The new Congress in Washington, led by the House of Representatives, insists on playing “who blinks first” with the White House. Now the issue seems to be President Obama’s executive action on immigration and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) budget.
Legislators are currently in recess but, when they return from their break, they will have just a few days to reach an agreement to fund the DHS before the February 27 deadline.
Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner said on Sunday that he is “certainly” prepared to let DHS funding run out. He added that, if this were to happen, it would be the Senate’s fault -particularly the Democrats- because the House will have done its share of the job.
The strategy seems to be to turn the public against Obama for choosing to protect his executive action over protecting the country’s security agency by funding it.
However, their calculations seem flawed when opinion polls show that most people in the U.S. support the contents of the President’s executive action. Additionally, the public seems to hold Congress in the lowest possible esteem for actions such as this one, which taint the law with its extremist demands, in this case regarding immigration.
What they don’t say is that most of the DHS will continue to function because its personnel occupies critical posts such as airport security, although they would have to work without pay because there will be no money.
On the other hand, there will be funding for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service where beneficiaries of Obama’s executive action will be processed. The employees are paid with the money collected in application fees.
It is ironic that a budget shortage caused by Republican demands will harm an important part of bureaucracy without making a dent on what they really intend to affect.
This is a political dare by those who take advantage of their position to scare the general public with the threat of disastrous consequences and blaming the other for the situation they have created.
This is the well-known political game that has damaged the image of the GOP. The ideological zeal shown by the House of Representatives is thwarting any possibility of agreement with the moderates in the Senate, leading to new frustrations