Boehner's new plan to resolve the DHS/amnesty standoff: Making kissy noises at reporters

Weird, but also the most coherent approach from a Republican leader on this issue thus far this year.

Actually there are three plans being considered by the House. One: Cave now by passing a clean DHS funding bill. Two: Cave next week, after DHS has shut down for a few days, by passing a clean DHS funding bill then. Three: Tie DHS funding somehow to the outcome of the appeal of the federal injunction against Obama’s executive amnesty issued by a judge in Texas last week. Er, how would that work, exactly?

Boehner and his leadership team are mulling several different options, and the situation is very fluid. One is to approve a one- to two-week stopgap funding bill, alongside a request for a formal negotiation between the House’s bill — which would stop Obama’s unilateral immigration policies — and the Senate’s proposal, which would not change the president’s executive actions.

Another alternative House leaders are weighing is to tie DHS funding to the outcome of a court fight over Obama’s 2014 decision to shield roughly 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation

Boehner is playing a game of political survival. Most of his inner circle knows that the House will be forced to swallow a clean DHS funding bill at some point. But if the speaker wants to keep conservatives from launching a rebellion, it may be too early to capitulate.

Jazz took that to mean that Boehner might agree to a short-term “clean” bill, or a series of bills, that would keep DHS funded only until the Fifth Circuit has ruled on Obama’s amnesty. At which point, what? If they uphold the injunction, shutting the program down, do we keep funding DHS while we wait for the inevitable appeal to the Supreme Court? Or do we declare victory and fund DHS long-term, irrespective of what SCOTUS decides, in which case we’re declaring victory before we’ve actually won? On the other hand, if the Fifth Circuit reverses the lower court and quashes the injunction, what do we do then? That would mean that we’re back to Congress being the only branch that can stop executive amnesty, by using its power of the purse. But since the GOP’s attempt to wield that power has produced a total fiasco, there’s no reason to think a new funding standoff a few months from now would end any differently. We’ll be back in the same trench we’re in now, with House conservatives demanding that DHS funding be tied to undoing Obama’s amnesty, Senate Republicans insisting that that’s impossible because of the Democratic filibuster, and Boehner caught in the middle. Rarely do I quote Peter King approvingly but the man’s got a point: If Boehner’s destined to cave, why not cave now? Are grassroots righties going to feel markedly better about him and McConnell next week after we’ve experienced a token DHS shutdown for a few days?

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