A Commentary from Robert Romano
In response to the White House’s executive amnesty of 4.5 million illegal immigrants with U.S.-born children, House Republicans may be about to offer a two-part funding bill.
The plan would fully fund the government through Sept. 30, 2015, except for agencies that spend money implementing the amnesty, like the Department of Homeland Security, which would only be funded for a few months.
The rationale for the strategy is that a short-term funding bill will offer Republicans more of an opportunity to deal with the issue when they reclaim the Senate in January. Which makes some sense, but why not just do a short-term funding measure for everything then? Surely they could affect all other areas of policy, too, early next year just by moving all funding questions to 2015.
How about this? By far the most egregious part of Obama’s amnesty will be the issuance of work permits and legal status to those who broke the law by either jumping the border or overstaying their visas.
So why not defund green card processing down to zero — all of it — and instead give the money to schools being overwhelmed by the influx of illegal immigrants? It would be to those schools most adversely impacted in high density population areas like Los Angeles, New York City, and Chicago.
If the management of Congress could for a moment open their eyes, they might see the possibilities of what could be achieved through such a maneuver.
Would Obama really veto a package that offers millions of dollars to beleaguered public schools? Even if he did, what has he gained politically?
Democrats in Congress might vote against overriding such a veto, but then, what have they gained? The message would be that they don’t care about what schools — a core Democrat constituency — are going through as a result of the ongoing illegal immigration amnesty.
What’s not to like? If nothing else, these would be tough votes for Democrats in Congress, and give Republicans an opportunity to outreach to a constituency they’d very much like to bring under their tent — particularly the parents of the kids who go to those schools.
They can say they are not going to sit idly by while our public systems are being overwhelmed by a policy magnet for millions more to come here in the hopes of staying.
In the meantime, Republicans will have kept their word to their constituents who just voted to sweep them into the majorities in the House and Senate by defunding the amnesty.
They can draw a line in the sand and say no. And they will win. Even if Obama vetoes it, they will win.
The point is, Republicans can use issues like the Obama amnesty — tied to issues Democrats profess to care about, like the schools which are hurt by it — and turn the politics surrounding the executive actions on its head.
Just a thought.
Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government.