Republican Sen. Roy Blunt is shocked — pleasantly shocked.
The establishment media is accurately saying Democrats are responsible for the partisan standoff over the 2015 budget for the Department of Homeland Security, the Missouri senator told The Daily Caller Wednesday.
“Virtually all the headlines actually relate what is happening instead of what the media wants to portray is happening,” he said in an interview shortly after all Democratic senators again stopped the Senate from debating the agency’s $39.7 billion budget.
Blunt’s surprise is echoed by other GOP leaders in the high-stakes fight.
“I mean, are we like, through the Looking Glass, have we gone down a rabbit hole into Neverland?” asked Sen Jeff Sessions, during a Feb. 4 floor speech.
“Here’s Politico [saying] ‘Democrats Filibuster Department of Homeland Security Bill.’ … That’s exactly what’s happening!” Sessions said.
“How about The New York Times? … “Senate Democrats Block Republican Homeland Security Bill”… it’s exactly true,” said Sessions. “How about ‘The Atlantic’? ‘The New Democratic Obstructionists,'” Sessions said.
Blunt is playing a standout role in the budget clash, which began when the Democrats blocked the Senate from debating the DHS budget, which Obama is using to fund his amnesty.
Democrats are blocking the debate because they will be forced to vote for or against Obama’s November amnesty during the budget debate.
“I think we’ll win the debate,” Blunt told TheDC. “The question is how do we get six Democrats to join us” so the debate can be started, he said.
“There are at least half a dozen Democrats … who said [before the 2014 election] they didn’t agree with the president,” he said.
The 54 Republicans need votes from at least six of the 46 Democrats to reach the 60-vote threshold for starting a floor debate in the Senate. One Republican, Sen. Dean Heller from Nevada, has voted twice with the Democrats, partly because his state’s population includes a growing number of Latinos.
All Democrats united to block the debate in votes on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Obama’s amnesty would provide work permits to another five million illegals, and largely block the mandated repatriation of 12 million illegal immigrants.
Since 2009, the foreign-born workforce has grown by roughly 10 million people, while the percentage of Americans in the workforce has slipped.
Obama has boosted the inflow by providing work permits to an additional 5.46 million illegal immigrants, students, tourists and other foreigners.
Trapped between the polls and Obama’s top-priority push for more immigration, Democrats are filibustering the Senate to block a debate on the DHS budget.
They’re also urging Republican senators to quit their opposition to the unpopular amnesty, and are talking up jihadi threats in the hope that the public will stop the GOP’s push.
But Blunt is trying to win.
“I think we should do everything we can to persuade at least a half a dozen Democrats that they should join us to get this done,” he said Jan. 27. “Sometimes you don’t know how these legislative battles go if you don’t have them, and we intend to have this one,” said Blunt, who is a 14-year veteran of many partisan fights in the House of Representatives.
Blunt is focused on seven Democrats who distanced themselves from Obama’s November amnesty during the fall campaign.
They includes Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly, Virginia’s Mark Warner, Minnesota’s Al Franken, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, Missouri’s Claire McCaskill, Maine’s Angus King, Montana’s Joe Tester and New Hampshire’s Jeanne Shaheen.
In an October debate against challenger Scott Brown, for example, Shaheen told the voters that “I don’t think the president should take any action on immigration.”
She’s now arguing Senators should only debate Obama’s immigration plans in a debate over a new immigration law, not in the debate over the budget for the nation’s immigration agency.
Blunt is working to swing the Democrats’ votes. “I hope constituents are calling them … saying ‘We want you to be willing to debate,'” he said.
The media’s accurate reporting on the debate is helping prevent Democrats from blaming the GOP for Democratic filibuster, he said.
There’s plenty of room for compromise once the some Democrats allow the debate to start, he said.
The Senate can “move forward with the kinds of solutions that the House presented [and which] clearly gets the president back into his own lane and reasserts the Constitution,” he told TheDC.
“Democracy doesn’t work if legislative bodies don’t debate,” he added.