It’s Now Official, Speaker Boehner Caves on Obama Amnesty

Boehner:  Pass Clean DHS Bill Today

By Joel Gehrke, National Review, March 3, 2015

House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) announced that the House will vote on a clean Department of Homeland Security funding bill, which marks the conclusion of the Republican attempt to block funding for President Obama’s executive amnesty orders.

Boehner told the Republican conference that the bill will get a vote on Tuesday.

“He said Pelosi could [force a vote] but he hoped it would be done by a GOP appropriator,” a Republican congressman in the meeting tells National Review Online.

The GOP lawmaker is referring to a little-known rule, known as Rule 22, that allows any House member to force a vote on a bill if the Senate refuses to create a conference committee. Senate Democrats filibustered the creation of a conference committee on Monday evening, thwarting the process by which the House and Senate might have ironed out the differences between the DHS appropriations bills passed by the two chambers. The original House bill blocked funding for the implementation of Obama’s 2012 and 2014 executive orders on immigration. The Senate bill did not block funding for the president’s amnesty.

In Tuesday morning’s conference meeting, House majority leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) reiterated his belief that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) should have used the nuclear option to eliminate the filibuster in response to the Democratic votes to block debate on the House-passed DHS bill.



  1. MichaelW says:

    Knew that was coming, they cave in to everything, including the 18 trillion dollars worth of debt that they have allowed to be strapped around the necks of the American Taxpayer that they have allowed to continue to grow.

  2. William Smith says:

    What do you want Boehner and McConnell to do with this situation – assuming the realities they face?

  3. I too am disappointed that the Congressional GOP leaders could not stand by their guns on this one. However, this is a question of governance and what governing is all about. The DHS must be funded. The President is a Democrat who has made it clear that he will veto and thereby shut down DHS if the immigration funding is left out. The Senate Republicans do not have the 60 votes required for cloture. This allows the Democrats to filibuster the bill to death if they so choose, and thereby shutdown DHS in the process. As a result the House Republican leaders can continue to push theDHS funding bill of their choosing, but to what end, other than the shutdown of DHS. More important than looking tough to their base, the Congressional Republicans need to demonstrate that they can govern. Having an important department shut down within the first 3 months of gaining the Congressional majority is not the way to inspire confidence among the electorate that you are ready to lead the nation. The Democrats know this, and are simply taking advantage of the situation to their benefit. But the GOP can turn this around to their benefit–simply comprise and pass a bill which the President will sign. This will provide proof to the American people that conservatives deserve to be seated at the adult table.

  4. The Republicans have bought into the nonsense that it would be a bad thing to shut down the DHS.

    The Department of Homeland Security should have been zero budgeted. it has been the means of trampling the liberties of the people in the name of “fighting terrorism.” It has greatly increased unnecessary spending and enriched the crony capitalists who have made a killing off of the “GWOT.” It has corrupted state and local government, and coerced the militarization of local law enforcement.

    Republicans don’t want to shut down DHS because it is part of Big Government that they are largely responsible for creating and maintaining.

    Republicans betrayed our liberties when they created DHS, and they have betrayed it again by passing up a golden opportunity to shut it down.

    And none of us should be in the least bit surprised by this.

  5. I’ve reached the conclusion that there is no limit to the apologia that Frazier will emit to justify the dismantling of our Federal Legislative branch of government by Obama and the hapless Republicans in Congress.

    Merely the threat of veto is now sufficient in Frazer’s mind to force unconditional Congressional compliance to Obama’s unilateral demands. All due to a paramount need, according to Frazier, to demonstrate that they [Congressional Republicans] can “govern”.

    I have no doubt that when the day arrives where Obama has chosen to openly defy an order the US Supreme Court that Frazier will find that acceptable also.

  6. William Smith says:

    Boehner made the right decision. You can’t do anything about immigration unless you control both Houses and the Presidency. I fear the Boehner foes are willing to forfeit those things out of pique.

    Then has DHS been shut down and anything have happened in the way of unchecked terror attack, the Republicans could have kissed goodbye any change of winning in ’16.

  7. William Smith says:

    John, I am happy to be known as dependable. Perhaps was you mean is predictable. In that case I think we are equally predictable. You have one way if approaching these issues, and I another, and we are both pretty consistent,

    I don’t think you are a slave, and I know I am not.

    • Pragmatists who can never seem to discover a “practical” way to shut down tyrannical government always bristle at the rhetorical use of the “S” word to describe our unhappy plight.

      But yes: I’m not able to travel by plane because of the sexual assaults. The government is spying on me and you and all the rest of us – we have no privacy in our communications. And Republicans at every level of government – local, state, and national – not to mention Democrats, are taking away my liberty day by day.

      So the “S” word is seems an appropriate way to cast the situation we are in.

      I’m certainly not going to go along with the “it ain’t really all that bad yet” cop out.

      This I know: every year that Republicans or Democrats control any or all branches of government, I have fewer and fewer liberties left. The laces on the strait jackets are being cinched up by all hands – Republicans and Democrats.

      Just today – JUST TODAY – I discovered the plans of our Republican and Democrat overlords in Greenwood to create a brand new crime, to force the citizens to perform more free labor for the city of Greenwood.

      I will go before the city council to speak against it. i know that it will do no good. I know that there will not be a single candidate up for election the next time who will stand for my freedom.

  8. William Smith says:

    I am still asking you to tell me how they could have won. In the end you either fund DHS or you shut it down. You say fight. Do you mean just fight for the sake of having fought? Or do you mean fight and win? The power of the purse means you can fund or not fund. It’s so easy when someone does not do what you think they should or does what you think they should not do to call them cowards. Maybe they are having the courage to deal with all the flak.

    • At least I believe in taking a stand for something as important as illegal immigration, which could very well me the downfall of this country if all this flood of illegals are voting in a few years! In all the time you have been posting on this site you have not ONE SINGLE TIME advocated fighting for something, anything! You just believe in staying on the same path we are on and that’s a shame!

    • Shut it down. Shut it down now.

      • Thanks for your honesty, John. By declaring your desire to “shut down” the DHS, you are acknowledging (at least by implication) that you and your fellow travelers are bent on tearing down the existing structure of governance in order to establish a type of governmental operation that you believe is in every one’s best interest. However, that is not the way of the Founding Fathers. They established a plan and procedure for the operation of a democratic republic. You are advocating politcal anarchy, which always leads to totalitarianism.

      • William Smith says:

        David you nailed this one.

      • David Frazier, your comment is just plain nutty. DHS is a recent invention. Shutting it down is not “political anarchy” any more than starting it up was.

        Your comment implies that once a department is established, it cannot be dis-established. Why?

        My idea is firmly within the mainstream of the “plan and procedure for the operation of a democratic republic.” The House has the “power of the purse.” That is a fundamental idea baked into our form of government by the Founders.

        All I’m asking is that the House snap its purse closed and shut down a destructive and tyrannical department that should never have been authorized in the first place.

  9. If George Bush had decided we needed a “Patriot Act II” that required us all to place video cameras in every room of our homes so that the government could monitor for terrorist threats, the “pragmatists” in the Republican Party would claim we couldn’t shut down the DHS because if we did and terrorists attacked, Republicans could never get elected again.

    So the way this works is: we can never roll back tyrannical government, because the public will blame Republicans if something goes wrong.

    • William Smith says:

      John, it’s one thing not to grant the additional authority. It’s another to shut down DHS. No we don’t have a tyrannical govenment by any reasonable historical and global standards. We both may wish that there was less intrusion, and you would want, I guess, none whatsover. But the fact that we would like to decrease the power of the central goverment does not mean we live in a tyranny.

    • Not so! That would clearly be a violation of the 4th Amendment.

  10. says:

    1. I believe in fighting. I also believe in winning. That requires wisdom, realism, strategy.
    You have to ask what you are fighting for, why, and how.

    • And your strategy is what the Republicans have been employing for years and look at where we are. Time for a new one!

      • William Smith says:

        OK, I’m listening. Give us not generalities but concrete strategy with steps to be taken that deals with the present realities of the number of R votes in House, number in Senate, and Obama as President.

        It’s one thing to say, “I don’t like it. We need to change.” It’s another to say, “OK, I’m calling the plays. Here is what we’re going to do.”

  11. Before Nov2014 the clarion call by establishment Republicans was that Obama could only be subdued if they regained control of the Senate.

    Last week a staffer in Gregg Harper’s DC office relayed to me that without a filibuster proof 60 votes in the Senate that there was little Republicans could do to stop Obama. But on-script the same staffer quickly blurted out Boehner’s talking point ‘The House is doing its job!’. This was, of course, before the total contemptible surrender of Congressional Republicans this week.

    Now Mr. Smith takes it a step further. Smith proposes that it makes no sense to fight if you can’t guarantee a win and you can’t guarantee anything, let alone a win, unless Republicans control both Congressional bodies and the White House.

    So this is current abdication for the establishment Republicans:

    i] The realpolitik of this GOP holds that a conservative approach to government — and Smith stresses ad nauseum that he is a conservative — is now only possible if the Republicans have their hands on all levers and, in the Senate, there must be a sufficient number of Republicans to outright squash minority dissent.
    ii] Unless the Republicans have total control they essential have no control and should not be held responsible for their political impotence. They are sorry that Obama runs free and roughshod but they refuse to accept any responsibility for the state of affairs.
    iii] It is impossible to curb and/or stop an out-of-control POTUS without a super-majority of 60 votes in the US Senate
    iv] It makes no sense for Congressional Republicans to try and stop lawless Presidential executive actions unless guaranteed victory. (In fact Smith argues that the immigration capitulation was the right thing to do.)
    v] The mere threat of a Presidential veto is now a prior restraint to legislating.
    vi] The veiled threat of government ‘shutdown’ is now a prior restraint to any Congressional leverage of the purse.
    vii] Even with Republican majorities in the House and Senate, sending legislation previously threatened for veto over to have it actually vetoed is not good governance. The appearance of good governance trumps all.

    A Presidential threat to stop guarding the Homeland and protecting the security of the American people if the Executive’s demands are not met — in this case to confer a quasi status (including the right to vote) to those who are invading our country illegally — are the actions of a tin-pot dictator.

    This President gets his way or else innocent Americans will be knowingly and willfully exposed to, potentially, an “unchecked terror attack”, per Smith, and any deaths will be soley the fault of Republicans. You’ve lost your mind Smith.

    Our country marches off towards tyranny.

  12. William Smith says:

    I appreciate the free psychology.

    For all the points you make, you do not set out a strategy for accomplising your goals. Do you know how to win in the Senate without a veto proof majority. Consider the outcome of the Keystone Pipleline. Is there a way to force that?

    RE the case about which you complain. For the sake of argument let’s grant all you say. Now did you want to shut down DHS? That is the most you could have accomplished. So you want to do that?

    I am for taking risks when winning is possible. But this was not such a situation. You can take only so many symbolic actions. Soon the public becames tired and cynical. So I am noit for burning up political capital when you know in advance you are not going to win.

    Re immigration, we do have reality to be faced. We have all these illegals here. Let’s agree we need to shut down the border. We do. But then what? What are you going to do about them. How do you propose to handle this reality? Do you have a proposal? I’d love to hear it.

    Am I a conservative? Well I am not if Reagan was not. If Reagan was a conservative, then yes I am. But I’ll leave that as your call.

    • We win if Homeland Security is shut down and stays shut down.

      The problem is, we don’t agree on the definition of a win.

      • William Smith says:

        Yes, I know that is what you want. That would be a win for you.
        But I presume not for others who responded to me. I was asking them, What do you propose to do to win?

    • Your standard circular argument where you campaign that duly elected Republicans stand back, do nothing and remain inert so they don’t run the risk of offending anyone beyond the voters who are mad back at home.

      The Republican Party does not fight “when winning is possible”. What a steaming pile of bunk. Today’s GOP only fights when winning is assured and, increasingly, is so fearful of losing they’ve raised the bar for assurance so high that they simply have, in effect, stopped fighting.

      Ronald Reagan was a man of action. He would have never sat back in comparable times with a similar godless, lawless, freedom hostile, divisive POTUS and advocated that the Republican party curb its voice and self-limit its perogatives. He would have never agreed with these coy passive tactics that risk the well being of the country. Reagan would have vehemently opposed a strategy of playing it safe in order to stay under the radar long enough so that the Presidency could be, maybe, won again.

      Ronald Reagan was bold but bold is last word we would use today to describe the debased strain of conservatism the GOP establishment espouses and that you push here.

      Our system of government is in serious danger. It is a shame that you refuse to see the dark clouds and the gathering storm.

      • William Smith says:

        Your Reagan is the Reagan of hagiography, not history. Not surprising, but you are creating a Reagan you want rather than dealing with the Reagan who acutally lived.

  13. Of course! I’m as old as you are, traveled the country working on John Anderson’s presidential campaign in 1980 but in the end you are the final say presidential historian.

    Thanks for setting me straight Smith. I was comatose during Reagan’s 1976 campaign, the Carter presidency, Reagan’s run in 1980 and during his time in office.

    • William Smith says:

      Do you remember how the movement conservatives felt about
      Reagan within months of his inauguration? Disillusioned by his failures to seize the opportunities. The trouble is that when ideological purity is rigorously appliedl and candidate who gets into office and has to govern will not remain in favor. When we look at Reagan we find how realistic and practical he was – as governor, as candidate, as president.

  14. William Smith says:


  15. William Smith says:

    Here’s an example of what happens when you have leaders who are willing to “stand on principle” to make a point, knowing you cannot win: According to Byron York: “Ted Cruz 2013 defund Obamacare fight blew up DC, divided GOP, led to partial shutdown. Now Cruz says it ‘probably’ wasn’t winnable” Yeah, that’s whay we need – more “leaders” willing to divide the party to make a point.”

  16. Hey John: I appreciate your candor with your 3/6/15–12:13p.m. post. However, Boehner, McConnell, and the majority of Republicans in Congress know that in order to make a real difference in the long run, they must be perceived by the American people as being able to lead in the governing process. Otherwise, with constant shutdowns over principles, the perception well be that the GOP is being controlled by a lunatic fringe. This will not only hamper the conservatives’ efforts to maintain control of the Congress, but to regain the White House as well.

  17. MichaelW says:

    Well here is a timeline for established Republican congressional thoughts for the last few years and why we can’t do or change anything. (1) Republican President–Democratic Senate and House “We can’t do anything with this makeup”. (2) Republican President—Split congressional houses. “We can’t do anything with this makeup”. (3) Democratic President–Split congressional houses. “We can’t do anything with this makeup” (4) Democratic President–Republican Senate and House. “We can’t do anything with this makeup, we don’t have enough to override a veto”.

    And on and on and on. Don’t seem like they are too interested in fighting for what they say they believe as long as the money train keeps going and the same old politicians are still entrenched. They want to keep kicking the can down the road or we will get them next time or we will bring it back up later. And on and on and on.

    • Remember, no one got all that they wanted at the 1787 Constitutional Convention. But they compromised even on some of their principles (granting slaves a 3/5 status for census counting) in order to come up with a workable document. I dare say that if you, Ted Cruz, and The Anointed One had been delegates at the Convention, you would have either walked out, and thereby deprived the Convention of a quorum, i.e., a convention shutdown, or you would have voted against the adoption and later ratification of the Constitution. Therefore, what all Tea Party Patriots and McGOPers should always bear in mind is that under our Constitution, the legislative process is a continual process of compromise. So Michael, what would you have the GOP members do? Stick to their conservative principles each and every time which means that we will have a government shutdown? If so, then you are advocating the strategies of Alinsky, Lenin, and Trotsky–destroy the existing political order via anarchy, only to have a revolution and thereby rebuild a new society into a totalitarian socialist state! Nature abhors a vacuum. History shows only too well that when an existing political order is destroyed by anarchy, totalitarianism replaces it. No other political force is ruthless enough to take the necessary brutal steps to impose order and conformity. Based upon what I have been hearing and reading over the last 5 years, it is finally registering with me that although you folks claim that you want to uphold the Constitution, that is not so. You have no desire for the legislative process to work as the Founders envisioned. Rather, you want us to be ruled by a Lord Protector or a Commission of your choosing who will run the country and the government just as you want it to be done. But that is not in keeping with a democratic republic. Rather, that is a dictatorship. And no matter how benevolent he/she may be, it is still the basest form of tyranny. On the other hand, if I am wrong about you, the Tea Party Patriots, and the McGOPers, then it is imperative that we quit attacking one another’s conservative bona fides and work together in each election cycle per the Buckley Rule to nominate the most conservative candidate who can still win in the general election. As I have said before, there is no such thing as a “liberal” Republican in MS. That creature has never existed. Too be sure, there are a vast majority of conservative Republicans who have “evolved” out of the “Pond of Conservative Principles” and onto the “Prairie of Conservative Action, Principles & Pragmatism”. While the Pond variety whines and complains about his circumstances as he slithers along the bottom, the Prairie type has a strategy–he is out in the open protecting the tribe, staving off the real predators as best he can under the circumstances with the weapons that he has, knowing that if the Pond guys will just stay in the water, that meaningful reinforcements will soon be on the way to help deliver for all Conservatives a lasting victory over the “Dredges of the Democrats” and the forces of Collectivism, Liberalism, and Progressivism.

  18. William Smith says:

    OK, you’ve got a timeline. What you don’t have is a strategy. I am happy to see you put in charge so that Mitch McConnell and John Boehner do exactly what you spell out that they should do. So tell them what to do to accomplish what you want them to do. A past timeline is useless. A future timeline would be great if you atttach it to steps you want taken. Give us the steps with the end being Obama’s Executive Action on Illegral Immigrants is Overturned.

  19. It is true that Tea Party and other “right wingers” are loathe to lay out exactly what they would cut.

    Probably because you cannot even balance the budget without either raising taxes, or making deep cuts in SS / Medicare / Veterans / Defense spending.

    Even if you cut out all the “discretionary” spending – zero it out – and that includes the entire defense budget – there’s STILL not enough income to balance the budget.

    It’s just not possible to balance the budget without slashing the “right wing’s” sacred cows.

    Of course, this is not a problem at all for we who really wish to obey the Constitution – which prohibits almost every dime of the non-discretionary spending the government now squanders.

    But then, obeying the Constitution is too radical …

  20. says:

    John, the problem is not the radical nature of the Constitution. It’s your radical hermeneutic and consequent radical exegesis. It does not exist in a vacuum, but in the context of a history of jurisprudence. But we said these things before. You persist in the face of reality. Most others, including originalist judges and scholars disagree with you.

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