GOP Immigration Vote: Fighting Obama or Playacting?

The GOP immigration vote tied the issue to Homeland Security. Does this mean they plan to cave?

According to Associated Press, “House Dumps Key Obama Immigration Reforms.”

In an assault on one of President Obama’s top domestic priorities, House Republicans approved measures today that would overturn his immigration actions and remove protections for immigrants brought illegally to the country as children. Despite a White House veto threat, Republicans attached language blocking Obama’s immigration initiatives to legislation providing nearly $40 billion to finance the Homeland Security Department through the rest of the budget year. The broader bill was expected to be approved later in the day. One amendment that passed 237-190 would undo executive actions that Obama announced in November to provide temporary deportation relief to some 4 million immigrants in the country illegally.


It would make sense, if Republicans believe that immigration is an important issue to voters, to force the President to put his veto on the record. But will Obama even need to veto it? As Bob Allen pointed out yesterday, a powerful Republican Senator has already indicated that anything that threatens Homeland Security must be alleviated. So it seems to me as if this bill is custom-tailored to attract Senate opposition. I would love nothing more than for Homeland Security’s budget to be reduced, preferably to zero. But I think many in the Senate would strongly disagree.

The AP story itself questions whether the other bill passed by Congress has any chance in the Senate:

Some House Republicans acknowledged that some in the Senate—which, even with Republican control, is still six votes shy of the 60-vote majority needed to advance most legislation—have little appetite to deport DREAMers and will likely reject their approach, perhaps forcing them to pass a Homeland Security funding bill stripped of controversial provisions on immigration.

So why attach resistance to Barack Obama’s executive orders to the financing of a government agency that everyone knows you don’t want to lack in financing? How serious can Republicans be if they choose that route?