Republicans Try Once More to Defund Amnesty


House Republicans, no doubt feeling the heat generated by Donald Trump’s anti-establishment presidential campaign, are vowing to take another shot at defunding Obama’s amnesty. A group of 170 House Republicans known as the Republican Study Committee has devised a plan to cut funding to White House programs that provide work permits and legal status to undocumented immigrants.

“The president did not follow the law when he did this, and we need to fully defund his illegal actions,” said Rep. Bill Flores, the chairman of the committee.

Flores is supposed to meet with Republican leaders this week to offer up the group’s proposal, which would give Congress another point of disagreement on the fall spending bill. If Republicans and Democrats fail to come together on a bill by September 30, the government will go into partial shutdown. Already, many conservatives in the House and Senate have promised not to yield when it comes to funding Planned Parenthood. With the addition of this immigration proposal, fireworks are inevitable.

It’s worth remembering that, were it left to congressional Republicans, every aspect of Obama’s amnesty would currently be in effect. It is only due to a multi-state lawsuit and a Texas judge that those plans are on hold. So in case you feel compelled to get your hopes up about this defunding scheme, spend your time wishing for something more likely to happen. Like a blue sunrise or a talking gopher.

Pro-immigration activists have attacked the proposal, noting that even Republicans admit that it will cost more money than it saves. “The one issue that conservatives value just gets thrown out the window because they’re so rabid about their anti-immigrant agenda,” said Lynn Tramonte, the deputy director of America’s Voice.

Eh, that’s a faulty argument. Conservatives don’t just value fiscal responsibility. Unlike liberals, conservatives actually have a set of values and beliefs that transcend economics. It’s not just about shrinking the government and reducing the debt, though that’s important. But you can save a hell of a lot of money by eliminating the military, and you won’t find many conservatives advocating that. There are good reasons to oppose illegal immigration that have nothing to do with finance.

Fiscal conservatism and the evils of illegal immigration both pale in comparison to this president’s reign of tyranny. Congress has an obligation to serve as a check on that tyranny, and our Republican representatives have utterly failed in that respect. Still, there’s always hope that the next time will be better than the last. It’s a flimsy, ugly kind of hope, but we’ll take what we can get.

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