It's about time Mitch McConnell got a taste of his own medicine, because we certainly had to slurp enough of it over the past six years.
Republicans pandered to their extremists, and now they've got a problem. At the end of this month, the Department of Homeland Security runs out of money and Democrats aren't going let them attach riders to kill President Obama's executive orders on immigration.
Senate Democrats on Tuesday blocked a Republican bill that would finance the Department of Homeland Security, objecting to a measure that would have gutted President Obama’s recent executive actions on immigration. The vote set up an urgent confrontation over the department, which will see its funding run out at the end of the month.
The bill, passed by the House recently, would have revoked the president’s action that provides legal protection for as many as five million undocumented immigrants, including children. Democrats said that was unacceptable, and Mr. Obama has promised to veto any legislation that reversed his directives on immigration.
The showdown over the $40 billion measure is most likely the first of many, as Democrats turned to procedural moves to stop votes much as Republicans did when they were in the minority. On Tuesday, Republicans blamed Democrats for the vote, which was 51 to 48, to block the bill from coming to the Senate floor.
Texas Senator John Cornyn blamed Democrats in classic Orwell-speak:
“If they’re going to dig their heels in and say, ‘We’re going to refuse to fund the Department of Homeland Security,’ I think they’re going to be held accountable for that,” said Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Senate Republican.
Oh, now. We all know who crafted the budget bill to intentionally cause a deadline on DHS funding and we also know why. Don't try to hide your racism, GOP. It's written all over you.
But congressional Republicans now find themselves scrambling to fund the agency before it runs out of money on Feb. 27 while also placating their most conservative members, who believe that the president has overstepped his constitutional authority and that the Homeland Security bill is their best leverage to fight back.
“Nobody really has a strategy yet, I’m sorry to say,” said Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona. He said he had been involved in at least 20 discussions over the last 72 hours about funding the agency. But he added, “We cannot shut down the Department of Homeland Security.”
Well, maybe not. But Ted Cruz can certainly block all nominees as revenge for not screwing immigrants in this country, and he's doing just that.
The irony in Cruz' hissy fit? Republicans hate Eric Holder with a white-hot passion. And Eric Holder isn't going anywhere as long as Cruz blocks Loretta Lynch's nomination from coming to the floor. At best, it's a pyrrhic victory. Eric Holder stays put because Ted Cruz isn't getting his way.
Welcome to Republican governing, 2015-style.