We aren’t called the Stupid PartyTM without reason. There is a large swath of the GOP that is wedded to self-destructive and dysfunctional behavior not because they are bad people but because they try desperately to curry favor with people who will never like or respect them anyway. Rarely, though, has there been an instance of Republicans in both Houses pushing for a legislative item that does the GOP zero benefit if it passes. That issue is DACA.
Earlier in the year, the House and Senate stood firm against a Democrat effort to expand DACA to cover basically any illegal who has seen someone eligible for DACA even from a distance. There was no outcry, because other that people enrolled in DACA no one cared.
Now, 23 alleged Republicans in the House have signed a discharge petition to bring to the floor a series of bills that will all get an up/down vote and the winner in that scrum becomes the bill the House sends to the Senate. Right now the discharge petition is five short of being sufficient but the House leadership concedes that those signatures will be there after the current recess.
And the Senate is not immune from the hysteria:
Cory Gardner, the leader of the Senate GOP’s campaign arm, delivered an urgent message to President Donald Trump in a telephone conversation earlier this month: Congress and the White House need to act pronto on immigration reform.
“The sweet spot for getting an immigration deal remains now. The closer we get to the election and certainly post-election, the more difficult it will be,” the Colorado Republican recounted telling the president. “If we wait longer, the more difficult it becomes. They’ll blame it on both parties at that point.”
A group of senators in both parties is beginning to restart back-channel talks across the aisle and with the White House in hopes that the chamber will be ready to act if the House or the courts throw the issue back to the Senate this summer. But the Senate isn’t ready to take up the issue after a thoroughly unproductive immigration debate in February, followed by months of radio silence.
And lawmakers are growing more and more worried the upper chamber could be blindsided by a call to action later this year.
Just to summarize what Gardner said: For unspecified reasons the Senate has to act on immigration; if they don’t act, then both parties will be blamed. Apparently, Gardner hasn’t thought through the implications of actually passing a bill which include taking all the blame. If the Supreme Court rules–as I suspect it will–that the administration has the authority to wind down DACA, then the crisis atmosphere creates a greater chance of a very narrow bill focused on DACA rather than some Chuck Schumer monstrosity.
In the epic Saturday Night Live skit called “Mentor” featuring Peyton Manning, Manning asks one kid on his team, “Okay, I’m sorry, do you wanna lose?” That’s the exact way I feel about Congressional Republicans who are clamoring to bring up a divisive issue that is unfavorable to Republicans with the media right before a critical election.
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