For people who thought that Congress couldn’t get any more disfunctional — you were wrong. As the Daily Beast put it:
It used to be that Congress was broken, and was forced to repeatedly kick the can down the road. Now it seems that Congress can’t even properly kick the can down the road.
The first few steps happened as they have in the past, but with a new twist. As they did when they didn’t control Congress, Republicans attached some bizarre demand to an almost completely unrelated bill that had to be passed, just daring the Democrats not to pass it.
In this case, what remains of the GOP Tea Party faction is incensed that Obama is not immediately deporting every last illegal immigrant out of this country, even though kicking out over 10 million people (3.5% of the US population) is not just a virtually impossible task, but also one that would severely damage our economy (not to mention our landscaping!).
So what does the GOP crazy wing do? They threaten to defund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) unless Obama gives in to their ultimatum. Yes, they are willing to sacrifice the security of the US in order to piss off Latino voters (the people who Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Jeb Bush desperately need to court for the presidential election).
Never mind that while US Citizenship and Immigration Services is part of DHS, it is almost completely funded by fees from its users, so defunding DHS would have no effect at all on deporting illegal immigrants (if anything, lack of funding would make it more difficult).
So Congress tried to kick the can down the road for three weeks. Three measly weeks, and they couldn’t even do that. In the end, with less than two hours to go before DHS funding expired, they managed to punt the issue for seven days; then they have to try again.
Instead of rebuking Obama, it was Speaker John Boehner who was embarrassed as conservatives in his caucus once again showed how little control he has over the far-right Tea Party faction in the House.
Even Republicans are disgusted.
Republican Sen. Mark Kirk called for an end of “attaching bullshit to essential items of the government.” And Rep. Peter King, former chairman on the House Homeland Security Committee, slammed a potential lapse of DHS funding as “wrong politically” and “wrong morally.”
Meanwhile, during the next seven days we will have the spectacle of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking before Congress as part of his re-election campaign. So if you thought that now it can’t get any worse, you are still going to be wrong. Very wrong.