The fact that congressional Republicans have completely self-destructed over President Obama’s immigration executive orders illustrates how the president has used his executive powers to break the Republican Party.
According to The Hill, Republican infighting is growing over the House-passed bill that would fund Homeland Security while overturning President Obama’s immigration executive actions, “GOP infighting between the House and Senate is growing as Republicans work to prevent a partial shutdown of the Homeland Security Department at the end of the month. House conservatives on Thursday pointedly criticized Senate Republicans for saying a House-approved bill funding the agency and reversing President Obama’s executive actions on immigration was dead in the Senate.”
In the first six weeks that Republicans have had control of Congress, they have passed one bill that became a law. The rest of their time has been split between passing dead on arrival legislation (attacks on Obamacare and authorizing Keystone XL) and fighting with each other over President Obama’s executive actions.
The president successfully derailed the Republican agenda through a series of targeted executive actions on issues that divide the GOP. Obama has successfully fractured and broken the Republican majority by exploiting divides within their party. The White House had planned this strategy for months before the 2014 election. Republicans never saw it coming.
Mitch McConnell said that he was shocked that President Obama wasn’t going to roll over for Republicans after the midterm election. By December 2014, McConnell was perplexed by the president’s behavior. By January 2015, the Senate Majority Leader was whining that the President had ignored the midterm election.
What has happened is that President Obama has divided the Republican Party and destroyed any momentum that the new majority could have had. Republican control of the Senate only served to raise the expectations of those on the right and make the infighting worse. In two weeks, the Department of Homeland Security is going to shut down, and Republicans have no plan.
The potential Homeland Security shut down is a black eye in the making for Republicans that was caused by President Obama’s constitutional use of his executive powers. The president has Republicans on a string, and each executive has been a tug that forces Boehner and McConnell to dance to his tune.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association