The news was so heavy yesterday that I held off on commenting on the House vote to fund the Department of Homeland Security through the end of the fiscal year, with no exclusion of the administration’s executive amnesty. Some observations on the vote:
1) The roll call was 257 to 167, with all Democrats voting “yes,” but only 75 Republicans. This has prompted speculation about Boehner’s standing with his caucus. I doubt, however, that a serious challenge to his leadership will be mounted any time soon.
2) The practical urgency of defunding executive amnesty is diminished by the Texas federal court’s preliminary injunction barring implementation of the amnesty. I think it unlikely that a stay will be imposed on the court’s order by the court of appeals; the remaining question will be whether the scofflaw Obama administration will simply disregard it, and proceed in violation of the order. I don’t think that is likely, either. If those assumptions are correct, the defunding is arguably moot. See, however, Senator Jeff Sessions’ comments on the obligations of Congress, which are quoted below.
3) The bottom line here is that the Democrats’ Senate filibuster succeeded. The House funded DHS through the end of the fiscal year, and Mitch McConnell tried repeatedly to bring the House bill up for a vote, but was stymied by the Democratic filibuster each time. It was the filibuster that prevented DHS from being funded, yet the press generally blamed Republicans for the impending shutdown. This makes no sense, but if those are the rules, Republicans should remember them next time they are in the minority. In the meantime, this episode has added steam to the “abolish the filibuster” sentiment now growing among Republicans.
In anticipation of the House vote yesterday, Jeff Sessions released this statement. I find what he says to be pretty much inarguable:
The Democratic Party has been completely unified in its defense of the President’s amnesty in the face of overwhelming public opposition—and in the face of the President’s own repeated declaration that his conduct was illegal.
They voted in unison, messaged in unison, and their outside allies have launched third-party attacks against Republicans.
As a result, our Constitution continues to be eroded, our immigration system continues to slide into anarchy, and our constituents continue to suffer the debilitating loss of their jobs and wages.
Essential to any sovereign nation is the enforcement of its borders, the application of uniform rules for entry and exit, and the delivery of consequences for individuals who violate our laws. President Obama has nullified those laws, rules, and borders, and replaced those consequences with rewards.
The President’s decree provides illegal immigrants with work permits, trillions in Social Security and Medicare payments, and billions in free cash tax credits—all benefits explicitly rejected by Congress. This takes jobs, benefits, and work opportunities directly from struggling and forgotten workers.
The will of the American people cannot be forever denied. Republicans will have to come to realize that it falls on their shoulders to give voice to the just demands of the American people for a lawful system of immigration that serves their interests, defends their jobs, protects their security.
Nor can we allow the President to dismantle the constitutional powers of Congress, ceding our status as a coequal branch, on the hope the Judiciary intervenes to restore some fraction of that lost authority. When it comes to defending our sovereignty there is no “moving on.” Now is not the time for recrimination; now is the time for renewed determination. What motivates and excites a small group of open-borders billionaires has no connection to the hearts and lives of the working people of this country. They have been silenced for too long. Those who think this fight is over could not be more mistaken; it is only beginning. When the power of the American people is finally leveraged, people will be astonished by the results.
Note the echo of the great John Paul Jones, a bit of inspiration on a day when we badly need it.