Well, the “cromnibus” monster spending bill passed last night, and President Obama and Vice President Biden worked hard to get Democrat support — which they did not receive.
The funding measure passed and in doing so, the new incoming GOP majority will have little to no say in funding measures through the entire year — basically half of the new GOP majority Congress. A better approach would have been to execute a continuing resolution (CR) that went into February and then do appropriations by agency, funding what is essential by priority. Instead Obamacare is funded through October next year and funding to President Obama’s illegal immigration executive action — $2.5 billion. However, Speaker Boehner has declared that next February Congress will take up the illegal immigration fight, since the DHS is only funded through February. Whoopee.
In effect Speaker Boehner essentially surrendered the majority which the American people gave the House GOP and with it, the greatest leverage — the power of the purse. Some 1,800 pages, no doubt including pork, has passed which most did not read.
And what if the gambit Speaker Boehner has doesn’t work out next February? That’s the question The Hill asks, writing, “Even if Republicans shut down the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) next year, President Obama could still carry out his executive actions giving legal status to up to 5 million undocumented immigrants. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other GOP leaders have punted the funding fight over Obama’s immigration action to February, arguing their new majority will have more leverage to stop the plan dead in its tracks.”
“But it’s unclear how much weight the threat of withholding funding would carry. Eighty-five percent of DHS employees continued to work during last year’s 16-day shutdown because they were funded with mandatory funds or deemed “essential” to national security or public safety, according to figures the Congressional Research Service (CRS) tracked down for GOP lawmakers. Only 15 percent of DHS employees were furloughed in last year’s shutdown, the CRS found. On top of that, some 90 percent of the department’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the agency key to implementing Obama’s executive action, continued operating.”
“Some rank-and-file Republicans are worried that Obama could declare all DHS workers “essential” and keep them on the job — then simply pay them once a funding deal is reached. “People will vote for [the funding package] and feel that they may have some real advantage in February, but it may not happen that way,” one House Republican who has studied the CRS figures told The Hill.”
So it seems funding DHS only to next February with the “promise” to take on President Obama’s executive action appears to be a ruse. And if that ends up being the case, then the GOP has completely lost any leverage for an entire year — a critical year because we all know nothing will be done in 2016, a presidential election year.
Once again, the game of politics has defeated sound fiscal policy, and who knows what dirty little secrets are hidden in those nearly 1,800 pages — which was just dropped Tuesday and voted upon Thursday evening. Does anyone believe every single Member of the US House of Representatives read that spending measure? If you do, well, there is some prime farmland just west of me here in Palm Beach Gardens.
But why? Why in a lame duck session would Speaker Boehner sacrifice the best leverage point the GOP majority in the House would have? Why would he surrender the electoral mandate he was given, which included the power of the purse? Whose side is he really on? That question must be answered.
And as The Hill pointed out if the administration deems the USCIS as “essential” for national security, it can’t be defunded anyway, and that’s the basis for implementation of the unlawful executive order on immigration by Obama in the first place. If this ends up being the case, then Speaker Boehner will either look like someone who has been politically outmaneuvered — or worse, someone complicit in Obama’s scheme. Neither is good but the latter is worse.
Of course the Speaker Boehner cheering squad is hard at work, “If you’re gonna start a bar fight, start it when you’ve got as many friends in the bar as you can possibly have. Why would you start it now?” Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a close Boehner ally, told The Hill on Wednesday. A GOP leadership aide rejected the concerns from rank-and-file Republicans, insisting that the party has an “array of legislative and legal options” they will pursue next year to stop the president. The aide declined to specify what those options are.”
This is not about starting a bar fight but rather what we call in the military setting the conditions — shaping operations — in preparation for the decisive operation.
“Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas), a top House appropriator, expressed confidence Republicans could take up legislation to target and defund Obama’s executive action in the new year. He cast aside concerns from some fellow Republicans that the USCIS is funded through fees rather than congressional appropriations, saying all of the agency’s money “has to come through Congress, has to come through the Appropriations Committee.” “With reinforcements coming over the hill in January, I’m really optimistic we’ll be able to stop [Obama],” Culberson, an incoming Appropriations subcommittee chairman, said in an interview.”
“But there’s one catch: any bills Republicans pass to block Obama’s immigration action are sure to meet a presidential veto. And if Republicans refuse to fund the DHS at the end of February, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson would have wide discretion in deciding which of his nearly quarter million employees should be deemed “essential.” That’s called, check and checkmate!
Not even one month past the midterm election, the GOP wrote up a massive spending measure and passed it in the House they controlled. It seems Republicans didn’t get the memo from the voters — and right now, they seem no different from the big government progressive socialists.