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Headlines, Editorials and Opinion Pieces from Across the Political Spectrum Agree: GOP DHS Strategy is a Loser for the Party and the Country

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Another day, another GOP-fueled government shutdown on the horizon.  And other day of blistering headlines, editorials and opinion pieces eviscerating the Republican “all or nothing” strategy of attaching measures to block the President’s immigration executive action to critical Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funds.

See below for the latest round up of articles, editorials and opinion pieces on how the GOP’s continued intra-party drama is playing out in the media:

  • The Hill: GOP Infighting Grows over Homeland Security Funding: Cristina Marcos and Rebecca Shabad of The Hill write, “Bad feelings have reemerged this week with the Senate repeatedly failing to move the House bill funding Homeland Security. GOP senators have said it is clear the bill doesn’t have the votes to pass the Senate, but House Republicans say their work on the issue is done.  While GOP leaders in both chambers have sought to turn their fire on Senate Democrats, the friendly GOP fire isn’t hard to spot.  Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) told The Hill on Thursday that both Senate Democrats and Republicans are to blame for the problem. ‘Both of them. If they’re not willing to support that bill, they’re the problem,’ Yoho said.”
  • Huffington Post: GOP Could Risk Alienating Latinos With DHS Fight: As Alfonso Aguilar, executive director of the American Principles Project’s Latino Partnership and former George W. Bush administration official, tells Elise Foley of the Huffington Post: “Right now, the impression the Latino electorate is getting from Republicans is not a good one, because they are doing everything they can to do away with executive actions but not proposing anything at the same time.”  And as an unnamed GOP operative added, “We are doing exactly what the Democrats want us to do…If you sat back and you were at the DNC or the White House political office last November, you’d be like, ‘God, I hope they do this.'” 
  • USA Today Editorial: In Immigration Fight, GOP Can Blame Itself: The editorial board writes, “The party is hurtling toward the governance-by-temper-tantrum approach that has failed it in the past and is likely to hurt the GOP in next year’s election.  House Republicans have passed a measure to undo Obama’s order as part of a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security. If Senate Democrats don’t agree to the bill (which they won’t) and if Obama doesn’t sign it (which he won’t), the Republicans say they will simply let funding for the department lapse two weeks from Friday.  At least that’s their position as of now. Sooner or later, we hope they remember that playing budgetary blackmail backfired on them during the disastrous 2013 government shutdown and previous political fights dating to the mid-1990s… With no obvious way out, House Speaker John Boehner is urging Senate Democrats to ‘get off their ass’ and allow passage of a bill to roll back the executive order. If he actually thinks that will happen, he should consider a career change…an ill-considered response, such as the one contemplated by the GOP, will do more to undermine its cause than to advance it.”
  • Ed Rogers in the Washington Post: Why is Immigration so Hard for Republicans to Get?: Ed Rogers, Republican strategist and former George H.W. Bush official, takes his criticisms to the pages of the Washington Post’s “PostPartisan” blog, writing, “It is only a month into the 114th Congress and it is no surprise there is already trouble within the GOP ranks over how to handle immigration. As the Wall Street Journal rightly pointed out, ‘the only winners of GOP dysfunction will be Mr. Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton.’ Listening to some of the rhetoric, you could almost believe that some within the GOP caucus think anything short of capital punishment or complete expulsion of all illegal immigrants is ‘amnesty.’ …The last thing we need is for all funding for the Department of Homeland Security to be cut off because Congress can’t reach a compromise. Allowing DHS funding to expire would have the equivalent effect of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) shutting down the government over Obamacare in 2013. And, as my friend, the former governor of Mississippi, Haley Barbour says, ‘You don’t learn much from the second kick of a mule.’ If DHS funding expires, it will hurt Republicans and help the Democrats. Period.”
  • Jonathan Capehart in the Washington Post: Boehner Needs to Follow His Own Advice on DHS Funding: Weighing in for the opposing side of the Washington Post’s “PostPartisan” blog, Jonathan Capehart responds to Speaker of the House John Boehner’s (R-OH) attempts to blame Democrats for the impending shutdown, writing , “Sigh. It’s always Senate Democrats’ fault. When they were in the majority, then-Majority Leader Harry Reid was to blame for stifling the minority by not allowing amendments to bills. Now that Democrats are in the minority, they are to blame for blocking GOP attempts to deny funding to the Department of Homeland Security that would be used to carry out President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. According to a tweet from Chad Pergram of Fox News, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said today about the DHS funding bill, ‘The ball is in the Senate’s court and the Democratic leadership is going to have to take responsibility.’ Funny how the party that controls both the House and Senate absolves itself of any responsibility to govern… Time for Boehner and his burn-this-mutha-down caucus to ‘get off their ass and do something.’”
  • New Republic: There’s Another Shutdown Fight in Washington. Republicans Will Lose This One, Too:  Danny Vinik of the New Republic writes, “In all likelihood, this will end the same way every funding fight ends these days: Republican leadership will eventually bring up a clean bill and it will pass with mostly Democratic votes. That’s long been the GOP game plan. It’s also possible that Republican leadership will see this fight, with its relatively small stakes, as a good opportunity to build credibility with the Tea Party by standing up to Obama and refusing to pass a clean bill.  Neither of those outcomes are good for the GOP. But this is what happens when one ideological group has outsized control over a party and wants to pick funding fights that they are certain to lose.”
  • Slate: House and Senate Republicans Blame Each Other for Screwing Up GOP Legislative Greatness: Elliot Hannon of Slate writes, “The best part about winning elections is you’re in charge. The only downside is once you’re in charge, people expect you to do stuff. After a month at the unobstructed helm of the United States legislative organ know as Congress, Republicans in the House and Senate have proven eager to do stuff—just not the same way, unfortunately.  Exhibit A: Immigration… House Republicans are raring for a fight with the White House on immigration and have tacked on provisions that would repeal Obama’s reforms to a DHS funding bill. Senate Democrats have, to date, blocked passage of said bill three times. Sensing a pattern, Republicans in the Senate think it’s time for a new game plan. House Republicans, however, think their Senate colleagues need to suck it up and make it happen.  To make things more interesting—as sport, not legislatively-speaking—Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader McConnell have been sniping at one another from their respective lecterns, with Boehner pulling out some of his best one-liners for the occasion. ‘It’s time for the Senate to do their work,’ Boehner said Wednesday. ‘You know, in the gift shop out here, they’ve got these little booklets on how a bill becomes a law.’  McConnell, not a big tchotchke buyer, or fan of wordplay, had this to say on Tuesday: ‘We’ve had a week on it. We’ve had three cloture votes, all of which have not succeeded. It’s clear we can’t get on the bill, we can’t offer amendments to the bill, and I think it would be pretty safe to say we’re stuck because of Democratic obstruction on the Senate side.’”
  • The Atlantic: How Republicans Made Their Own Security-Funding Mess:  Writes Russell Berman of The Atlantic, in response to Speaker Boehner’s attempts to pin the blame for a partial shutdown on Democrats, “There’s reason to believe the politics of a partial DHS shutdown would be just as bad for Republicans. While the 2013 confrontation centered on the unpopular healthcare law, voters likely will have little patience for a political dispute that, in any way, jeopardizes the nation’s security. The GOP’s aggressive move to reverse Obama’s 2012 move to shield so-called Dreamers from deportation—in addition to his more recent actions affecting adult immigrants—could set back the party’s efforts to attract Hispanic voters. And although public opinion is mixed on the president’s unilateral immigration overhaul, new research suggests that even registered Republicans support the underlying policies (as long as Obama’s name isn’t mentioned). Finally, there’s the simple matter of effective governance, as opposed to Congress’s recent history of governing-by-crisis, something that McConnell had prioritized upon assuming his post last month…There is still a better-than-even chance that Republicans will resort to a stopgap measure, keeping the Department of Homeland Security open into March. And if nothing else, the episode can help re-set expectations among conservatives about the limits of the new GOP majority. If the GOP failed to retain the lessons of the last government shutdown, it may have to learn them all over again.”
  • Washington Post’s “Plum Line”: The GOP Mess on Homeland Security Funding is Only Going to Get Crazier:  Greg Sargent of the Post’s Plum Line highlights how even a court issued injunction on the President’s executive actions won’t stop Republicans from hurtling towards a DHS shutdown.  He writes, “This [an injunction] would give Republicans a near-term way out, but it would also complicate the route forward in other ways. Republicans who want this mess resolved might argue that, now that the courts are blocking Obama’s lawlessness, Republicans can safely fund Homeland Security without including measures that roll back his actions…But here’s the rub: The administration would quickly run to the 5th Circuit Court and request that it overturn the lower court’s stay. It’s very possible — though not certain by any means — that the 5th Circuit would dismiss the case on standing grounds and allow Obama’s executive actions to move forward as scheduled later this month. (It’s also possible the 5th Circuit could side with the Texas judge and keep the stay in place, which means we’re headed for the Supreme Court.)  In the short term, if Republicans who want this resolved do seize on a lower-court ruling to argue for funding DHS cleanly, conservatives may respond — understandably — that it could be overturned on appeal. So Republicans must not blink in the drive to block Obama’s actions in Congress, to be absolutely certain the dragon is dead. Which means the brinksmanship could only get crazier from here on out.”