The House will vote this week on a symbolic immigration bill and then take up a two-part government funding bill next week — a package Republican leaders believe will prevent a government shutdown…
The plan was first unveiled Monday night at Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s weekly meeting. It will give lawmakers a vote on a bill, written by conservative Florida Rep. Ted Yoho, that essentially says Obama doesn’t have authority to freeze deportations. And then the House will vote on a spending bill that keeps most of the government funded through September 2015 but sets March as a deadline to renew funding for the Department of Homeland Security. The funding portion was originally envisioned by conservative Georgia Rep. Tom Price.
The vote on Yoho’s bill is mostly symbolic, as the Senate will ignore the plan, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). The true question is whether a mere vote on his legislation will give conservatives the cover they need to pass government funding.
The next test for lawmakers and the White House is a Dec. 11 deadline to fund the government and avoid a shutdown. Some Republicans want to use the budget legislation to defund Mr. Obama’s immigration orders, though it’s not yet clear how the debate will unfold.
Mr. McConnell said for the remainder of the year Senate Republicans will follow the lead of their House counterparts on budget issues. But he again pledged to avoid a government shutdown or threat to default on the national debt.
“We need to quit rattling the economy with things that are perceived by the voters as disturbing,” he said.
House Republican leaders presented a plan to immediately respond to President Obama’s executive immigration actions, but at the heart of their proposal is a stark recognition: isn’t a whole lot they can do about it…
A senior Republican aide said after the meeting that reaction from the party’s rank-and-file was “pretty positive” but short of “overwhelming” in support. And in an indication that the sales job was not complete, Boehner told reporters that “no decisions have been made at this point” on how to move forward. By passing such a large spending measure rather than the kind of stopgap bill Congress has approved many times before, Republicans are trying to salvage months of bipartisan negotiations between the House and Senate appropriations committees. But the aide said some conservatives spoke up in favor of a short-term spending bill for the whole government, arguing that it would give Republicans more power over spending decisions once the Senate is in their hands in January.
With a couple of moves that save face more than they change anything, Boehner has co-opted his Cantoring caucus, for now. House Republicans will vote Thursday on a resolution proposed by Representative Ted Yoho of Florida that, he says, takes the “ink out of” Obama’s pen by declaring the president lacked the authority for last month’s executive action. Then they will pretend to take a surgical strike at the budget by punishing Homeland Security, which oversees immigration, with only a continuing resolution that funds it until March. This is an even limper tack because the agency carrying out Obama’s executive order to end deportations for millions is the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which is financed by user fees. There’s no way to cripple that.
Bohener was willing to play along, as long as the gestures are symbolic and the grandstanding remains theater…
Still this is a victory for the speaker, who couldn’t keep his members in line in past budget battles.
But the length of that extension was the most vigorously discussed part of the closed-door session, with conservatives raising concerns about leadership’s proposal to extend funding until March, saying that would be too long.
“The problem I have…is that the [immigration portion] would be funded until the end of March. I think that’s way too long. The president is already printing work permits as we speak. Why do we want to give him another 2-3 months? We could vote on this the day we get back,” said Rep. John Fleming (R-LA).
“A House vote on the Yoho bill would be purely symbolic, since it has no chance of being brought up in the Senate,” Rosemary Jenks, NumbersUSA’s director of government relations, told Breitbart News. “Americans expect Congress to take effective action to stop Obama’s lawless amnesty, not only to protect their jobs and wages, but also to protect the Constitution of the United States. Defunding the amnesty is the only way to stop it.”
Daniel Horowitz, the senior editor of the Conservative Review, added that this plan is a “joke” and Boehner knows it.
“Leadership’s attempt to sugar-coat their failure to address Obama’s amnesty in the CROmnibus, is a toothless, stand-alone bill that will never force the issue, and they know it,” Horowitz said. “Any bill that does not condition the funding for the immigration agencies to a rider defunding Obama’s amnesty is a joke.”…
“Americans recognize a show-vote when they see it, and the Yoho bill does nothing more than say President Obama cannot do what he did last month, last year, and the year before,” Glyn Wright, the executive director of Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, said in an email to Breitbart News. “President Obama is the most lawless president this country has ever seen, and he will continue to rule by executive fiat until Congress cuts off his funding.”
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) characterized the Cromnibus as a “punt,” and Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) said he would likely oppose the idea unless the length of the continuing resolution for DHS funding was shortened.
“Why not vote on it the first day we are back when we do get all our troops in the Senate?” he asked.
Conservatives outside Congress weren’t entirely pleased with reports that a fight over the president’s immigration policy would be punted until March. Dan Holler, the communications director for the influential Heritage Action Fund, called the procedural move a “blank check” for amnesty.
“Putting an expiration date on DHS funding does not do anything to block the President’s executive actions – it allows them to proceed for several months unchecked,” said Holler. “It is essentially a promise to fight at a later date, but that promised has not been defined or articulated clearly. Most significantly, GOP leaders have not promised to use the appropriations process to stop the actions come March. Hard to see how any of this lines up as taking a stand against the President and preparing to block his actions.”
“The House should quickly pass a short-term CR that includes language prohibiting the use of funds to implement the President’s executive action on amnesty,” [Sen. Mike] Lee said in statement exclusive to Breitbart News. “The American people deserve to know where Members of Congress stand on this issue. The power of the purse is one of the tools Congress has to rein in an out-of-control executive.”
After the House passes that type of bill, Lee said, outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has two choices, since he won’t want to block funding for Obama’s amnesty in the spending bill. Reid could either shut down the government, or he could take up the House bill blocking the funding for Obama’s amnesty and try to pull that language out. Lee said:
“Once the House sends over a bill funding everything in government except the President’s executive action on amnesty, then Harry Reid could ignore it and create a government spending emergency, or he could take the bill up and attempt to strip out the defunding language. In the latter case there would be a vote, and, I believe, it would be a very difficult vote for a number of Democrats. At least four Democrats have publicly stated their opposition to what the President did, and another eight Democrats have stated that they have strong concerns about the President going around Congress. So the question is, would these 12 Democrats stand by their words and show respect for the message the American people sent on Election Day, or would they side with a President who has already cost their party the majority in the Senate? I’m not so sure we know the answer to that question right now, which is exactly why the House should take this first step to send us the right bill so we can put Democrats on the record.”
Speaking at an event moderated by the conservative Heritage Foundation, the lawmakers described the plan as a concession and called on House Republicans to only agree to a short-term funding bill for the government.
“The cavalry is coming,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). “Why in the world would you want to extend a CR [continuing resolution] for several months without waiting for those people to get here?”…
[Rep. Raul] Labrador said that the proposed strategy of passing a spending bill that doesn’t impose limitations on implementing the executive action amounted to a concession by the GOP.
“I think, in essence, by separating the two, you’re capitulating,” Labrador said.
Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) says Americans don’t trust Barack Obama.
He says the President is undermining the trust of the American people.
So why is Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) going to do nothing to stop the President? They will put no provisions in their continuing resolution to stop the President. They will fund the very thing they say they are opposed to.
Put up or shut up, Rep. John Boehner (R-OH). Either stop the President or admit you really approve of the ends, even if not the means.