The Senate is scheduled to begin its promised “open debate” on immigration today at 5:30pm.
Mitch McConnell has promised the Democrats this opportunity. They will use an empty House bill HR 2579 originally an Obamacare subsidy bill as a vehicle (what’s up with that?) with a 60 vote requirement for amendments to add provisions to the empty bill. Do you follow that?
That means that nothing offered by conservative Republicans will get included. Then what? The Senate will take something that should be simple and screw it up with rules and procedures until nothing remotely resembling a satisfactory solution results.
Back to square one. Kick the can down the road again while more migrants cross the border or overstay their visa and the problems worsen.
Coming Senate Shenanigans on DACA?
From American Greatness: By Rachel Bovard| February 11, 2018
On Monday at 5:30 p.m., all eyes will be on the Senate, when it takes its first procedural vote to open debate on an immigration bill.
What’s in the bill? Nothing, yet. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has brought an empty shell bill to the floor and committed to an amendment process that is “fair to all sides” as a way to determine what policies will constitute the final bill.
On its face this may sound acceptable. However, for those who prioritize American sovereignty, citizenship and secure borders, there is still much about which they should be wary.
Next week’s debate will be unpredictable and likely far less “free-wheeling” than it sounds in the descriptions. Given all the forces at work—including McConnell’s acknowledgment that all amendments considered to the bill will have to overcome the high 60-vote hurdle—here are three possible scenarios for how this debate ends up.
1. After a few amendments are offered and fail, McConnell emerges with his own amnesty “compromise.” Given the high rateof secret deal making in the modern Senate, it is possible that this announced open process is just for show, while the real deal is being made in the Leader’s office. The groundwork for this outcome is laid after several amendments are considered and fail. The “process” appears to be stalled (though it’s not, since this was the plan, anyway), and senators put on a show of panic. At this point, it’s possible that McConnell and Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) come to the floor with a deal negotiated entirely by themselves and a handful of others, drop it on the Senate floor without warning, and demand its passage before the rest of the Senate even has time to read it. But because senators are so relieved that someone has a solution, they’ll pass it, and any senator seeking to amend the compromise will be roundly shunned. (For a case example, see what happened to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) last week when he tried to amend the GOP’s trillion-dollar spending deal).
Undoubtedly, a McConnell-Schumer compromise would reflect substantial concessions to Democrats on amnesty, as the party has made clear that they’re after far more than simple legal relief for the 700,000 recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. If the Senate proceeds with this route, it should become obvious to observers that Republicans in Congress are taking the path of least resistance—pretending to have a debate, while orchestrating a secret deal that they intended to pass all along.
2. Senators toss everything into one giant amendment proposal in an effort to get 60 votes. Though McConnell has committed himself to an open process, his requirement that all amendments be considered at a 60-vote threshold, rather than at a simple majority, actually makes the process quite restrictive. Moreover, it encourages the creation of massive proposals where members toss in all kinds of bad policy, and then say they “have to” pass it because “nothing else gets 60-votes.
This 60-vote excuse is a sham. Individual senators, from the Leader on down, have far more authority to force consideration of amendments at 51-votes than they like to admit. If Democrats decide to filibuster, so what? The GOP also has the tools to force Democrats into a real, talking filibuster that requires Democrats to work very, very hard to make their point. If Democrats want to prioritize illegal immigrants over American citizens, then Republicans should make them do it in the most onerous and public way possible. Yet, by conceding to 60-votes right off the bat, McConnell is doing nothing less than giving in to Democrats before they even mount an opposition. This has become the hallmark of the McConnell Senate. Rather than doing the work necessary to overcome the 60-vote filibuster, leaders in the Senate would rather use it as an excuse to pass poor policy.
3. No amendments are able to meet a 60-vote threshold and the entire process collapses, causing a “do something” panic.