Senate Democrats took a victory lap Tuesday afternoon as House Republicans prepared to vote on a Department of Homeland Security bill, free of provisions blocking President Obama’s executive amnesty.
“Hopefully, hopefully Speaker Boehner will realize after this debate that the path toward legislative and political [success] runs through Democrats, not through the far-right fringe of his caucus,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (R-NY) told reporters.
Lessons learned were a key phrase among Senate Democratic leadership, arguing at a press conference that they hoped House Republicans would steer away from similar cliffs.
“I would hope that they’ve learned a lesson,” Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said.
“They have a small vocal, right-wing, somewhat strange minority over there that shouldn’t be running the House of Representatives,” he added.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) further argued that the early promises of Republican governance have not lived up to expectations.
“We were told early on when the Republican majority was announced that they were going to teach us how to govern, and they were going to show the American public their ideas were not scary ideas. Remember that? That was what we were told. So what did we learn about their process of governing? It was lurching from one government shutdown to another one,” he said, adding that he is relieved the stalemate is coming to an end today.
Schumer added that Republicans should learn from the DHS funding fight that they will not be able to win if they follow “the right wing” of the party.
“Republicans must learn the right lessons from this month: Do not hold hostage government funding for your own political goals,” he said. “Do not expect Democrats to go along with your hostage taking, and do not follow the playbook of the right wing of your party. Doing those things will only lead to dead ends, political defeat and unnecessary brinksmanship.”
The House passed the the clean DHS funding bill shortly thereafter.
Senate Democrats are likely to be aggressive in the future as well. A reporter asked Reid about a bill dealing with the Iranian nuclear negotiations. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said that measure would be considered shortly, but Reid was coy.
“As we learned, and I hope he learned, saying you’re going to be debating something doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to happen,” Reid said.