Update: The House passed that clean bill with a healthy margin: 257-167.
Jim Demint is verklempt.
House Speaker John Boehner has learned (yet again) what happens when you play zero-sum politics. Sometimes you end up with nothing, and that's what will happen later today, it appears.
House Speaker John Boehner told his GOP caucus Tuesday morning that the lower chamber will vote as soon as later Tuesday to fund the Department of Homeland Security for the remainder of the fiscal year. That bill—which lacks any of the immigration-reform-blocking strings that House conservatives had demanded in exchange for DHS funding—has already passed the Senate.
There are signs that the ending to this drama was actually scripted late last week after Boehner’s can-kicking bid for a three-week funding bill unexpectedly and embarrassingly failed to attract the support of enough of his party’s rank-and-file. The one-week extension that followed would have met the same fate—prompting a partial DHS shutdown—if it weren’t for the House Democrats who unexpectedly dropped their opposition to any short-term extension to vote for the bill. While Boehner’s office has denied he promised Pelosi a vote this week on the full funding bill in exchange for her party’s eleventh-hour help last Friday, Democrats have treated it as something closer to an open secret.
Regardless of whether a deal was cut, though, the end result will be the same: Congress will pass the long-term funding bill that President Obama and his congressional allies have been demanding for weeks. Republicans, meanwhile, will be left with nothing to show for a fight that (again) exposed the deep ideological and strategic divide between House GOP hardliners and their more moderate colleagues in the House and Senate.
They got their Bibi speech and that's about it. No immigration riders attached, and my prediction that the clean bill will sail through with only 50 or so Republicans objecting.