An amazing story is unfolding in Washington. Just before the start of the August recess, the GOP wasn’t able to come up with the votes to pass even their tremendously watered down immigration bill to clean up the humanitarian crisis at the border caused by the influx of children from Central America. So the Republican leadership cancelled the vote. And Congress started to go home for the August recess (mostly to campaign for the upcoming elections).
Then they realized that by canceling the vote, Republicans would likely be blamed for the mess in the upcoming election. So they called everybody (including some Congress-critters who were already at the airport) back to The Hill. But conservatives are still unwilling to compromise.
So here’s where the irony happens. Tired of conservative Republicans blocking even halfhearted responses to the crisis, the GOP leadership then issued a statement calling on Obama to take steps on his own to address the border issue, without congressional approval:
There are numerous steps the President can and should be taking right now, without the need for congressional action, to secure our borders and ensure these children are returned swiftly and safely to their countries.
Yes, they hypocritically did this with a straight face, just one day after voting to sue him for doing exactly the same thing they are now asking him to do.
It only took a few minutes for the White House to respond with a tweet: “By pulling their own bill, the House GOP once again proves why the President must act on his own to solve problems.”
And then a longer statement:
The President can’t do as much as Congress could do in terms of addressing some of these problems, but we’re gonna figure out what exactly the law will allow the President to do and we’re going to do as much as possible within the confines of the law to address a problem whose solution Republicans in Congress continue to actively block.
Even Republican members of the House were bewildered. Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) said “Look, you can’t say on the one hand that the president is overreaching by acting without legislative authority and direction and then refuse to give him legislative authority and direction in another area.”
It seems that it was only recently that people were talking about the GOP taking over the Senate and increasing their majority in the House, but even the massive gerrymandering they did after the 2010 census can’t save them from shooting themselves in their collective feet.
I guess we can say that this borders on idiocy.