It has been less than one month since Republicans took control of both houses of congress. When they opened the new session, both the Speaker of the House, John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said they were going to “get things done.” Since then, they had to backtrack on bills because of an uproar in their own party. The latest was this week.
As usual, the House does not want to vote on the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill that was passed with a bi-partisan vote in the Senate almost 2 years ago. No, they want to do their piece-meal bills instead. The first that was to come up for a vote this week is called the “Secure Our Border First Act.”
The first thing this Act does is throw a whole bunch of money at “finally completing that darn fence.” This Berlin Wall style fence is supposed to stop those damn illegals from simply walking across the border. That is nothing new for Republicans. They have wanted that fence completed for years.
But, here is where it all gets just a little tricky. According to the Bi-Partisan bill that passed the Senate, the goal is to arrest about 90% of those trying to cross illegally. This bill makes that number 100%. Of course anyone with only half of a brain knows that 100% is impossible. The bill gives the Department of Homeland Security 2 years to gain control of the heavily traveled areas and 5 years to gain control of the entire Southwest border.
Besides being unrealistic in its number of defining “gain control”, the bill takes another twist with the penalties that the Department of Homeland Security will face.
The border bill would require DHS to have the southwest border under “operational control” in five years. If the department fails at that objective, the legislation dictates that political appointees at the agency cannot travel in government vehicles, be reimbursed for nonessential travel, or receive pay increases or bonuses.
Rep. Mike McCaul, the Homeland Security Committee Chairman, calls it the “the toughest border security bill ever before Congress.”
So far, so good for the Republicans. But there is an oops! The right flank is upset with the bill. They think it is too namby-pamby for them. Sen. Jeff Sessions, the most ardent anti-immigration member of the Senate thinks the bill leaves too much “wiggle room” for the President to release apprehended undocumented immigrants. In response the National Journal said “Such objections have Republicans and Democrats alike privately musing that this is the exact reason leaders had sought to rework the immigration system in a comprehensive manner.”
Other conservatives think this bill is a “trap.” They see it as a tool that Boehner will use to get them to vote for full funding for the Department of Homeland Security next month when its money runs out. But the real secret agenda, according to these fine people is that this bill is the first step in granting that evil “amnesty” to illegals.
Conservative critics don’t trust GOP leaders and fear the border security bill would be used as an excuse to move other legislation allowing more immigrants into the country to work and providing legal status for those already here.
“Consider the title: Secure Our Border First. First before what?” said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies. “Before we move on to the amnesty and expansion of guest worker programs that appears to be the real priority for top congressional Republican leaders?”
In their own words, “God forbid we let more immigrants into the country!”
As a result of this ongoing infighting in the GOP, the Secure Our Border First Act has been put on hold. That also means that the funding the Department of Homeland Security needs by the end of the month may also be put on hold. It makes so much sense to shut down the one Department in our government that is responsible to stop undocumented immigrants from entering the country. I guess that would really show those “deportables”, as Rep. Steve King calls them, that we mean business.
I expect that at some point they will be able to pass this absurd bill. I doubt that anything else will be done about immigration reform. Plus, as I said before, what about all of those “socialist” Canadians who can cross the border and try to impose their “single payer” health insurance plan on us? Shouldn’t we put a wall up between them and us too? Remember, almost all of the terrorists we have caught came to us through Canada not Mexico.
I don’t know. I believe that these “hiccups” the GOP has been facing just proves that they are incapable of governing in any way. How in the hell to they expect the Democrats or the President to agree to anything they come up with if they can’t even come up with something they can get past their own caucus?
If this is the Republican definition of “governing” we are in deep doo-doo.