Senate Republicans are showing signs of caving on the issue of using funding for the Department of Homeland Security to get rid of Obama’s immigration order. The Hill is reporting that they’re considering a new strategy now, which, if passed, will prevent DHS from shutting down next week.
This new strategy is something that they should have considered before, when Democrats were calling for a clean funding bill for DHS. They want to separate the legislation on Obama’s immigration order from the DHS funding bill. According to The Hill, a Senate Republican aide said:
“There’s another angle we’re going to try to approach on it. The goal is to bring up the issue of executive amnesty and have a determination of just that issue.
We would try to have a vote on just that issue. Does it have to be addressed as part of DHS, or can it be addressed separately? If we can get to that issue and have a vote on that issue, then you come back to DHS appropriations.
That’s the issue some of the Democrats have a problem with the administration as well as the Republicans. But when you throw in all the other issues, Dreamers and all the other things that came over from the House, you don’t have as much Democratic support.”
Senate Republicans need support from Democrats in order to get things through, since they don’t have the 60 seats they’d need to get anything passed without at least some Democratic supporters. The current funding bill from the House would reverse both Obama’s immigration order, and his order from 2012 called “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” or DACA. DACA deferred deportations for people who are here illegally, if they came here as children.
Democrats have blocked that bill three times, and are showing no signs of allowing another vote anytime soon. Part of that is because DACA is more popular than Obama’s immigration order. Blocking the current bill puts Senate Republicans in a tough spot, since House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) says his job is done.
Another Republican aide told The Hill that shutdowns are the GOP’s “kryptonite.” They can’t win that, ever, and yet, they keep doing it. The aide feels that Republicans made a huge mistake when they put DACA’s repeal in the funding bill. If it wasn’t for DACA, more Democrats in the Senate might side with Republicans, since there are some centrist Democrats upset with Obama’s immigration order, too.
So is this the GOP caving? Perhaps. Are we going to see an end to ridiculous ideological influences in Congress anytime soon? Not bloody likely. However, maybe some Senate Republicans are coming to their senses, and are more willing to be rational about these things.