Oh, the GOP. You are a crazy, crazy circus right now. So Congress is about to go into recess, but we’ve still got this nagging issue at the border (nagging because the GOP won’t stop talking about their new pet talking point). The Republicans have drummed the importance of this, but it apparently isn’t so important that it can’t wait five weeks.
House Republican leaders abruptly pulled their border supplemental legislation prior to a scheduled vote on Thursday, a sign that they lacked the votes to pass it. It appeared members would go home for recess without acting, a situation that GOP leaders wanted to avoid.
Immigration-weary conservatives said the $659 million supplemental, and the subsequent measure to end the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, didn’t go far enough in rebuking the president’s actions.
When pressed for how they could just leave the situation unresolved, John Boehner had some interesting things to say:
This situation shows the intense concern within our conference – and among the American people – about the need to ensure the security of our borders and the president’s refusal to faithfully execute our laws.
Intense concern? You pulled the bill prior to vote and were content to go on recess without resolving it. Yeah, that’s some intense concern right there. And your apathy somehow reflects Obama’s refusal to execute laws…from what? Bills you haven’t sent him?
Oh, Boehner wants the President to use executive orders to fix the problem while Congress goes into recess:
There are numerous steps the president can and should be taking right now, without the need for congressional action, to secure our borders and ensure these children are returned swiftly and safely to their countries. For the past month, the House has been engaged in intensive efforts to pass legislation that would compel the president to do his job and ensure it can be done as quickly and compassionately as possible. Through an inclusive process, a border bill was built by listening to members and the American people that has the support not just of a majority of the majority in the House, but most of the House Republican Conference.
We’re going home! Obama, you got this, right?
Funny story though. Just the previous day House Republicans voted to sue the President for…wait for it…using too many executive orders. This is particularly funny when you consider how many executive orders Obama has used. Dubya issued 291 executive orders compared to Obama’s 182 (the GOP’s patron saint Ronald Regan issued 381 himself). Where was the GOP then? That’s right: supporting and defending every decision Bush made. Hypocrites.
This contradiction was put to Tom Cole, a House Republican from Oklahoma, and Cole couldn’t find a way to disagree:
A senior House Republican said Friday that his caucus couldn’t simultaneously sue President Barack Obama for perceived abuse of executive authority and expect him to act unilaterally to address the border crisis.
Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), a close ally of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), was asked to reconcile the last-minute scrapping of border legislation with the House GOP’s lawsuit in anappearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “There was a contradiction yesterday that I’m still struggling to understand,” panelist Eugene Robinson said. “The leadership statement when the bill didn’t pass essentially said, ‘Well, but there are plenty of administrative things that President Obama can do and should be doing at the border.’ And that was a day after the house voted to sue President Obama for taking administrative action. So how does that square?” Cole didn’t disagree. “Look, you can’t say on the one hand that the President’s overreaching by acting without legislative authority and direction, and then refuse to give him legislative authority and direction in another area,” he said.
We’re outraged, outraged at the President’s use of executive orders! …but if he could just issue a few so we can peace out without resolving this problem we’re complaining about, that’d be greeeeeeeat.