His hand essentially forced by a cabal of traitorous Republicans who believe that the top priority for the party right now needs to be providing amnesty for Dreamers, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Tuesday that he would bring two bills to the floor next week for full debate and voting. One of those bills will be a conservative, Trump-supported bill written by Rep. Bob Goodlatte that is almost certain to fail due to lack of Democrat support. The other will be an as-yet unwritten compromise bill that could include anything from full Dreamer citizenship to imaginary “border security” assurances that mean absolutely nothing.
To be clear, it could have been worse. If moderate Republicans had succeeded in gathering enough signatures for their so-called “discharge petition,” Ryan would have been forced to bring four separate bills to the floor, one of which is a no-strings-attached path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who are both in the DACA program and potentially eligible for the program. So we can’t necessarily blame him for trying to find a way to avoid that disaster, and we don’t hold him (fully) at fault for the mistake Republicans might make next week. Still, the impending disaster could be enormous and, let’s face it, Ryan, who is retiring at the end of this term, doesn’t have any political calculations left to worry about.
While we understand the urgency to get some immigration legislation passed, it seems to us that Republicans are fundamentally confused about which PART of it is actually urgent. The American people did not vote for Donald Trump by accident. And a vote for Trump was not, in any way, shape, or form, a vote for a continuation – nay, an EXPANSION – of Barack Obama’s immigration policies. So it baffles us to see Republicans treating DACA legislation as the name of the game instead of what it is: A bargaining chip with which to lure Democrats over to our side of the fence. Then again, who’s really confused? Republicans…or us, who continue to believe that these elected representatives actually care about serving the American people?
At a time when control of the House is in serious danger of slipping away, though, we find it bizarre and unsettling to see Ryan and the Republicans steamrolling ahead on legislation that has less to do with building a border wall and everything to do with legalizing illegal immigrants. If they lose the House in November because the base didn’t bother to show up, they have no one to blame but themselves.