Here’s how much the Republicans want to solve the problem at the border: every single Republican senator voted on Wednesday to support a failed effort to stop President Obama’s executive action on immigration reform. While the vote was largely symbolic (symbolic of how perverse and obstinate the Republicans are), it would’ve allowed the senate to bring up a subsequent vote that would’ve blocked Obama’s authority to expand immigration relief in the absence of any attempts to congressional reform.
So, let’s this just review this for a second: congress is doing nothing, which has been the story of congress for the last four years. So when President Obama attempts to do something to solve the problems the Republicans keep complaining about, it galvanizes them into action: they vote to stop him from doing anything.
This includes John McCain, Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, and Macro Rubio, all of whom were part of a senate group called the Gang of Eight who pushed for immigration reform last year. The action was driven in large part by Speaker of the House Ted Cruz, Jeff Sessions, and Mike Lee; it needed 51 votes to pass and was taken up on the last day before the hard-working GOPer’s in Senate broke for recess to rest from all the effort they exerted doing nothing. The vote failed on a 50-50 tie vote, and the vote also received the support from five Democratic senators, four of whom are looking at reelection in November.
Before they voted on the bill, Senator Jeff Sessions took the Senate floor and said:
If we leave town without having passed a bill to block this executive amnesty, it will be a permanent stain on the Senate, on the constitutional order, and this entire Democratic caucus. I urge my Democratic colleagues, I know the pressure is to stay hitched, to stay in line, but you do have the power to vote differently.
Speaker of the House Ted Cruz stated that “This bill does nothing, zero, for the so-called Dreamers who are already here,” and that his measure would have prevented new applicants in Obama’s program, but wouldn’t strip protections from current recipients. A staffer for Cruz told the Huffington Post that current recipients for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the program that Cruz would like to prevent new applicants for, would not be allowed to work.
Just hours before the Senate vote, House Speaker/Figurehead John Boehner told a conservative think-tank that “immigration reform will help our economy.” That he says this while his party tries to shut down reform just goes to show how little they care they have regarding the economy, don’t you think?
h/t: Think Progress