Coming Senate Shenanigans on DACA?

On Monday at 5:30 p.m., all eyes will be on the Senate, when it takes its first procedural vote to open debate on an immigration bill.

What’s in the bill? Nothing, yet. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has brought an empty shell bill to the floor and committed to an amendment process that is “fair to all sides” as a way to determine what policies will constitute the final bill.

On its face this may sound acceptable. However, for those who prioritize American sovereignty, citizenship and secure borders, there is still much about which they should be wary.

Next week’s debate will be unpredictable and likely far less “free-wheeling” than it sounds in the descriptions. Given all the forces at work—including McConnell’s acknowledgment that all amendments considered to the bill will have to overcome the high 60-vote hurdle—here are three possible scenarios for how this debate ends up.

1. After a few amendments are offered and fail, McConnell emerges with his own amnesty “compromise.” Given the high rate of secret deal making in the modern Senate, it is possible that this announced open process is just for show, while the real deal is being made in the Leader’s office. The groundwork for this outcome is laid after several amendments are considered and fail. The “process” appears to be stalled (though it’s not, since this was the plan, anyway), and senators put on a show of panic. At this point, it’s possible that McConnell and Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) come to the floor with a deal negotiated entirely by themselves and a handful of others, drop it on the Senate floor without warning, and demand its passage before the rest of the Senate even has time to read it. But because senators are so relieved that someone has a solution, they’ll pass it, and any senator seeking to amend the compromise will be roundly shunned. (For a case example, see what happened to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) last week when he tried to amend the GOP’s trillion-dollar spending deal).

Undoubtedly, a McConnell-Schumer compromise would reflect substantial concessions to Democrats on amnesty, as the party has made clear that they’re after far more than simple legal relief for the 700,000 recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. If the Senate proceeds with this route, it should become obvious to observers that Republicans in Congress are taking the path of least resistance—pretending to have a debate, while orchestrating a secret deal that they intended to pass all along.

2. Senators toss everything into one giant amendment proposal in an effort to get 60 votes. Though McConnell has committed himself to an open process, his requirement that all amendments be considered at a 60-vote threshold, rather than at a simple majority, actually makes the process quite restrictive. Moreover, it encourages the creation of massive proposals where members toss in all kinds of bad policy, and then say they “have to” pass it because “nothing else gets 60-votes.

This 60-vote excuse is a sham. Individual senators, from the Leader on down, have far more authority to force consideration of amendments at 51-votes than they like to admit. If Democrats decide to filibuster, so what? The GOP also has the tools to force Democrats into a real, talking filibuster that requires Democrats to work very, very hard to make their point. If Democrats want to prioritize illegal immigrants over American citizens, then Republicans should make them do it in the most onerous and public way possible. Yet, by conceding to 60-votes right off the bat, McConnell is doing nothing less than giving in to Democrats before they even mount an opposition. This has become the hallmark of the McConnell Senate. Rather than doing the work necessary to overcome the 60-vote filibuster, leaders in the Senate would rather use it as an excuse to pass poor policy.

3. No amendments are able to meet a 60-vote threshold and the entire process collapses, causing a “do something” panic. While this could be the most preferable outcome for those who don’t trust the Senate to prioritize border security, citizenship, and sovereignty, it also poses a danger. The Congress is currently operating under the idea that it must meet a March 5 deadline to address the DACA issue. In reality, there is no deadline. When or how DACA expires is solely up to President Trump. Moreover, a January court order has allowed for DACA recipients to apply for two-year renewal of DACA protection. So, regardless of what Congress does or doesn’t do, the “DACA kids” aren’t going anywhere. (It’s also worth pointing out that most DACA recipients aren’t kids.)

However, false deadlines like these are dangerous, as failing to meet them creates a panic in Congress to “do something now.” Invariably, “doing something” results in principles being sacrificed and policy priorities being left behind, all borne out of a sense of urgency to meet a deadline that, in reality, doesn’t exist.

The Senate should be aware that Americans will be carefully watching them next week. This debate is not just about “what can get 60 votes,” as McConnell has said. Rather, what Senate Republicans do on the floor next week—or, critically, what they decide not to do—will speak volumes about their commitment to sovereignty, citizenship, and the rule of law.

About Rachel Bovard

Rachel Bovard is senior director of policy at the Conservative Partnership Institute and Senior Advisor to the Internet Accountability Project. Beginning in 2006, she served in both the House and Senate in various roles including as legislative director for Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and policy director for the Senate Steering Committee under the successive chairmanships of Senator Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) and Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), where she advised Committee members on strategy related to floor procedure and policy matters. In the House, she worked as senior legislative assistant to Congressman Donald Manzullo (R-Il.), and Congressman Ted Poe (R-Texas). She is the former director of policy services for the Heritage Foundation. Follow her on Twitter at @RachelBovard.

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75 responses to “Coming Senate Shenanigans on DACA?”

  1. The minute you insist on being “fair” to all sides, where one side is breaking the law and the other side is not, you are stating the law abiding are on the same foot as the criminal. This strikes me as being the exact opposite of “fair.”

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    • Well, if you leave tRump out of the process, that’s one less law breaker to worry about…

      • Sure, according to disgustingly sick naive incredibly gullible ignorant delusional bat-s#*t crazy leftist racist Pathological Liars, huh?

      • Aww, kitten…don’t be like that. Step outside your trailer and go for a walk. The fresh air will do you good

      • No. You delicate little wussy-boy SnowFlakes are so easily triggered, though.

      • LOL..the old “I know you are but what I am” maneuver…good job, kitten.

    • That’s why it’s ridiculous at this point to pass any laws…they just ignore them anyway…..

      • That is a foreign concept to our Leftist Pathological Liars, though!

  2. Reason to be concerned?

    Oh, is this where we pretend that Republicans have not screwed their own voters for 5 decades on immigration?
    And now, after tens of millions of “New Americans” have been added to the Democratic voter rolls, it’s becoming pretty apparent that the Republicans are committing suicide as a party, and taking the country down with them.
    What I expect is for the Republicans to do what they have always done: wilt and give the Democrats real gains while getting vague promises that will never be kept in return. It’s what happened in 1965 and what Reagan did. That will surely be followed by quisling morons like Graham and McConnell and McCain feeding us the same line about how “But they’re all natural conservatives” like they have done for the past 10 years.

    Republicans are liars and frauds– and this will be my last straw with the party. Once they screw me this one last time, I’m done with them. No more money and not one more vote from me. Good look to them in 2018, because they will be wiped out when they betray us on this issue.

    • Go lie down and die, then! Fair-weather friends are as useful as teats on a boar.

      • Sometimes you have to clean the swamp out by letting the other party win, make it so bad its untenable then sweep them aside and reverse everything they have done, but with new actors who will actually do it. Unfortunately it take years and years. Otherwise we have to take up arms and have a revolution. Those are the options. Conservatives are generally rule of law people so its likely that if the RINOs capitulate, they will be destroyed in the next election as none of their voters will bother. Then they will start anew, but the damage will have been done. That’s when RINOs will need to be careful. Out of power, and a pissed off electorate usually leads to bad things for the self proclaimed elites who are no longer under the protection of their former positions

      • “Sometimes you have to clean the swamp out by letting the other party win, make it so bad its untenable then sweep them aside and reverse everything they have done”

        First, I think I pulled a face muscle rolling my eyes at that comment.
        So, the Republicans are playing some serious 3-D Level chess here, eh? They aren’t folding yet again on a topic they have folded on for decades, they are, according to you analysis, intentionally going to allow the country to be flooded with third world immigrants, so that whites make up around 40% of the country (all while the Left is screaming about how all whites are racist, tearing ddown monuments tot he people who built this country, demanding non-white “safe spaces” on campuses across the country, etc.), all with the secret goal of making it so that people will get so fed up with the Left that– well, that they’ll what? You think those people are all of a sudden going to flip and start voting for low taxes and individual rights?

        Immigration– changing the population– is not like tax policy or housing policy. It can’t be undone. I’m afraid it’s all too late now– it can’t be fixed and conservatives are doomed. But they could at least not make it worse.

        But they Republicans seem committed to making it worse. And I just can’t play along with it anymore. For what? Low taxes on big business?

        In the end, that is all it means to be a Republican these day. Low taxes for large corporations. That’s it. That’s the real platform they have.

      • Beauceron, I think you and Adam may be more aligned than you think you are.

        I foresee the likely outcome of continuing the immigration policies of the last 30 years is that conservatives abandon the Federal government, that there is actual geographic sorting for a decade or two, then Civil War.

      • I used to think that, if the progressives kept pushing, they would eventually force us into a civil war.

        The events of the last 18 months have disabused me of that notion.

        One thing we have learned over the last 18 months is that conservatives are all bark and no bite. The talk of “muh guns” and the “Don’t Tread On Me” t-shirts was all bluster. They were called out on that over the last year and were found out. Mobs of Leftists wearing black with covered faces literally stripped conservatives of their free speech and assembly rights. You cannot hold a rally or speech without potentially getting you a$$ beat now. They may be snowflakes, but they’re courageous, committed people who stood up for what they believe in– and they beat the snot out of the right whenever they showed up. But they rarely show up.

        Civil war is a fantasy. If you won’t stand up to defend your Constitutional rights to speak, then you will never revolt. We’re afraid to get in a fist fight, there’s no way we will get in a civil war. If you were curious about just how much humiliation and abuse conservatives will take before they stand up and fight back, we now know there is no limit. Please just don’t call us names.

        Here’s what I think will happen– the Dems will push toward a permanent majority; the deep state surveillance state will continue to grow apace, The Dems will neuter the 1st and 2nd amendments. Guns will be removed, free speech will be gone — all for our own good and totally necessary. They will do all this without firing a shot. They will make it so that you are embarrassed and ashamed to support gun rights. You will enthusiastically support preventing hate speech (heck, the majority of college kids already do –

        I think the only way to save conservatism at this point is secessionist movements. You can prevent the Left from winning if you leave. That’s it. I think what we’re going to get is a soft-style socialist dictatorship. A dystopia, but a relatively tolerable one for most.

      • Rather, I think we are, like America has always been, too slow to anger, but when you make us angry . . .

        If they take our guns, I will admit you are right.

        You must admit, for the last 18 months at least, we are WINNING!

      • Ready to hit the streets, huh, Warrior! What a phony-a$$ed defeatist.

      • No. You are parroting “Conventional Wisdom” of the very folks who put us into this mess! I remember hearing some ole dead white dude saying, “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of
        justice is no virtue.”

      • “Go lie down and die, then!”

        Your words reveal otherwise. You are the one who should go away and die then, you emotional little bitch.

      • No. When one is crying that nothing’s going their way, things will get worse and there nothing but terror to turn to, it’s a given they might as well go lie down and die then! WTH are you speaking of?

      • One valid point is that you’re a douchbag troll, who comes on a site where you are reviled, only to try and get a rise with your absurd, BS comments. What a rush, dood!!

        How old are you? Why don’t you get a life?

      • You haven’t a valid point, Liar! The Clintonectomy was successful. After eight long years of Mr. Empty Man, we now have a President who absolutely loves America, being American and is apologetic to no one for either!

        You are a disgustingly sick naive incredibly gullible ignorant delusional bat-s#*t crazy leftist racist Pathological Liar, Liar!

      • Lol! You’re the leftist POS, your posts prove it. All of a sudden you have a come to Jesus moment and you’re transformed to Mr.Conservative? Very funny, try again, hyper-emotional bitchboy.

      • Be proud. Keep on lying, especially to yourself, Liar. What, from me, would you consider Leftist, Liar?

      • You’re the liar, bitchboy.

        I’m thinking your momma either deprived you of the tit, or left you on too long. Probably the latter, 22 is waaaayyyy too long.

        Keep up the emotional tirades, bitchboy. Now go back to Media Matters and Buzzfeed, they miss you.

      • So babbles the renowned disgustingly sick naive incredibly gullible ignorant delusional bat-s#*t crazy leftist racist Pathological Liar, huh, Liar? Resume pounding sand & flicking chocolate pudding at the wall, Fool N’ Tool!

      • LOL! Thanks for making my point and proving my point, perfesser.

        Lemme guess …. you live in SanFran, you like Pina Coladas, and walking in the rain. Your fave tune is “YMCA”, and you adore the Village People, constantly muttering about how they were really underrated. You like wearing flowers in your hair and you someday wish to hug a whale, just like you hug trees. You drive a Subaru adorned with “I’m with Her” bumper stickers, and you think Adam Sciffteater is the mostest dreamiest dood since the suave Obummer. Your mentor is Nancy Pelosi, even though you find yourself to the left of Nanamimi on every issue. You don’t know the meaning of most words you vomit onto the screen, even though you have multiple degrees in Gender Studies and Reparations Viewed from a Binary Perspective. You work as a Barista at Starbucks and live with your husband, and you busy yourself with protests wearing your pussy hat, when you’re not pressing wildflowers in your daily affirmation journal, amirite?

        Girl, don’t go away mad, just go away.

      • DAYUM! That’s, uh, quite the portfolio you’ve accumulated there, even for such an anti-American Leftist Pathological, Liar! Enjoy.

      • Truth hurts, sweetie? Denial of truth has made you delusional. Repent!

      • Your self-description might hurt you in some settings, but amongst your fellow anti-American Leftist Pathological Liars, you’ll be right at home, Liar.

      • Don’t deny the truth, snowflake. Embrace the suck.

        You need to let your husband help you out, maybe xhe can come up with new material, you seem so middle-schoolish.

        It’s very telling, all your comments, to everyone, mirror the same childish rants you’ve vomited here.

        26,000 comments, you need to get a job! Repeat after me, “Welcome to Walmart”. See, you can do it!

      • Your not fighting at all.
        And you certainly won’t ever be with Republicans like these.

      • How is warning the Federal Republicans that they are about to commit suicide lying down?

    • Most of them were never on board with The President and prefer to be part of the system rather than fix the system
      We are pawns for their money making schemes

      • They got donors who want near slave wages for illegals, so show some sympathy for millionaires. They need another yacht and mistress. It’s not like we have a the rule of law that ought to put citizens rights ahead of non citizens!

    • You are exactly right. If immigration reform that is not substantially like what the President has already offered is passed, the Democrats will handily win the House. Naked party self-interest alone should tell the Washington Republicans that it is better to pass nothing before this November than to betray the Trump coalition. But they are too insulated to truly understand the sea change signaled by Trump’s election.

      • I think after the Tea Party revolt, the Freedom Caucus rise, and then the election of Trump, there is no way the Republican establishment could not know the minds of their own voters. They are insulated, but they can’t be THAT insulated. They just don’t care– or, rather, what they actually care about isn’t conservatism, the country or their own voters. They care about their big business donors. Watch what they actually do, not what they say. And what the GOP has done for decades is what’s good for the Chamber Of Commerce wing, not what’s good for the country, their party, or their voters.

      • I suspect you and I can argue about this while fighting in the same trench.

      • We are having a healthy, friendly debate, not arguing.

      • Good luck recruiting new members to your Beauceron Party, Boo. Hah ha.

      • It seems I’ve upset you.
        Think of it as a dose of cold reality. When you come to grips with its truth, you’ll be able to deal with the future more constructively.
        Thank me later.

    • Good-bye Beauceron, and don’t let the door hit your backside on the way out. Belly-achers like you are dead weight, you don’t accomplish anything.

      If you’re so down on the political coalition you call “the Republicans” then go start your own party. No one will stop you. Write when your Beauceron Party gets its second member (after yourself) that agrees with you on everything. Until then, you really won’t have time to post here or in other Internet echo chambers because, as the adults here know, party-building is such time-consuming work.

      Or you can continue to demonstrate that you’ve nothing but cheap talk. Your choice, Boo.

      • Our blessed Republic was spared The HildeBeest in ’16. President Trump is doing everything I hired him for and it’s been a breathtaking 16 months, especially considering he has rattled the Gates of Hell and more than handled everything that’s been released against him. Such weak-kneed fair-weather friends are as useful as teats on a boar!

  3. What a ****ing joke. Neither party give two shi*s about America.

  4. If DACA and chain migration are not fixed as in ZERO chain ppl coming to USA there will be a freaking revolt and the RINO’S ain’t gonna like it.

    • Neither will the Democrats. They will at last get to see the racist America they have been hallucinating about, only it will be anti-immigrant.

  5. McConnell has always been the problem in the Senate. His pre-emptive surrender in keeping the Senate has guaranteed Trump’s agenda and GOP control of every branch of government will largely be pissed away

    • Nobody stopped you from moving to Kentucky and doing all you could to prevent McConnell’s re-election. Nobody.

      Talk is cheap, Monkey, and you’re full of it.

  6. Do it traitors. This democracy crap isn’t working. We need more direct methods of dealing with problems like invaders and traitors.

    Lets get this party started.

  7. A majority of DACA’s, if given amnesty or being as is, will be on welfare their entire lives. Many are illiterate and do not speak Spanish well never mind speaking English. Many 3rd and 4th generation Mexicans get welfare and many do not speak English.

    • Yes, there has been a lot of lying about the actual behaviors of the DACA demo. One in a thousand choose military service. Their high school and college graduation rates are far lower than the general population. Their criminality is considerably higher. Etc.

  8. McTurtle begins another Sell-Out like he did with the budget give-away. If we didn’t know any better, one would swear the demonKKKrats are running the senate…

  9. Both parties had better watch it. American patriots are fed up with the corruptocrats in the Washington Establishment and if they get screwed over with a new, toothless immigration “law” they aren’t going to sit back and take it up the whaazoo like the Euro-weenies who are now witnessing their national identity disappear in a blizzard of unregulated hijrah (Muslim conquest by immigration) “immigrants” who will turn Europe into Eurabia in less than 15 to 20 years. Idiots.

    • Hey, Hank, have you and the other self-styled “American patriots” in this and other Internet echo chambers ever done more than LARP as keyboard jihadis? Just look around you. You are in the political minority. A minority of the minority party, even. So all your bluster about “both parties had better watch it” and of being “fed up” only beclowns yourself.

      Hank, did you have a walking list in 2016? Did you use it?

      Talk is cheap, Hank. Show me the voters you bring to the polls. Remember, if only one in every twenty Trump fans had bothered to bring just one more Trump voter to the polls then Trump would not have lost the nationwide popular vote bigly. Trump lost by millions. That failure of Trump and his fans both emboldened the Left and spooked the members of Congress who would have been Trump’s natural allies. If you remember your American Government units from grade school in the USA, you’ll recall that there’s no Electoral College that can turn a popular vote defeat into a win for members of Congress. A popular vote loser has no political coattails.

      So, I gotta wonder Hank, were you one of the 19 out of 20 Trumpists who sat home waiting for someone else to do the work of bringing in that one more Trump vote or were you the 20th Trumpist who let the other 19 down? Hah ha.

  10. “fair to all sides”

    We all know what that means when this gutless swine states that.
    Prepare to cave on “Conservative values” in 3, 2, 1 …

  11. Amnesty with a path to citizenship will be a nearly complete repudiation of the platform on which Trump ran. We will then have a two-track path to citizenship – one that begins legally and proceeds to eventual citizenship, and one that begins illegally and through some magical thinking also ends with citizenship. But diversity is our strength, right? What’s a few million more people for the taxpayers to feed, clothe and house? The more the merrier! As was pointed out, America is now the orphanage for the world.

  12. Hopefully the House and the President will continue to just say no to any Democrat led plan that comes out of the Senate.

  13. whatever is done, the People and the Republic will both be on the loosing end
    the Congress is NOT representing The Will of The People

  14. If/when the Republicans screw us again and give the Democrats everything they want, it will just mean that we are done with elections and can move to the next phase. It will be what it will be.

    Subotai Bahadur

    • Nothing stops you from starting your own political party, Sub Otai.

      You and Beauceron can then argue over whose new party is more ‘pure’.

  15. How about the illegal DACA rule is thrown out, we decide to enforce our current laws and don’t let people not legally here work. Rinse, repeat, see if it’s an issue next year.

  16. I’ve noticed that Mike Lee never really gets hit hard by either side…He is a man who is definitely respected even though they don’t say so…..This is how they should all be. Could you imagine?!

  17. When you have Progressives on both sides who are owned by the likes of Chamber of commerce and or George Soros, you get Massive Amnesty and no enforc8ng the Law…same as it’s always been. We may have had our last democratic election…

  18. Remind me again of how many times Miss Bovard ran for partisan office and won. Has she even won in a Republican primary election?