House Passes Clean DHS Funding Bill: Republicans Divide Themselves Instead of Democrats

They passed a clean bill with no poison pills against the Obama executive order


As I had predicted last Friday, House Republicans would come to their senses and pass a clean bill to fund the

Thomas Hawk / Foter / CC BY-NC

Department of Homeland Security for the rest of the year without poison pills blocking implementation of President Obama's executive order deferring deportation for some 4.6 million undocumented workers.

And so they just did. As per The Wall Street Journal:

The House passed the measure 257-167, going along with a Senate plan that it had rejected just days earlier…

The final vote, and even bringing the bill to the House floor, represented a big concession by House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) and a recognition of the realities that one-party rule in Congress doesn't mean the GOP will have an easy time pushing through its policies…

After Mr. Boehner broke the news that he would bring the Senate bill up for a vote on Tuesday, many Republicans filtered out of the meeting with their heads hanging low. Some of the conservatives who had been most outspoken in their opposition to the Senate plan declined to comment.

The conservatives were back fighting by the afternoon, in a rare intraparty debate on the House floor, where many rose up to deliver in public messages that they have shared with each other in private. As moderates defended the decision to pass a homeland security funding bill without immigration language, conservatives challenged the Republican leadership's arguments that the party needed to show it could govern.

None of this is surprising. However, what's noteworthy is just how out-of-touch restrictionists are with political reality. Their calculation was that by using DHS funding as leverage, they'll put pressure on Democrats to abandon the president's executive order. The exact opposite happened: Instead of dividing Democrats, their tactics divided the GOP. That's because there are plenty of Republicans who can't afford to alienate their Hispanic swing voters.

The Obama order is still not out of the woods given that a Texas judge has blocked it for now. And if the administration doesn't extricate it from the courts soon, the clock might well run out on it.

So Republicans might yet win this battle, but only at the price of losing the war. Their harsh anti-immigration rhetoric and policies was one reason they lost the presidency in 2012. If they keep their anti-immigration hysteria up, they can expect more shellackings.

Or they can wake up and realize that a leviathan on the border and a police state in the homeland to prevent willing employers from willing workers is consistent neither with limited government, nor free market competition, nor winning elections.

NEXT: Prepare to Meet Your Replacements! Why Robots Will Win in the End.

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  1. I’m so shocked. I totally didn’t see that coming.

  2. I’m puzzled by this item, because the judge’s order against Obama’s executive order didn’t require that anyone be deported, only that President Obama not give illegal immigrants benefits like refundable tax credits (the Administration wants to give illegal immigrants retroactive tax credits of up to $24,000 per household for earned income tax credits, plus thousands more in refundable child tax credits) and not give them social security numbers (which would effectively allow a small percentage of illegal immigrants to illegally vote).

    That doesn’t sound like “nativism” to me, and to the extent that the GOP legislation in Congress would overturn that, it seems unremarkable and a good idea.

    GOP Senators like Chuck Grassley have rightly complained about the Obama administration plans to give billions of dollars in costly tax credits to illegal aliens retroactively:


    The GOP should so something about it, to avoid ballooning the budget deficit: http://cnsnews.com/commentary/…..fare-state

    1. From as far into crazytown as Shikha is on immigration, anything close to sensible looks extreme.

      1. Indeed. Object to tens of millions of poor immigrants who will get welfare (for their kids at least) and support Democrats? You’re just “hysterical.”

        1. And Racist. Does Shikha use that label as well?

          1. I believe she’s not above using “xenophobic,” which is often used rather loosely as well.

            1. And don’t forget “cannon fodder,” which she highlighted as a possible career goal for these same undocumenteds.

  3. Surprise, surprise, suripse.

  4. What’s all this Palmall 1.2 stuff that only shows up in this post?

    1. I was wondering if I installed something on accident?

    2. Looks like Reason got pwned!

  5. Its quite amusing how Nancy Pelosi just owned John Boehner. She waited him out, agreed to a one week extension as long as the full funding bill was put on the House floor in one week, and presto! The adults win, and the children go home. And Boehner claimed he never agreed to a deal, and yet here we are.

    John Boehner is the most ineffectual Speaker of the House we have ever had. He is completely unable manage his caucus, and lets a minority show him up constantly and then forces him to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. It has happened time and again.

    He maybe should have taken notes this time from Pelosi.

    1. Maybe he should take back his cajones while he’s at it.

    2. Didn’t you mean snatching defeat from the jaws of victory?

      1. Indeed. Jaws are so confusing.

  6. Many Republicans, especially those in power positions in Senate&House; love money from Big Business & Chamber Of Commerce more than voting Republican base.

    They fear the loss of funding from Chamber/deep pocket business looking for cheap labor more than they fear a primary challenge.

    McConnell did a terrible job making the intransigence of Dems in the Senate a media circus. Failed miserably at the politics of getting pressure on the Dems. He really only wanted it by appealing inside the Senate in a courtly and did not have the fire in the belly to take the fight into prime time in a passionate way.

    How is having McConnell as leader any different than Harry Reed? Reed would have gotten to the same result faster.

    1. Actually the correct quote is “How is Boehner any different from Pelosi…other than it takes him longer to accomplish what she would have.”

      1. In Boehner’s defense, he does have a caucus full of uncompromising idiots.

        1. Then he shouldn’t have picked this battle if he didn’t have the votes or the muscle to get the votes. The House needs new leadership, because this guy is worse at building coalitions or picking his battles than the jackass at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

          1. He didn’t want to pick this battle.

            1. yep. He’s part of the chamber of commerce and 4pm happy hour caucus. Needs cheap labor to bus the tables.

    2. By the way, McConnell only fell subject to a reality he helped create in the Senate, which is unprecedented use of the filibuster. He hasn’t seen anything yet.

      It was Boehner who always had a choice here. All he had to do was say “the courts have ruled so far in our favor on immigration, and we trust that will continue. Now we will approve the DHS, something we strongly believe in.”
      And the GOP wins, on both fronts.

      But no! He can’t control about 60 intransigent GOP House members.

      1. Maybe he should consider not stripping them of committee seats.

    3. Chamber/deep pocket business looking for cheap labor

      The horror!

      1. Yes, HM, more poor Americans in a welfare state is your problem, too.

  7. If Boehner is lying in the gutter bleeding to death I will walk past.

  8. The Republicans will “come to their senses” when they kill DHS dead, dead, dead. Then soak the corpse in concentrated lye.

    1. The Republican Party will never kill the DHS… and neither will the Democratic Party. That department is the Republicans’ baby and they, in their infinite good judgment, even provided it with a suitably Orwellian name to make it impossible for anybody else to kill it, too.

  9. How is funding DHS “coming to their senses”?

    Isnt that the exact opposite of the sensible thing to do?

    1. I was coming in here to say just that.

      Also, isn’t it their job to tell Obama that he’s overreaching with his executive orders (as it would have been their job to do the same to Bush).

      1. No. Executive overreach is totally permissible if it’s for a good Reason. Or good with Reason.

    2. If we’re going down that road, we should argue that establishing “a uniform Rule of Naturalization” is an enumerated power of Congress according to Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution, and that Barack Obama was trying to usurp an enumerated power of Congress.

      But it’s okay to preface an argument with the observation the way Obama was trying to do it is wrong and still point out that the Republicans’ anti-immigration stance is politically suicidal.

      Since, you know, it is.

      1. Meh, immigration is doom for conservatives and libertarians, too. Do they cut their own throats quickly, or slowly? Libertarians mostly choose quickly, Republicans (in recent years, and not Bush) mostly choose slowly.

        1. Since libertarians are mostly just competing in the realm of public opinion, talking about us cutting our own throats is kinda missing the point.

          In the realm of public opinion, gay marriage is becoming the law of the land, and recreational marijuana has been legalized in several states and is in the process of being legalized in more.

          Given those developments, saying that libertarians are slitting their own throats is more like missing the boat.

          1. That’s one of the more comforting aspects about the libertarians. Even if they do eventually come into power, no one will ever notice the difference.

            1. It’ll be bad news for human parasites, though.

              If we came to power, it would be parasite Armageddon.

              Oh, no! We’re going to have to do something productive that people will pay us for willingly?

              How will we survive?!

        2. Meh, immigration is doom for conservatives and libertarians, too.

          How is immigration doom for libertarians?

          1. Importing large numbers of anti-libertarians who have anti-libertarian babies leads to an ever-decreasing share of the population that is libertarian. And we don’t exactly have a high birth rate ourselves.

            1. Immigrants tend to be more entrepreneurial than native born Americans.

              And they don’t come here with the mindset that the government is supposed to raise their children and take care of their elderly parents, either–since there aren’t government programs to do that where they come from.

              It’s disgraceful the way Americans have come to imagine that taking care of our elderly parents is somehow the government’s responsibility, but Medicare and Social Security really have made slackers out of so many of Americans on that count.

              For most Mexicans, sending your elderly parents off to live in a nursing home to e taken care of by strangers is tantamount to abandoning your own children. If only more Americans were as libertarian!

  10. “Or they can wake up and realize that a leviathan on the border and a police state in the homeland to prevent willing employers from hiring willing workers is consistent neither with limited government, nor free market competition, nor winning elections.”

    Those “willing employers” are often really willing consumers.

    When an old couple hires some illegal aliens to do the yard work they can’t do themselves anymore (and couldn’t afford on a fixed income otherwise), I don’t really think of them as employers. They’re consumers.

    Those illegal aliens are offering a service to consumers. They’re the business–not their customers.

    When a single mom (or married mom, for that matter) hirse an illegal alien to babysit her children–so she can have a career and work for a living, I don’t really think of her as being an employer per se.

    She’s a customer consuming a service being offered by illegal aliens.

    I think a lot of the “employers” anti-immigration people are often trying to vilify are actually your average grandma and grandpa in the Southwest. The suburbs of Southern California are full of Hispanic women in their 40s pushing strollers with lily-white, blue-eyed children in them–’cause those kids’ moms have careers.

    1. That goes back to Coase’s early work on why firms develop instead of everyone being an independent contractor.

      1. I don’t know anything about Coase, but I know women who might vote Republican–but get pissed off watching Republicans they know pound the table about throwing their cleaning lady out of the country.

        Like most women, they don’t argue about it, though. They grit their teeth, smile, and quietly think to themselves, “If they throw her out of the country, you’re gonna clean your own toilet, old man”.

        1. I don’t know anything about Coase

          I think I found your first problem.

      2. An interesting counterpoint made by Samuel Konkin III who advocates for independent contractors is that firms, while certainly more efficient, are the way statists maintain power. It bridges into the modern development of decentralized systems.

    2. is consistent neither with limited government, nor free market competition, nor winning elections.

      Only one of these things matter. You can win elections for 40 years by spouting lies about how much you support the other two.

  11. Its articles like this that are why all reason writers should be required to spend times in the comment threads.

    Cavanaugh, and somewhat Bailey, would answer for their idiocy.

    1. If Ms Damia were to defend her position in these comments all records would be smashed.

      1. Ms. Dalmia has responded to me in comments a few times.

        I think she’s been trolled enough by other people on immigration threads since that banging her head against a wall probably looks more interesting by way of comparison.

        1. This isn’t an immigration thread, its a dhs thread.

          1. Her post is all about immigration.

            The first line is about immigration.

            The last line is about immigration.

            The middle is about immigration.

            It’s about immigration.

    2. I regularly see Ron Bailey posting in the comments on his articles.

  12. “Dalmia”

    (I’m blaming that adware crap she pasted in)

  13. “One reason they lost the presidency in 2012.”

    Reason #1,783.

  14. You cannot have open borders and a welfare state at the same time:

    Pew Research Center: Hispanic Politics, Values, Religion

    Support for a larger government is greatest among immigrant Latinos. More than eight-in-ten (81%) say they would rather have a bigger government with more services than a smaller government with fewer services.

    1. So kill the welfare state. Problem solved.

      1. +1

        I’m not willing to wait for the world to become reasonable before my right to hire (or buy the service of) whomever I please is respected.

        If I have to wait for them to kill off the welfare state before I get my freedom of association, then I may never get my freedom of association.

        And, besides, why irrationally tie the death of the welfare state to immigration like that? The welfare state problem is mostly a result of native-born Americans. Why pretend otherwise?

        I’d hate, hate, hate for my fellow Americans to start imagining that welfare entitlements are a natural right of citizenship. That’s the world according to Tony!

        Being robbed by native born Americans doesn’t make me feel any better–why should being robbed by foreigners make me feel any worse?

        It isn’t the foreigner part that’s the problem–it’s the getting robbed part, right?

        1. There’s also a negative impact on all the immigrants who came here legally and did the work to get green cards, etc. Now its a big FU from the government since all the border jumpers and visa overstayers get their papers right away.

          1. The suggestion that there’s a sizable percentage of legal Mexican immigrants who resent the GOP for letting more immigrants in–so much–that they vote for the Democrats instead?

            That seems…um…dubious to me.

            The voting behavior I’ve seen in California since Prop 187 passed suggests it’s more likely that Latinos resent the GOP because they think the anti-illegal immigrant GOP is really just anti-Latino.

            That’s the political suicide we’re talking about, here, right? As the U.S. population continues to become more Latino, the GOP is positioning itself to be seen as anti-Latino by a increasingly larger percentage of U.S. voters.

            They keep grabbing more and more rope to hang themselves with–and wonder why a shithead like Obama beat them twice.

        2. I’m not willing to wait for the world to become reasonable before my right to hire (or buy the service of) whomever I please is respected.

          That’s funny – I’m not willing to pay the taxes to subsidize importing your “cheap” labor, especially when it has no particular skills that couldn’t be obtained locally.

          Talk about socializing costs and privatizing the profits!

          1. “That’s funny – I’m not willing to pay the taxes to subsidize importing your “cheap” labor”

            So what?

            I’m not willing to pay taxes to subsidize native born slackers or imported slackers either.

            I’m not making a distinction between native born slackers and imported slackers, but you seem to be.

            I don’t want to pay for you or your children–and I don’t give a shit whether you were born in America or not. I don’t want to pay for any slackers.

            Being born in America entitles you to nothing but the right to vote and hold certain offices.

            Why are you making a distinction between the native born and foreign when there isn’t any meaningful distinction to be made between slackers?

            Being robbed by an American doesn’t make me feel any better, and being robbed by a Mexican doesn’t make me feel any worse. What makes me feel bad is being robbed by either one of them. Let’s stop robbing me to pay for other people’s children–no matter where their parents were born.

            Why make meaningless distinctions?

            Let’s start by privatizing the public schools. Then let’s get rid of Medicare and Social Security. Let’s get rid of EBT, subsidized housing, and everything else that doesn’t involve orphans and the severely handicapped. …and I don’t give a damn if the people on those programs are American or not.

            Why do you? What is it about being robbed by American slackers that makes you feel okay about being robbed?

      2. Agreed.

        But I expect to be disappointed.

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