By America’s Voice | January 5, 2024
Washington, DC — As America’s Voice has been pointing out and multiple Republicans have themselves been admitting, the GOP is more interested in driving a political message hammering Biden and Democrats on immigration than they are in enacting serious policy to address the issue. Key observers have been making the same point, including:
Paul Waldman in MSNBC, “The real reason Mike Johnson chaperoned 60 House Republicans at the border”:
“Speaker Mike Johnson took no fewer than 60 of his House GOP colleagues on a trip to the southern border this week, enacting a ritual that is both familiar and pointless. The playbook is rife with cliches: Don outdoor-rated clothing (tactical pockets are a bonus); nod gravely while speaking to Border Patrol agents; gaze determinedly into Mexico; and hold a press conference to repeat words such as “crisis” and “open borders” dozens of times. That’s what you call leadership.
Republicans treat these jaunts to the border as accomplishments in themselves, far more meaningful than any legislative response.
…Any responsible lawmaker who sees the border as a “crisis” should be willing to do whatever it takes to confront it, including compromise. The fact that Republicans aren’t shows that they see it not as a crisis, but as a political football. That’s what it will remain, unless Democrats make them pay a price.”
David Dayen in The American Prospect, “Republicans Don’t Want to Win an Immigration Policy Fight”:
“House Republicans could get extremely draconian changes to migration policy just by accepting the deal being worked out in exchange for military aid for Ukraine and Israel (though with the White House continuing to sell Israel weapons, it doesn’t feel like supplemental aid is needed). But instead, they’re moving toward using federal workers as pawns to get even more, a tactic that has failed every time it’s been tried.
…Picking a fight that shuts the government down over immigration policy means that the images on cable news for the next month will be of migrant crossings. That’s also the point of attempting to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, which will kick into high gear this year. It keeps alive an issue with internal dissent among Democrats. The imagery matters more than the policy.”
Steve Benen in MSNBC, “On border policies, GOP’s Nehls says the quiet part loud (again)”:
“’Let me tell you, I’m not willing to do too damn much right now to help a Democrat and to help Joe Biden’s approval rating,’ Republican Rep. Troy Nehls of Texas said. ‘I will not help the Democrats try to improve this man’s dismal approval ratings. I’m not going to do it.’
It’s a striking perspective. To hear the GOP congressman tell it, if Congress works out a bipartisan deal on a major issue, and President Joe Biden signed it into law, it might provide a political boost to the incumbent Democrat in an election year. So, as Nehls explained, it’s preferable to reject a policy agreement — even one that includes Republican priorities — and deny the White House a win.
It’s not that this is an unusual sentiment. What’s rare is to see and hear an elected official say something like this out loud to a major news organization.”