Republicans attempt to use the power of the purse to defund an Obama achievement. Democrats insist on a clean spending bill. A gridlocked Congress races toward a government shutdown. Sound familiar?
A year ago, the government shut down over a dispute over Obamacare funding. Now, a government shutdown looms, due to a dispute over funding for Obama’s immigration order.
The dysfunction never ends.
The latest saga began in last November, when President Obama signed an executive order that deferred deportation for up to five million undocumented immigrants. Republicans were united in their opposition to the executive action, but divided on how to stop it.
In December, some Republicans wanted to use the threat of a government shutdown to defund Obama’s immigration order. Instead, the GOP decided to confront Obama in the new Congress, when the party would have a majority in the Senate.
So Congress funded all agencies for a year, save the Department of Homeland Security.
One problem with the plan: the GOP only has 54 votes in the Senate, short of the 60 needed to overcome a Democratic filibuster. The Senate GOP was unable to overcome three Democratic filibusters last week.
Speaker Boehner blames Democrats for not caving to Republicans’ demands. Democrats stand firm behind Obama. Some Republicans insist that a government shutdown is too risky, and this is not a fight worth having. Other conservatives insist on defunding Obama’s executive order, even if it means shutting down DHS.
And this is where we stand now. Gridlocked, with no end in sight.
Next week, the GOP-led Congress will return from a weeklong recess with only five legislative days to find a solution to keep the DHS open. It is unclear what Republicans plan to do to avoid a government shutdown.
We at Democrazy will keep you posted on how this standoff ends.