered, how does promising to issue the order once the elections are over ease that worry? Every Republican in the country is now going to be running on the idea that the only way to stop Obama is to elect a GOP Senate, in which case O might as well have issued his order now and accepted the consequences. Making DACA an issue in the coming battle over funding the government forces the media to keep reminding voters that amnesty is on the way later this year. That’s useful for the GOP so long as the standoff doesn’t end in a shutdown. Which, like I say, it won’t.