Politics

GOP Senate Leaders Take A Dive On Amnesty Fight

Senate Democrat leaders are using every tool they’ve got to defend the president’s top-priority November amnesty, including emotional threats to civil society, dire warnings of another 9/11 atrocity, and campaign-style hits against four wavering Republican senators.

But the Senate’s GOP leadership has used only low-emotion floor speeches and low-drama press conferences with hostile political media to scratch at the Democrats’ triple-filibuster of the Department of Homeland Security’s 2015 budget.

The GOP’s tearoom tactics haven’t moved even one of the several Democrat senators who declared partial opposition last year to Obama’s unpopular amnesty, which will add five million foreign workers to Americans’ flooded labor market.

No Democrats have flipped, even though five Democratic senators lost their seats in November, partly because of broad public opposition to Obama’s immigration policies.

In contrast to their passivity on immigration, the GOP leaders aggressively fought and won the legislative battle to approve the Keystone pipeline, despite determined Democratic opposition.

The GOP’s tepid actions in the amnesty fight adds up to “nothing, nada, zilch,” according to one Hill staffer.

Republican representatives are getting angrier at the Republican senators’ impotence, partly because the GOP base is nearly united in opposition to the amnesty. Majority Leader “Senator [Mitch] McConnell has engaged in a half-hearted effort to date … in a policy of surrender without fighting,” Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks said Wednesday.

But the GOP caucus in the Senate is splitting as it collides with media-backed Democratic obstructionism.

The Senate Republicans’ ineffective strategy was highlighted Wednesday when Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk suddenly reversed his prior tough language and began repeating Sen. Chuck Schumer’s talking points in the amnesty battle. “I generally agree with the Democratic position here. I think we should have never fought this battle on DHS funding. … I think it’s the wrong battle for us at the wrong time,” Kirk said.

One day prior, Kirk had sharply criticized the Democrats’ opposition to any defunding of Obama’s amnesty. “If there is a successful attack during a DHS shutdown — we [Republicans] should build a number of coffins outside each Democratic office and say, ‘You are responsible for these dead Americans,'” he said.

Kirk’s surrender came two days after a coalition of progressive groups rolled out push polls and video attack-ads aimed at the Illinois senator and three other GOP senators facing the voters in 2016.

The SEIU-funded survey by Public Policy Polling got a -17 percent response when it pushed telephone respondents with this question; “Mark Kirk is one of the Republicans in Congress refusing to fund the Department of Homeland Security, putting our national security at risk, in an attempt to block the new immigration policy. Does refusing to fund the Department of Homeland Security unless the immigration policy change is blocked make you more or less likely to vote for Mark Kirk next year, or does it not make a difference?”

The attack ad urged viewers to “Call Mark Kirk — tell him homeland security is no place for games.”

The Democratic push quickly changed Kirk’s public statements.