Some days there is nothing to do except be thankful for the existence of the #HeadDesk hashtag on Twitter. Just when we finally had the Speaker giving the right answer on the DHS funding fight and blocking executive amnesty, John McCain decided to take time out of his busy day to go on the Sunday morning shows and give exactly the wrong answer.
“The American people didn’t give us a majority to have a fight between House and Senate Republicans,” the 2008 GOP presidential candidate told Meet the Press’s Chuck Todd on Sunday morning. “We cannot — we cannot — cut funding for the Department of Homeland Security. We need to sit down and work this thing out, and there [are] ways we can address what the president did, [which] was unconstitutional, but it is not through cutting – shutting down — the Department of Homeland Security. It’s too serious.”
More after the video:
Where to even begin, Senator McCain? First of all, this isn’t a fight between House and Senate Republicans. It’s a fight between Senate Republicans and Senate Democrats, which is also a fight that everyone saw coming from the moment the President issued his veto threat.
Second, you need to stop parroting the talking points of the Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) and saying that you are cutting funding for the Department of Homeland Security. That’s not happening. The department is fully funded, just as it was last year, with the bill you currently have under consideration but which is being blocked by the Democrats. The money is there just waiting to pay all of the workers. As for sitting down and working this thing out… I’ll take off my usual “can’t we all just get along” hat for once and say, no. It’s already worked out. You have nothing left to work out with the Democrats.
And finally, nobody is going to seriously listen to you call for some Third Way path to address what the president did. You have precisely one and only one way to address that and it is through the power of the purse. It is what’s being done right now. There is no other avenue of redress short of a years long battle all the way to the Supreme Court (assuming you could even find somebody with standing to bring the case) and you’d probably still lose there anyway.
So if I may offer a bit of advice here, the good news is that what we really need you to personally do at this point is … nothing. The House, as the Speaker noted, has already done their job. Now it’s time for you and your GOP colleagues in the upper chamber to do yours. And as I said, this isn’t going to take a lot of effort on your part. Mitch McConnell has put the bill up for a vote and done so twice. If you like, you can have him do it again. In fact, that’s a fine idea… make the Democrats keep voting to shut down the funding bill so it never reaches the President’s desk and let them take the heat for it. If February 27th comes and goes and people are not getting paid at DHS, just go back in front of the cameras, raise your hands in a “what can you do” sort of gesture and tell them that the funding has been available since January. If they have any further questions, direct them to talk to Harry Reid.