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Boehner Offered Free Pass Out Of Shutdown Mess, But He Doesn’t Want To Take It

Memo Pad Politics

Boehner Offered Free Pass Out Of Shutdown Mess, But He Doesn’t Want To Take It


U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen’s Monday night ruling temporarily blocking President Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program provided a political lifeline for congressional Republicans. But whether or not they’re smart enough to take it remains unclear.

For weeks, Republicans have been hurtling towards another catastrophic shutdown debacle. Furious over President Obama’s immigration action, congressional Republicans devised an illogical scheme to fight back: They would separate the Department of Homeland Security from December’s government funding bill, and then use it as a hostage. Unless President Obama abandons his policy by February 27, DHS would enter a partial shutdown.

The strategy never had a prayer of working, for several reasons. President Obama has long since proven that he is done giving in to Republican ransom demands. Shutting down DHS would not actually do anything to stop President Obama’s deferral plan. And the American public was always going to blame the GOP for any shutdown crisis. (This was confirmed by a CNN poll released Tuesday, which found that 53 percent of Americans would hold Republicans responsible, while just 30 percent would blame the president, and 13 percent would blame both.) Unless they planned to never pay DHS workers again, the only possible outcome for the GOP was embarrassing defeat.

But still, Republicans went all in. One month ago, the House passed a bill linking DHS funding with blocking DAPA. Although it repeatedly failed to pass the Senate, House Speaker John Boehner insisted that “the House has done its job,” and has flatly refused to consider a clean funding bill. Meanwhile, even if the Senate somehow does pass a bill limiting Obama’s authority, the president would veto it. A politically catastrophic shutdown seemed increasingly inevitable.

So one might think that House Republicans would welcome Judge Hanen’s ruling as a get-out-of-jail-free card. With DAPA blocked, pending appeal, they could pass a clean DHS funding bill with a clean conscience, tell their constituents that the matter is in the courts’ hands now, and save the fight for another day.

But it’s never that easy with the Republican caucus.

Speaker Boehner’s reaction to the ruling suggests that he’s still committed to taking this all the way.

“The president said 22 times he did not have the authority to take the very action on immigration he eventually did, so it is no surprise that at least one court has agreed,” Boehner said in a statement. “We will continue to follow the case as it moves through the legal process. Hopefully, Senate Democrats who claim to oppose this executive overreach will now let the Senate begin debate on a bill to fund the Homeland Security Department.”

In case there was any doubt, Democrats are still not ready to begin debate on forcing a maximum-deportation policy on the White House.

“It’s perfectly appropriate to take this issue to court, but it is completely unacceptable for Republicans to hold up funding for the Department of Homeland Security while the case wends its way through the legal system,” Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said in a statement. “This procedural ruling, in our opinion, is very unlikely to be upheld, but regardless of the outcome Democrats remain united in our belief that funding for the Department of Homeland Security should not be used as a ransom by Republicans, period.”

Republicans clearly learned the wrong lessons from their last government shutdown, which they overcame at the ballot box in November. They are extremely unlikely to be so lucky again in 2016, when the elections will be fought on a much friendlier terrain for Democrats. On Monday night, Judge Hanen threw the GOP a lifeline; they’d be wise to grab it.

AFP Photo/Mandel Ngan

Henry Decker

Henry Decker was formerly the Managing Editor of The National Memo. He is currently an Online Associate at MRCampaigns.

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  1. Daniel Jones February 18, 2015

    These jerks don’t want to govern, they simply want to take;
    To satisfy their sponsors, Congress robs you for their sake.
    They don’t care if you’re starving, they don’t care if you’re sick.
    You’re just a demographic, fool, a voting box to tick.
    As long as you will pay them heed and all their bullshit hear,
    They’ll happily cram in as much as fits into your ear!
    So stand up, sucker, speak up, not even one more lie.
    Or we’re sold out.. and you can kiss.. the whole Free World goodbye.

  2. Lynda Groom February 18, 2015

    So it becomes more and more clear that the blocking of the President’s immigration plan was never the point of this tragic exercise by Boehner. He and the party want as much chaos as possible intended to score childish points for political purposes.

    1. Daniel Jones February 18, 2015

      Absolutely. Oh, thank you for not slamming my terrible prose.

      1. FireBaron February 18, 2015

        I thought it was pretty good!

  3. Leftout February 18, 2015

    The last shut down seemed to do them well at the last election, are we missing something? There are more Tea Party policy advocates, than previously admitted.

    1. Eleanore Whitaker February 18, 2015

      Oh puhlease….When the Koch boys spent nearly $2 million on that election and they hand the dumb bunnies in red state the idea they are losers and can’t overpower their rich campaign donors like Charley and Davy, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the reddies all fly the white flag of surrender…Sorry…Not on MY tax dollars.

  4. Dominick Vila February 18, 2015

    I wonder how many people understand the logic – or intent – of taking the DHS budget our of the normal Federal government budget process that provides funding for all departments and agencies on October 1st. This deliberate action was taken to use a critical department as a wedge to block President Obama’s immigration EO in hopes of either eliciting unconditional surrender or damaging President Obama’s legacy and ability to govern. Hopefully, enough Americans will make an effort to understand how and why this Machiavellian scheme was conceived, and will hold those responsible for compromising our national security accountable for their actions.

    1. mike February 18, 2015

      The real Machiavellian Scheme is all Obama’s and his immigration attempt. How many times has he said he didn’t have the authority? 15+ times he said he couldn’t go it alone, couldn’t do more absent Congressional action. But yet he did.
      We will see where this ends up. It was a setback to the administration. With SCOTUS taking up “subsidies” this spring we will see just how big a hit/hits Obama takes or not in the first 6 months of 2015.

      1. Eleanore Whitaker February 18, 2015

        What purpose does it serve to spend billions of your tax dollars to deport illegals who have been in the US for more than 10 years? If you are so hot to lay blame, look no further than Texas’ 2013 Riddle Exception that allows Texans to hire illegals. This is typical double speak by Texans who have received tens of billions for border patrol and then pass laws allowing them to HIRE illegals.

        What about we shut down every US business who knowingly hires and relies on cheap illegal labor? You would be the first to BS your way past such legislation. But, you are the first to blame the President. Don’t you middle aged twerps EVER grow up? You can’t hire illegals if illegals are NOT here. What about that do you need pounded into your brains?

        1. mike February 18, 2015

          I just repeated what Obama said numerous times to the public and interviewers as to his powers. As to deportations, I never said they should be deported.
          Now how many businesses has Obama put out of business or fined because of hiring illegals?? How many of illegal workers have been detained at the businesses audited by feds?
          PS: the president is too blame.

          1. Eleanore Whitaker February 18, 2015

            You need to take the cow dung out of your ears. I have listened to every speech this President has ever made, including those at various speaking engagements at graduations at universities.

            Why is it you little punks of the right always bash, slash and burn and then bitch when you don’t get YOUR way? That is NOT what the president said. He was, as did way back in January 2009 at his first SOTU speech offering the GOP an olive branch.

            I don’t know what it takes for you snot nosed little punks to get off your lazy butts and start actually earning a living instead of expecting everything handed to you on a silver platter.

            This could is the UNITED States. .Not the Confederate states. Take your BS act and phony baloney bully boy routine to the edge of a cliff…that’s where you and YOUR GOP have been headed. Sorry, but we who worked our entire lives are not going to be buffaloed by a bunch of younger lazy butt men like you.

          2. mike February 18, 2015

            Then you are deaf or very much in denial.




          3. highpckts February 20, 2015

            Escuse me but hasn’t this “illegal” issue been going on for some time? Through numerous Republican Presidents?? Why did they never do anything but token bills? This is not an “Obama” problem original to his administration! This is a trumped up wedge issue that the right wants to make a big deal out of just like they did Ebola!! It wouldn’t make any difference if Obama deported every one of the illegals. The GOP would say he increased the debt or he overstepped his authority or on and on and on! If Obama wants it, then it is bad, bad, bad! That is the type of “new” Congress we have! Same as the “old” Congress!

          4. mike February 20, 2015

            Excuse Me, Obama said from 15 to 22 times he did not have the authority absent Congress.
            Wake up!!

          5. highpckts February 20, 2015

            Mikey Honey, he said he doesn’t have the right to make and pass “laws”!! He does, however have every right to use Executive Orders! Pay attention to the facts!

          6. mike February 20, 2015

            Honey??? Don’t think so.
            He said it numerous times and then still tried. He said he couldn’t do and he has been proven correct by the Fed. Judge. On to SCOTUS.

          7. highpckts February 20, 2015

            His executive order is NOT passing a law and it can be overturned by the next President! Grow up and comprehend instead of projecting your hate on everyone!

          8. mike February 20, 2015

            Keep trying to defend him, it must get tiring after all these years and his poor leadership.
            No hatred here, not even to you.
            He tried to bypass congress and got slapped down by a Fed. Judge. All is on hold.

          9. highpckts February 20, 2015

            A Texas judge! Gee, go figure! I don’t understand why you defend an idealogy that has been proven NOT to work through 3 Republican Presidents!! Now that is dumb!!

          10. mike February 20, 2015

            Nor do I understand how you keep defending a guy who has been labeled by the press a liar, lacks leadership qualities, has weakened this country internationally, and is no longer trusted by the American people(those with brains).
            Obama tried to confer legal status and to issue work permits to millions of illegals without consent of the legislative branch, that is a fact.

          11. highpckts February 20, 2015

            So you are still saying that you go along with the failed policies of the GOP???? Wow! Obama has neither weaken this country, unless you mean he won’t go to all out war, has not been labeled a liar except in the right wing press, which is everywhere, and his polling numbers are higher than ever! When you say he is not trusted by the American people please don’t include any sane people in that! I love the way you think that all of America thinks the way you do! Wrong!

          12. mike February 20, 2015

            OH, but he has weakened this country. 2013 labeled liar of the year by Washington Post, no less.
            Polling numbers higher than ever, even in 2009? If you think that you are delusional. Realclearpolitics has all his numbers in the negative.
            Unfortunately for you the majority of Americans think the way I do, you are a true minority.

          13. highpckts February 20, 2015

            In your fantasy world! Washington Post is a Republican rag! So your going back to 2009? Wow. Try now!!

          14. mike February 20, 2015

            Talk about someone in Fantasyland, WP is a Republican rag, Really?? You are truly delusional.

            “Polling numbers higher than ever”, you said it, and I asked you if better than 2009, which you wouldn’t answer. So Obama’s numbers today are better than 2009, Right??? If you think that, you are truly nuts.

        2. Leftout February 18, 2015

          If all are documented but not citizens and pay for entitlements and SSN, IRS, disability ins . They would still negotiate their wage. I pay card carrying non citizenss prevailing wages as an an American citizen, some work is not suited to our spoiled citizens. Shovel snow you get 50$, do my barn roof you get 40$ / hour , lawns with my gear 20$ Do other laborthey get what ever they ask for …usually , unfortunately the Riddle exception is an anomaly , hiring illegals , Ian almost sure that Texas illegals are paid better than fair as I’ve seen . They are appreciated ..,,,how many Americans will definitely my his needed work and be proud !

          1. Eleanore Whitaker February 19, 2015

            First of all, why can’t an American citizen shovel snow? Too high and mighty? Too prideful to accept that work is called that for a reason? If you need to pay your bills, put food on your table and a roof over your kids heads, you shovel now. Sorry, I don’t buy that elitist attitude.

            I am not the one bitching about illegals. Texas hires maids and yard workers…for a reason…they are cheap labor. Why else would the Big Oil boys even bother to hire them? Texas like a lot of southern culture states has a deep seated need to treat others as “inferiors.” That’s how they kept their plantation owners rich and their labor “free.”

            Your post only splits hairs and proves what is really at the heart of this: A desire to punish illegals, deny them educations, housing and decent futures all while they work for wages NO American as you pointed out in your post will..So what are you really saying?

            It’s okay for employers to illegally hire illegals? Or that it isn’t okay for illegals to do anything but wait for work on street corners and get picked up by rich boy contractors in their big shiny gas guzzler Bully Boy pickup trucks?

            Don’t tell me what I see here in NJ. A lot of contractors scout certain areas in central and south Jersey knowing they will find cheap laborers on street corners.

            Either an employer hires Americans or he shouldn’t be allowed to hire unless the non-Americans have LEGAL green cards.

            But men like you want to completely ignore the part the employers hiring illegals play. Sorry, I don’t play that game.

          2. Leftout February 19, 2015

            That is my point, American: youth do not want to do labor , but in undocumented people do do so gladly, and I pay more than fairly just to get ghe job done , while American laggard youths are texting at home on the couch till they are 26 years old plus .
            I washed bakery pans shoveled out the barns to pay my way through , with 3 graduate degrees I loved doing the work the most st menial, had a good time and it paid well. And met some great people with wonderful opinions.

          3. Eleanore Whitaker February 19, 2015

            I’m afraid there’s a reason today’s youth are not hands on….hi tech. They no longer need math skills…calculators are phone apps. They don’t need to learn to write. They text. They don’t need to get a college degree. By the time they leave college, that degree is already obsolete.

            All I ever learned about other peoples’ jobs and business operations came from my first employer. From my second, I learned to use a computer before computers were ever mass marketed. From my third job, I learned about chemicals, chemists and international importing and exporting. Ditto my fourth job. By the time I had my fifth job, I learned to use all of the skills from the other 4 jobs to become an office/accounting manager in an environmental engineering company.

            I did precisely what my first employer recommended: Always know what the next step is, take what you learn from each job to the next job and it’s forward, onward and upward.

            My retirement job is SEO copywriting, proof reading and editing. And, my fun retirement job is writing books and short stories.

          4. Leftout February 19, 2015

            I admire your learned background and prose and patience in writing properly. Unfortunately my i_ devise completed verbiage automatically , and since I have limited time to review , I may send out non sequesters . It Is a pleasure reading your thoughts but I tend to disagree on many points.
            I tend to be very right of even the Tea Party and hold highly self rliance and the ability to keep Persevering till you reach your objective. I will be charitable if one puts out as well and keeps trying, simple, no free bees .
            Thanks for conversation

      2. Dominick Vila February 18, 2015

        President Obama has acknowledged, repeatedly, that he does not have the authority to write and pass laws. That is a function of the Legislative Branch. He issued an EXECUTIVE ORDER, a tool used by Presidents to promote or expedite policies. The intent, in this case, was to encourage a Congress determined to preserve the status quo to address an issue that needs resolution. Since an EO is not law, it can be easily be rendered null and void by Congress writing and passing legislation that renders it so.
        Clearly, President Obama underestimated the influence of money on Congress, and the need to satisfy constituents to stay in office. Needless to say, this is not the first time a controversial EO has been issued. One of the most troubling, because of its unconstitutionality, was signed by President Bush in 2002 when he authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to eavesdrop without a
        warrant on phone calls made by U.S. citizens and others living in the
        United States.
        As for subsidies, I certainly hope the issue goes beyond subsidies to help middle class Americans get healthcare insurance, and that it includes subsidies to wealthy farmers and corporations who don’t need public help to profit.

        1. mike February 18, 2015

          You are right, he repeatedly said he couldn’t do it absent of Congress. But he did, after taking a major thumping in the mid-terms. He gave the new Congress less than 2 months to pass a new immigration reform act before his EO went into effect. Time will tell if it gets reversed. Looks like it is headed to SCOTUS.
          Underestimated the Money, my eye, he is a constitutional lawyer but ignores the constitution at his leisure. He knew what he was doing.
          There is no comparison of Bush using EO to protect this country and Obama’s strictly political move.
          SCOTUS will determine if subsidies, not authorized under Obamacare for the 34 states with federally operated exchanges. What we are hearing are millions of Americans who could be paying back monies to the govt. because they weren’t qualified to receive subsidies or didn’t buy healthcare insurance and will owe money.

  5. Eleanore Whitaker February 18, 2015

    Slash and burn. Slash and burn. Slash and burn. This is what the GOP tyrants call “work?” BS. It’s a display of peacock feathers by GOP men who in reality are a bunch of wusses.

  6. Eleanore Whitaker February 18, 2015

    Ever notice how some men and women in the US who own businesses, hire illegals and then bitch about the number of illegals? If the government would shut down these businesses until they hired Americans, there would be NO illegals in jobs in the US. What about illegal hiring of illegals don’t you boys want to admit is the cause of this problem?


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