Republicans all agree that they despise President Barack Obama. Beyond that, they're hopelessly deadlocked.
The honeymoon from their massive election victory gave way to a recognition that the only thing uniting them was their opposition to President Barack Obama, as they take on the challenge of running both chambers of Congress. Unlike previous years, the party was unable to find a path forward on key issues.
I'm shocked! Who would have guessed that they'd falter when confronted with the actual work of governing after six years of tossing big boulders in the road to progress?
Pop the popcorn, because they seriously cannot agree on anything. Take, for example, the DHS amendment to de-fund the President's executive orders on immigration. Mitch McConnell is already managing expectations:
[McConnell] told House Republicans not to expect miracles, since it would take 60 Senate votes to send the House bill to Obama’s desk, and McConnell only has 54 Republican votes.
“You look at the hand you’re dealt. There are not 60 Republicans, so you have to convince six Democrats to move with them,” said one border-state Republican congressman. “Pigs will fly out of my rear end before that happens.”
Well, then. Moving along to health care and the united front to de-fund the ACA? Not so much now that these guys have people in their states who benefit from it, Republican and Democrat alike. According to the TPM article,
Republicans also met to plot a response if the Supreme Court knocks down health insurance subsidies for millions of Americans. But here too they were stymied — as they've been for five years on an Obamacare alternative. The Court case adds urgency for them to find consensus ahead of a likely June ruling.
They're really struggling with their absolutist, intractable contingent. When you lose Republican women on an abortion bill because the bill is too extreme, you've lost all around. Look who is objecting -- Rep. Renee Elmers, who is hardly a moderate.
However, the National Journal reports that a group of GOP women led by Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) have started pushing back against the legislation, expressing concerns during a closed-door meeting of House Republicans. Ellmers reportedly said she is worried that voting on the 20-week ban will alienate young female voters, urging her colleagues “to be smart about how we’re moving forward.”
As Politico reports, Ellmers is also concerned that the proposed abortion ban has a particularly narrow exception for rape victims. As the bill is currently written, in order to qualify for the exemption, women who became pregnant from rape must have reported their assault to law enforcement officials.
If Republicans can't agree amongst themselves, they only have two options: Do nothing until they lose their majority in 2016, or work with Obama. Given that their sole area of agreement is their mutual dislike of our President, I'm guessing the former is more likely than the latter.