Will the GOP Be Reasonable on the 2015 Budget?

Once again we’re seeing the deep divide between the Republican leadership and the hard-right Tea Party types in Congress. The leadership is trying to build a consensus for the 2015 budget that would avoid a nasty fight over a government shutdown while also appeasing their right flank on immigration.

House Republican leaders are beginning to coalesce around a strategy to avoid a government shutdown in less than a month.

The likely proposal would fund nearly the entire government through September 2015, but immigration enforcement related funding would be renewed on a short-term basis, according to several high-ranking GOP lawmakers and aides who described the plan as it stands now.

The strategy is designed to keep the government open, while satisfying the base, which is livid with President Back Obama for issuing an executive order that ends deportations for millions of undocumented immigrants.

Republican leaders have struggled to come up with a plan that would satisfy both goals — of keeping the government open, while allowing members to express their anger at Obama. GOP sources believe that keeping immigration funding on a short leash could be the answer.

The short-term portion would most likely expire sometime in the first quarter of 2015, sources said. The delay would give Republican leaders more options to counter Obama’s executive order without inducing a government shutdown.

But here’s the problem they face: They can’t actually defund Obama’s executive order because the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is not funded by Congress, it’s funded by the fees it generates. And the right flank of the party knows this, which means they’ll also know that this plan is a ruse. Even if they only fund the immigration services for three months instead of nine, they can’t actually stop that immigration order from going into effect. So what are they going to do, refuse to fund other parts of the immigration system, like say ICE or the border patrol? Not a chance.

So this is just a game and Ted Cruz, Louis Gohmert, James Lankford and the other wingnuts in Congress are going to know that. And then they’re going to raise holy hell against their own party leadership, as they’ve done several times in the past, because they view any compromise at all as treason and betrayal. All they care about is purity and being wingnuttier-than-thou.

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Wayne Allyn Root is Astonishingly Stupid
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  • Loqi

    Ted Cruz, Louis Gohmert, James Lankford and the other wingnuts in Congress are going to know that.

    Only if someone explains it to Gohmert very, very slowly.

  • doublereed

    Oh come on, we all know the answer to this question is No.

  • John Pieret

    There is only one solution! Defund the boarder patrol, let all the Ebola-ridden ISIS fighters disguised as Mexicans into the country so that they can blow up the White House and its Islamist, Marxist, guerrilla, gorilla occupant, ignore President Biden, and appoint Ted Cruz dictator for life in order to save democracy in America!

    This plan has the advantage of being more practical than most wingnut plans!

  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    Will the GOP Be Reasonable on the 2015 Budget?

    Is this your way of announcing that you’re going back into stand-up?

  • gshelley

    I keep seeing articles about how they are thinking about what their response could be, but haven’t seen any plans yet. It seems that the most commonly discussed are similar to the ones above – trying to defund things Obama might want in retaliation, but I don’t think I have seen any actual discussion about real legislative options. I’ve said before, that this is not surprising, as even the extremists and most irrational of them accept that there is not funding to deport everyone and it will be difficult for them to come up with anything that doesn’t either cost money, or make them look bad, but I’m not sure they are even interested in trying. Some suggestions

    1) Change the law so that Immigration services is also funded from taxes in the budget and stipulate that this money has to be spent a certain way. If they don’t want to look bad saying “be spent on the removal of long term residents with family in the US” they could insist it be spent on something like “the first cases that come to the attention of immigration”

    2) Specify how much should be spent on specific aspects, such as border security, removing criminals, removing recent arrivals and removing long term residents. Again, this runs the risk of making them look silly.

    3) They might be able to write a bill preventing the granting of any sort of work permit to people who were here because of this sort of amnesty. Once more, this has the risk of people saying “all that means is we don’t get their taxes”

    If they did something, it wouldn’t be an easy fix as the current law is fairly complex and has presidential discretion written into it, so they couldn’t just tweak in one place and prevent the order going through. They’d almost have to write a comprehensive bill in which Congress controls the priorities for spending the money and the President doesn’t get to focus on what is most important

  • Pierce R. Butler

    The ‘Pubs are also toying with the idea of a motion to censure the president – which, as a legislative form of trial, would apparently violate the Constitution.

  • http://www.thelosersleague.com theschwa

    @Pierce (#6)

    …and if the censure doesn’t work, they will give some demerits. And after that, a letter of reprimand, then a note in his permanent record. Finally, if all those fail, they will use the nuclear option: bed without supper.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    And yet, no matter which of their plans they end up following (from “They’re lazy Moochers” all the way to “They’re stealing our jobs”) the Hispanics still won’t vote for them!

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Why should they be reasonable? They’ve never had any real incentive to be at all reasonable since 1993.

    And what, exactly, do you consider “reasonable” anyway? The options you discuss are not at all “reasonable,” except to a libertarian, whose idea of “reasonable” is defunding and destroying our government without the moralistic/religious rhetoric.

  • pocketnerd

    Thus Spake ZaraRaging Bee:

    And what, exactly, do you consider “reasonable” anyway? The options you discuss are not at all “reasonable,” except to a libertarian, whose idea of “reasonable” is defunding and destroying our government without the moralistic/religious rhetoric.

    This is what most people miss when discussing the New Conservatives: Wrecking the machine isn’t just the means, it’s the end. It doesn’t matter if their intermediate goals are impractical and their plans can’t possibly achieve them; when you intend to destroy the system itself, a conspicuous failure is a success. Even if you accomplish nothing except another two years of Washington shitshows and gridlock, you can always point to that come re-election and say “See? SEE?! Government can’t do anything right! Vote Republican!”

  • Kevin Kehres

    @3 John Pieret

    There is only one solution! Defund the boarder patrol, let all the Ebola-ridden ISIS fighters disguised as Mexicans into the country so that they can blow up the White House and its Islamist, Marxist, guerrilla, gorilla occupant, ignore President Biden, and appoint Ted Cruz dictator for life in order to save democracy in America!

    But that would distract us from BENGHAZI!!11eleventy!!!

  • marcus

    “Will the GOP Be Reasonable on the 2015 Budget?

    Bwhahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

    Rhetorical, amiright?

  • magistramarla

    And once again, those of us who depend upon a government paycheck to live, whether it is the well-earned pay of a government worker or the social security benefits that a worker contributed to for a lifetime of work, we get to worry about whether we will be able to pay our bills and buy food, let alone buy presents for our families.

  • Kevin Kehres

    There’s another, completely radical idea…pass immigration legislation.

    I’m sure the President would sign anything that got through both the House and Senate. He’s already on record as supporting the Senate-passed bill, that the Rethugs have refused to allow to the floor.

    So, instead of DOING THEIR FUCKING JOBS, they’re gonna do this other thing.

  • wpjoe

    @gshelley “even the extremists and most irrational of them accept that there is not funding to deport everyone”

    I don’t think that the general public understands this. Someone should do a calculation and determine the dollars it would cost to deport all undocumented immigrants, and every time a rabid politician rails against immigrants, throw this number in his face and ask where the money will come from or how he would prioritize deportations if not enough funds are available.

  • gshelley

    @15

    That might be true about the public. In fact it wouldn’t surprise me, a lot of people frequently have very strong opinions on subjects they either totally fail to understand, or know next to nothing about, but I would hope the politicians railing against it would have at least glanced at the legal justification the Obama Administration put out, which pretty much starts with this fact.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Kevin Kehres “There’s another, completely radical idea…pass immigration legislation.

    I’m sure the President would sign anything that got through both the House and Senate. He’s already on record as supporting the Senate-passed bill, that the Rethugs have refused to allow to the floor.”

    Well, sure, that sounds nice, but you have to remember that bill has a crippling defect: it would pass.

     

    “So, instead of DOING THEIR FUCKING JOBS, they’re gonna do this other thing.”

    The American People didn’t send them to DC to make government work, they send them there to make sure it doesn’t. Like when you call the fire department to come over and burn down your house.

     

    wpjoe “I don’t think that the general public understands this. Someone should do a calculation and determine the dollars it would cost to deport all undocumented immigrants, and every time a rabid politician rails against immigrants, throw this number in his face and ask where the money will come from or how he would prioritize deportations if not enough funds are available.”

    Everybody knows that deportations pay for themselves, on account of all the Welfare money the eye-legals were taking before they were deportized.

  • https://www.facebook.com/joseph.sexton.7 Joseph Sexton

    USCIS is funded from the fees charged for petitions. They are not the only agency involved with immigration, however.

    Immigration and Customs Enforcement is the agency that initiates and prosecutes removal proceedings and carries out detention and actual physical removal. Immigration Courts, which adjudicate removal cases, and the Board of Immigration Appeals, which reviews Immigration Court decisions on appeal are all part of the Department of Justice. Both are supported by appropriations.

    Aliens who are physically overseas when a family member or employer’s petition to sponsor them here is approved are interviewed by Department of State consular officers, who can refuse them a visa even if USCIS approved their petition. DOS also processes these cases in a stateside facility before they are sent out to the appropriate consulate. All of these operations are also funded by appropriation, not fees.

    Of course, cutting or otherwise de-funding these activities would be counter-productive for the Republicans. If you de-fund ICE, you de-fund immigration detention, leading to release of those detained. De-funding deportation officers seems likely to decrease the number of deportations. De-funding the ICE attorneys who function as prosecutors in immigration court would be a de facto amnesty, as most aliens are entitled to a hearing before deportation. No prosecutors means no hearings which, in turn means no removal orders – everyone gets to stay, even felons. Likewise, if the funding for Immigration Court and the BIA is cut, fewer or no removal cases get heard and everyone stays.

    If you de-fund the DOS visa processing and consular interview functions, you simply choke off all legal immigration. Somehow, I don’t think that will provide an incentive for intending immigrants to follow the rules.

    So, to sum up, the Republicans apparently think the best way to fight an “amnesty” that isn’t really an amnesty is to create an actual amnesty by crippling the system for removing unauthorized aliens. Somehow, this conjures up visions of Cleavon Little in “Blazing Saddles” pointing his gun at his own head.

  • lorn

    GOP and the word “Reasonable” … together?

    The GOP doesn’t do reasonable. No profit in it.

    They turn turning things up to eleven, up to eleven.

  • tfkreference

    How will cutting funding for deporting people lead to more deportations? I don’t get Republican math.

  • DaveL

    The American People didn’t send them to DC to make government work, they send them there to make sure it doesn’t. Like when you call the fire department to come over and burn down your house.

    …Or when you call the police to keep the children safe.

    Too soon?

  • thebookofdave

    Everybody knows that deportations pay for themselves

    Nobody said the solution was that simple, but clearly we haven’t run out of ways to fund it through budget cuts. For example: has anyone thought of defunding ACORN?