02.25.2015 1

House must resist Amnesty.gov

speaker boehner

By Robert Romano

Senate Republicans appear all but ready to capitulate in the fight to prohibit President Barack Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty for up to 4.5 million illegal immigrants with U.S.-born children, with leaders offering a “clean” funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security.

This comes after four failed cloture votes to bring the House bill to the Senate floor that would have blocked the amnesty. The trouble is that Democrats led by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) blocked the legislation, which required 60 votes.

Now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has offered to put a new bill on the Senate floor that simply strips the House-passed language, giving Reid and Obama what they want, with quick passage expected.

For his part, Reid plans to continue to filibuster the bill until House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) indicates he is willing to pass the Senate bill.

“I’m waiting to hear from the Speaker,” Reid said.

Admirably, Boehner has held firm throughout this process, time and again putting the pressure on the Senate to act, even hinting that a partial shutdown of the Department may be in the offing.

“If funding for Homeland Security lapses, Washington Democrats are going to bear the responsibility,” Boehner told reporters on February 12.

A day prior, Boehner had declared to reporters, “The House has done its job. Why don’t you go ask the Senate Democrats when they’re going to get off their ass and do something—other than to vote no?”

In doing so, Boehner has kept to his conference’s plan that he had outlined on December 4, 2014.

The strategy included only funding those agencies that would be implementing the executive action in the Department of Homeland Security through February 27, enabling the House and Senate, now both with Republican majorities, to then defund and/or prohibit the action in 2015.

“[T]he House will work to keep the government open while keeping our leverage, so that when we have reinforcements in the Senate, we’re in the strongest position to take additional actions to fight the President’s unilateral actions,” said Boehner at the time.

Unfortunately, it turned out those Senate reinforcements were not enough to overcome the Democrat filibuster.

At the time of writing, it is unclear how the House will react. As it stands, Boehner is set to confer with members of the House Republican conference on how to proceed Wednesday morning.

So far, so good. Now the House must hold firm. The message to get out is that, according to a 2013 Congressional Research Service report, 85 percent of the Department including all mandatory and essential functions would continue to be funded even if Congress and the President cannot immediately agree on legislation.

Those functions that would continue according to the report include the Office of Biometric Identity Management, Federal Protective Service, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Radiological Emergency Preparedness Program, Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program, Disaster Relief Operations, National Flood Insurance Program, under U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) all programs except for E-Verify, under Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Border Security Programs, and Ports of Entry Operations, under Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Immigration Enforcement and Removal Operations and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, under Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Transportation Security (including passenger screening) and the Federal Air Marshal Service, under U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Military/Defense Operations, Maritime Security and Maritime Safety, under Secret Service (USSS) Protection of Persons and Facilities, under National Protection and Programs Directorate Cyber Security, Under Analysis & Operations (A&O), State and Local Fusion Centers, National Operations Center Watch Operations and DHS Intelligence Operations, and under the Office of Health Affairs, BioWatch.

Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government.

Copyright © 2008-2020 Americans for Limited Government