Is the Senate Minority All-Powerful?

With regard to the funding of the Department of Homeland Security and President Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty orders, we have entered Alice In Wonderland territory. The Republican House has passed an appropriations bill that funds DHS, minus the implementation of Obama’s illegal orders. Senate Republicans have introduced the House bill three times, but each time it has been filibustered by the Democrat minority. If the Democrats continue to filibuster, there is a risk that DHS could run out of money after February 27, and important national security functions could be compromised.

It must be obvious to any sane observer that the Democrats are threatening a DHS shutdown through their Senate filibusters. But somehow, in Washington’s topsy-turvy world, that is not how the issue is being framed. This morning, Chris Wallace, the best of the Sunday morning pundits, interrogated John Boehner about the risk that DHS could go unfunded. Boehner’s replies were entirely reasonable:

But this is how the interview has been reported: “Boehner ‘certainly’ prepared to let DHS funding run out.” Here is another one: “Speaker Boehner is ready to let Homeland Security funding lapse.” Similar headlines were published just about everywhere. Republicans are preparing to shut down the Department of Homeland Security! But this is bordering on the insane: Boehner’s Republican House has voted to fund DHS. If funding runs out, it will be because Democrats, the Senate minority, filibustered all DHS funding. Why isn’t Harry Reid on the Sunday morning shows, being asked to explain why the Democratic Party is blocking funding of DHS’s national security functions? I know, that’s a silly question. Harry Reid is a Democrat, so he doesn’t have to answer any questions.

The current spin on the news implies that the Senate minority gets to make all decisions about funding of government agencies and programs. If the Senate minority wants more funding, or less, then the Senate majority, the House of Representatives and the president are required to go along and fashion legislation that is acceptable to the Senate minority. That is what Chris Wallace and everyone to his left are now telling us.

I have scoured the Constitution and haven’t found any provision that invests the Senate minority with such dominion over spending. Nor do I remember that when the Republicans were in the Senate minority, from 2007 through 2012, any of these reporters and pundits told us that the GOP minority was in charge of spending, and the Democratic majority in the House and Senate, and the Democratic president, were obliged to fall in line behind the GOP Senate minority. Can we have a consistent set of rules here?

In a sense, of course, the rules are consistent: if you listen to the mainstream press and Democratic Party pundits, whatever favors the Democrats at the moment is required. If you created a Venn diagram for intellectual consistency and liberalism, you would find zero overlap.

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