Update to "Immigration Dysfunction " (2/18):
After seven weeks of hype, the House voted 257-167 to fund the DHS sans immigration riders--exactly what Obama asked for.
And boy, were conservatives angry.
"This is the signal of capitulation," fumed Rep. Steve King.
" I believe this is a sad day for America," remarked Rep. Matt Salmon. "If we’re not going to fight now, when are we going to fight?"
There is no fight anymore. No threat of a government shutdown. In the words of Rep. Peter King, "Sanity is prevailing."
Republicans' last hopes of killing Obama's executive actions on immigration lie with the courts. Judge Andrew S. Hanen blocked Obama's executive order. The administration will appeal the decision, but for now it must halt implementation of the program.
But many conservatives did not want to wait for the courts to give the verdict on the constitutionality of Obama's immigration orders. They believed it was unconstitutional, and they were on a mission to stop it--until they realized they lacked the votes to do.
Speaker John Boehner learned this the hard way.
Up against the initial February 27 deadline for avoiding a DHS shutdown, he attempted to move three-week extension of DHS funding. Yet Democrats wanted a clean, full-year spending bill. Holding the vote open for a half hour, aggressively whipping the vote for the bill, Boehner could not convince enough conservatives to back the bill. It was rejected 202-224. Only when he worked with Democrats could he move an extension.
An important lesson in divided government: the GOP must work with Democrats to pass legislation.
Unfortunately, it took seven weeks of drama for the GOP to learn. They walk away from the fight empty-handed, and Obama got exactly what he wanted.