Paul Gordon Collier- There are 17 days left before the Department of Homeland Security will lose some of its funding. The House passed a bill funding the DHS, but selectively de-funded parts of the DHS that would be needed to implement the order given by DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson to stop all deportations of certain classes of illegal, or undocumented immigrants. The order followed a recommendation by President Obama, but is more commonly referred to as the President’s Executive Action granting amnesty to illegal, or undocumented workers.
The bill is now stalled in the Senate, not because it lacks a majority to pass it, but because the democrats have been filibustering the Bill. The Senate requires 60 votes to bring legislation up for a vote. So far, the GOP has only mustered 54 of the needed 60 votes. The tactic of stopping legislation by not voting for it to come to the floor is called a filibuster.
The GOP ran in the 2014 election with a specific promise to stop President Obama’s Amnesty Executive Order. Much of the GOP views the landslide victory from that election, where they flipped the Senate, took a super-majority in the House and scored major victories in State Legislatures not seen in almost 100 years, as a mandate for them to do whatever needs to be done to stop the President’s Executive Order (or, to be precise, DHS Secretary Johnson’s order).
A Rasmussen report from August of 2014, when the President announced his intention to implement executive action to create amnesty for illegal, or undocumented immigrants, found that 62 percent of Americans opposed the action.
From the democrat perspective, playing politics with the DHS is a demonstration of bad governance. If the GOP wants to oppose Obama’s executive action, there are many other ways to do this without risking national security. A Wall Street editorial even excoriated the GOP for its strategy, calling GOP members like Cruz and Sessions ‘restrictionists.’
The perspective from the DHS Secretary, Jeh Johnson echoes the perspective from the left. Remember, Johnson is the one who actually issued the order, following the President’s recommendation. Jeh Johnson had this to say in an interview on CNN:
“If people in Congress want to have the debate about immigration reform, let’s have that debate. But don’t tie that to funding public safety and Homeland Security for the American people. This is not a situation to make light of. In these challenging times, we need a fully-funded Department of Homeland Security.”
Johnson went to warn that furloughs could result for a minimum of 30,000 employees. He further elaborated that he had concerns the agency would not be able to meet the growing security threats on our borders and from within.
Ted Cruz has been attributed as the architect behind the DHS funding strategy of the Republicans. However, he denied that role:”It’s now up to leadership to lay out their strategy, I told them this was not a winning strategy and they went down this road.”
On the Filibuster effort of the Democrats in the Senate, Cruz had this to say, “What we saw last week was stunning irresponsibility from the Senate Democrats, the Senate Democrats three times filibustered funding.”
Through all the smoke and mirrors, what emerges are really two clear narratives, one from the perspective of the left and one from the right.
The narrative from the left is this:
For partisan political reasons, stopping the President’s Executive Action granting Amnesty, the GOP is willing to put the country’s security at risk. The GOP would rather break up families and deport children than fund the security of America.
The narrative from the right is this:
For the sake of awarding an unconstitutional act granting amnesty to illegal aliens, who will now be rewarded with taxpayer monies through welfare, the earned income tax credit, college grants, etc, the democrats are willing to put this country’s security at risk. They are protecting the President and choosing illegal aliens over Americans.
The question forthcoming will be this; which side is able to better articulate their narrative and which narrative are the American people more pre-disposed to digest? The question for you is this; which narrative makes more sense to you?