At precisely 0000 hours (midnight) tomorrow night, the Department of Homeland Security is going to run out of money unless Republicans can get their “stuff” together. The Republicans who want you to believe that they are the only ones interested in protecting our country from terrorists, are about to let the one department charged with protecting us from terrorists run out of money.
I am not overly concerned about terrorists running amuck in the country, however. We all know that about 200,000 members of the various agencies under DHS will continue working. They are considered “essential” personnel. However, they will be working for an IOU from the government instead of actually being paid.
This tragedy is all tied to immigration reform. Our immigration laws are archaic at best and need to be reformed. Two years ago the Senate passed a bi-partisan Immigration Reform Bill and sent it to the House. It has been languishing in John Boehner’s desk drawer ever since. This was truly a bi-partisan bill. Even 14 Republican Senators voted for the bill, and several Republicans were involved in its creation. Should have been an easy task for Boehner to pass it in the House.
But, once again John Boehner proved that he is only interested in having the title of “Speaker of the House” rather than acting like one. His bellicose comments about immigration reform are just another example of his unwillingness to “govern”. He is too afraid of the Tea Party wackos in his caucus to try to pass any meaningful legislation.
After over a year of Boehner derailing a vote on the Immigration Reform Bill, the President issued an Executive Order detailing some changes in the deportation policies. The Republicans went bonkers, as expected. Whether or not you think the President’s actions was an overreach or not, I do not think so, is irrelevant. Something has to be done about our Immigration Laws.
The President’s Executive Order does not make it easier for people to cross the border. It simply lays out a plan for those already here with U.S. Citizen relations to remain without fear of deportation. It also gives them a pathway to seek “legitimacy” as the Republicans would say. It is not amnesty as Republicans are telling everyone.
As a result of this “fight” the Republican House passed a funding bill last year that put the DHS on the spot. They funded every department of the government except DHS for a full year. They funded DHS only through tomorrow and the Senate went along. Then they passed a bill funding DHS but only if the Executive Order was withdrawn.
Naturally, the Senate Democrats filibustered the bill in that chamber. So, now Mitch McConnell wants to pass a clean DHS funding bill and introduce a bill that would withdraw the Executive Order. But that puts John Boehner in a corner. He still has to contend with his wacko fringe group. And, since he is loath to actually lead and fight the wackos, the idea of a clean bill passing the House is up-in-the-air.
The only way Boehner will be able to pass a clean DHS funding bill in the House is to use the Democrats to get the votes needed. Although he did use them a few times in the past, that is also something that Boehner is loath to do. He is afraid that if he goes to the Democrats to pass a clean funding bill, he will face another coup in his caucus.
All of this nonsense was avoidable. If John Boehner had allowed a debate and vote on the bi-partisan Senate Bill, it would have passed the House. I am sure there would have been amendments added by the fringe group, but those would have been worked out in a joint committee between the House and Senate. There would have been no need for the President to issue his Executive Order in the first place.
With the Immigration Reform Bill actual law instead of collecting dust in Boehner’s desk drawer, we would not be in this situation right now. The other day Boehner said about the DHS funding bill they sent to the Senate: “We did our job, now it is time for the Senate to do theirs. This will pass if the Democrats stop saying “no” to everything.”
That is really rich coming from a man who has been sitting on the “fix” to all of this for two years! John Boehner is the worst Speaker of the House in my lifetime. He makes Newt Gingrich look like a reasonable man. However, the Citizens United case in the Supreme Court added fuel to this flaming issue.
This is the kind of thing that happens when money is allowed to control politics. These fringe wackos that Boehner is afraid of are financed by the likes of the Koch Brothers and others. Their money has polluted and corrupted our political process to the point of stagnation.
Even still, it is John Boehner’s job to “govern” in the name of the People of the United States. Something that, apparently, he is loath to do as well. This whole dilemma was manufactured because John Boehner is more interested in holding the title rather than being the Speaker of the House.
There is no other reason for us to be in the predicament we are in over DHS funding. Even big business and the Chamber of Commerce favor the Senate passed Immigration Reform Bill. To stop this mess, all John Boehner needs to do is dust off the Senate Bill and bring it to floor of the House. But he won’t.
I don’t use this word lightly, but John Boehner is basically a coward. That is why we are waiting to see if there will be a partial government shutdown come midnight tomorrow night.