President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats have spent the past two weeks blasting Republicans after the House passed a bill which included different proposals to defund two of Obama’s executive actions on immigration. Republican leaders in Congress, however, haven’t been as aggressive in their messaging strategy.
On Monday, the president delivered his budget speech at the Department of Homeland Security, warning Congressional Republicans not to include controversial immigration riders in the funding bill.
“[D]on’t jeopardize our national security over this disagreement,” he warned.
On the Senate floor, Senate Democrats have repeatedly accused Republicans of threatening national security at a dangerous time in the world.
“Why should we be dealing with issues that have nothing to do with homeland security?” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid complained after returning to the Senate on Monday.
“By the way, ISIS has said that they are coming our way,” he warned.
Republicans, however, are expected to step up their challenge to Democrats on the issue after they successfully filibustered debate on the DHS funding bill passed by the House as Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Susan Collins (R-ME) and other Senate Republicans argue for compromise that would repeal Obama’s 2014 actions but not his 2012 ones.
“Today’s Democrat Party seems willing to go to any extreme to protect the kind of executive overreach President Obama once described as ‘not how our democracy functions’ even to block Homeland Security funding to get its way,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor yesterday, after Democrats blocked debate on the legislation for a second time.
A senior GOP aide confirmed that Congressional leaders — including Speaker Boehner — will step up their push against Democrats in the days ahead to challenge them for blocking the funding bill in the Senate.
“The American people want to fund the Department of Homeland Security and they oppose President Obama’s unilateral actions on immigration. The House has passed a bill that addresses both, and Democrats – especially those who oppose the president’s actions – should allow the Senate to take up and pass this important legislation,” explained Boehner spokesman Cory Fritz in a statement to Breitbart News.
Some of the loudest immigration hardliner Republicans, however, are already disgruntled with Republican leaders after they decided not to defund Obama’s executive actions on immigration in the budget deal passed last fall.
Iowa congressman Steve King predicted that Republicans would be unwilling to let funding expire for the important national security agency and seek a compromise with Democrats.
“It won’t be the president that’s likely to cave,” King predicted in an interview with Breitbart News in December.