So back at the end of 2014, a lot of people pooh poohed the idea that the fight over executive amnesty would have to happen then or not at all. Many so-called “reasonable Republicans” insisted that this was the wrong time to hold the GOP’s feet to the fire. “Wait until next year,” they said. “Wait until the GOP actually has control of both chambers. Then, you see, they will do something.” And indeed that is exactly what McConnell and Boehner promised. By punting the funding question for the entire government down the road until September, they swore up and down that they were going to stand and fight come February when it came time to fund DHS.
In the least surprising development in all of human history, February is now around the corner, and Boehner and McConnell are folding like cheap suits. According to The Hill,
Republican leaders in the House and Senate are boxed in on immigration and searching for a way out.
Senate Majority Leader [mc_name name=’Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000355′ ] (R-Ky.) and Speaker [mc_name name=’Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’B000589′ ] (R-Ohio) are struggling to find a way to fund the Department of Homeland Security while meeting conservative demands to unwind President Obama’s executive actions giving legal status to millions of immigrants who would otherwise face deportation.
* * *
On Tuesday, the two began wiggling their way out of the tight spot:
• To please conservative critics, Boehner announced at a morning GOP conference meeting that the House would sue the administration for giving de facto legal status to millions of illegal immigrants without congressional approval.
• A day after pulling a House border security bill drafted by Homeland Security Committee Chairman [mc_name name=’Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’M001157′ ] (R-Texas) from a planned floor vote, GOP leaders said McCaul and Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) would work together to create a new, tougher border bill.
Just in case you were keeping score, none of what is described here does anything to defund DHS. A lawsuit will likely have little or no effect and will take years to come to fruition. Any new border bill that is any way tough will be vetoed by Obama, even if we suppose that McConnell can find 5 Democrat votes to get it past [mc_name name=’Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000146′ ]. Defunding DHS – their promised solution – has been completely taken off the table. Even The Hill can see the inevitable endgame of this capitulation:
McConnell and Boehner have a ways to go before they are in the clear, however.
And a familiar endgame — in which Boehner is forced to move legislation through the House with broad Democratic support — could be inevitable.
Make no mistake, however: this is exactly what Boehner and McConnell wanted all along. They wanted Obama to take the heat with the conservative base for a policy that they actually support. So they are mounting at every step of the way what has been obviously fake and token opposition to Obama’s plan. And at the end of the day they are going to throw up their hands and say “Aw, shucks, nothing we could have done here, Obama held all the cards!”
This exact scenario that we are seeing unfold was what was predicted here at RedState and in other places all along. And no Republican voter should be deceived into thinking it wasn’t the plan all along.