House Speaker John Boehner has decided to let the Democratic minority push a toothless budget bill through Congress that doesn’t block President Barack Obama’s unpopular and legally questionable unilateral amnesty.
The vote will be a huge victory for Obama’s alliance of progressives, media professionals and business interests over the many Republican voters in November who elected large GOP majorities in the House and Senate.
The House’s complex debating rules allow members to force a floor vote on a budget bill that is rejected by the Senate. On Tuesday morning, Boehner announced that he wouldn’t block that maneuver, according to media reports.
His decision allows either a GOP or a Democratic member to force the vote on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Media coverage of Boehner’s surrender will likely be obscured by the huge media coverage of the speech in Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The Democratic caucus will fully back the no-strings-attached Department of Homeland Security funding bill, as will many GOP members who are aligned with Republican donors, or who represent districts with growing numbers of immigrants.
In January, nearly all of the GOP House members voted for a 2015 budget bill for DHS that barred any spending on Obama’s amnesty.
Obama and his fellow progressives say that immigration will change America’s population and change the nation’s politics. But public opinion has shifted sharply against Obama and the progressives since late 2012.
Obama rallied the Senate Democrats to block the 2015 budget four times, and used the media to magnify his threat to block paychecks for DHS employees until the GOP allowed a “clean” DHS bill without the funding ban.
The established media backed the Democrats’ message — and terminology — and were echoed by the GOP-aligned business interests, who announced a $400,000 campaign to push conservative House members to vote for the amnesty-funding bill.
On March 2, 16 GOP senators switched votes in the Senate to join with 42 Democratic senators in rejecting the House GOP’s effort to block spending on the unpopular amnesty.
The vote switchers include Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Majority Whip John Cornyn. Last week, they supported the anti-amnesty measures in the DHS bill, but did little to rally public opinion against Obama’s amnesty.
The donor pressure “is very frightening,” said Roy Beck, the founder of NumbersUSA, which rallies public opinion for immigration reductions.
During the 2016 primary campaign, “I’m hopeful that having to deal with voters will pull a lot of these candidates away from the billionaires” who support increased immigration, he said.
If the GOP wanted to win the amnesty fight, it would argue that Obama’s amnesty is unfair to Americans, not merely that it violates the legislative process and regulation-writing process, says Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan.
“Both arguments are important, but I think the fairness argument is the best one,” Jordan told The Daily Caller.
Voters “feel that this town always working against them, and that this town always worked for the connected class,” he said. They feel that Obama’s amnesty is “something we need to point out if we’re campaigning to win the debate,” he said March 2.
Republican leadership in the House and Senate have repeatedly declined to use the fairness argument against Obama’s top-priority effort to provide work permits, large tax rebates and participation in Social Security to five million illegals, and have limited their public statements to legalistic objections to Obama’s overreach.
“The president has far exceeded his constitutional authority. … We all want to do things to stop the president from his illicit activity,” House Speaker John Boehner said March 1 on CBS’s “Face the Nation” show.
“It’s important for people that agree with us that the president doesn’t have this ability to put illegal immigration laws in place executively,” Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, the House GOP whip, told Fox News March 1.
“The president chose to use an authority that he said 22 separate times he didn’t have the authority to do,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said March 1 on NBC’s “Meet The Press” show.
When asked for a comment about the fairness angle, one press secretary for the GOP leadership sent TheDC an article showing voter opposition. But when asked if any of the GOP leaders had cited the poll in their comments, the press aide replied, “I don’t recall anyone doing so.”