The best part about winning elections is you’re in charge. The only downside is once you’re in charge, people expect you to do stuff. After a month at the unobstructed helm of the United States legislative organ know as Congress, Republicans in the House and Senate have proven eager to do stuff—just not the same way, unfortunately.
Exhibit A: Immigration. “Republican leaders in the House and Senate are at odds over how to avoid shutting down the Department of Homeland Security as part of an immigration fight with the Obama administration,” the Washington Post notes. “House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) were at an impasse Wednesday over how to pass legislation to fund DHS before funding runs out on Feb. 27, and tension is high among GOP factions that can agree only that Democrats are to blame.”
House Republicans are raring for a fight with the White House on immigration and have tacked on provisions that would repeal Obama’s reforms to a DHS funding bill. Senate Democrats have, to date, blocked passage of said bill three times. Sensing a pattern, Republicans in the Senate think it’s time for a new game plan. House Republicans, however, think their Senate colleagues need to suck it up and make it happen.
To make things more interesting—as sport, not legislatively-speaking—Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader McConnell have been sniping at one another from their respective lecterns, with Boehner pulling out some of his best one-liners for the occasion. “It’s time for the Senate to do their work,” Boehner said Wednesday. “You know, in the gift shop out here, they’ve got these little booklets on how a bill becomes a law.”
McConnell, not a big tchotchke buyer, or fan of wordplay, had this to say on Tuesday: “We've had a week on it. We've had three cloture votes, all of which have not succeeded. It's clear we can't get on the bill, we can't offer amendments to the bill, and I think it would be pretty safe to say we're stuck because of Democratic obstruction on the Senate side.”