Conservative Review - Opportunity for GOP to Unite Behind Conservative Immigration Proposals

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Opportunity for GOP to Unite Behind Conservative Immigration Proposals

By: Daniel Horowitz | January 12th, 2015

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Republican leaders can only thwart the will of their base for so long without facing reprisal.

Rather than becoming isolated and marginalized, the members who led the fight against Speaker Boehner have inspired the rest of the conference to place him on a short leash.

After feeling an unprecedented backlash from their voters for passing the Cromnibus bill and reelecting John Boehner as Speaker, Republicans have now agreed to unite behind a conservative plan to fight Obama’s amnesty “comprehensively.”

Rather than becoming isolated and marginalized, the members who led the fight against Speaker Boehner have inspired the rest of the conference to place him on a short leash.  It appears to be working for now.

As we noted last week, conservatives wanted to condition any funding for the Department of Homelands Security to provisions contained in a newly-introduced bill, which blocks and defunds ALL of Obama’s illegal actions since 2011.  The current plan is to pass a DHS funding bill tomorrow that contains most of those provisions, including defund of Obama’s original DACA program, the Morton Memos from 2011, and the most recent mass amnesty.  While leadership went back on their original commitment to enmesh the defund provisions into the base bill, they will allow votes on them in the form of amendments. They are expected to pass, but conservative should still be vigilant of any last minute shenanigans.

Despite the good news in the House, there are still a number of challenges conservatives must confront:

The fight to block amnesty should not end with the DHS funding bill; Republicans must use any leverage point to restore our system of governance. That includes blocking nominees and using other “must-pass” bills, such as the debt ceiling.

  • Although we strong-armed House leadership into adopting most of our demands, we cannot controls their hearts and minds.  Much like the fight to defund Obamacare, it is likely that they will sabotage our messaging and telegraph the message to Obama that this is just a show for conservatives while remaining amendable to funding amnesty.
  • Conservatives must shift the focus from the House to the Senate and secure a commitment from newly minted Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to bring the full House bill to the floor.  Undoubtedly, we will see a number of liberal Republicans complain about fighting Obama’s amnesty, while others will try to tack on amnesty provisions.  Still others, like Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) might attempt to tack on his phony border bill, which weakens current law.
  • Some Republicans, such as Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), who support the DREAM Act amnesty, have complained about the effort to add anti-DACA language to the bill.  The problem is that DACA is just as unconstitutional as the rest of the amnesty, and in fact, most of his executive action is built upon the 2012 edict.  Byron York asserts that the DACA provision will make this bill fail in the Senate, but he overlooks the most basic negotiating tactic.  Conservatives should always start off with their highest bid.  Democrats and liberal Republicans will attempt to water down the bill even without the DACA provision.  It’s better to force them to expend their political capital trying to remove DACA from the bill, allowing us to at least preserve the full defund provisions on the recent amnesties. 
  • As we noted before, there is no more imminent issue for us than blocking Obama’s amnesty.  The fight to block amnesty should not end with the DHS funding bill; Republicans must use any leverage point to restore our system of governance. That includes blocking nominees and using other “must-pass” bills, such as the debt ceiling.

GOP leaders will discover just how quickly conservatives fall in line and train their fire on Democrats when they are actually brought into the discussion.

We now have an unprecedented opportunity for Republicans of all stripes to unite against an unlawful and unpopular policy of an ostracized president.  GOP leaders will discover just how quickly conservatives fall in line and train their fire on Democrats when they are actually brought into the discussion.  Hopefully, this week’s vote will be the beginning of a new united front and not a mere calculated aberration to take pressure off their members.         


Daniel Horowitz is Senior Editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.

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