The brief government shutdown was so much fun last year that it looks like we’re going to try it again. This time, instead of having to listen to Ted Cruz read Dr. Seuss into the Congressional record, however, we’ll have to listen to the White House explain why the Postal Service can’t deliver your Christmas catalogs and coupon books efficiently. Having apparently taken a page out of Sen. Cruz’s playbook, the Obama Administration, through Josh Earnest, has noted that if the Republicans try to pass a budget bill that deliberately excludes funding for the President’s executive amnesty, we’ll the President is just going to shut this whole thing down, take his ball and pout in a corner.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Monday that President Barack Obama will block a government budget bill if the GOP denies him the funds needed to provide amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.
“Yes,” Earnest said when asked by ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl if Obama would veto a government-wide budget that defunded the amnesty program.
If Obama blocks the budget to help the illegals, large sections of the federal government would shut down on Dec. 12.
That includes the DHS and probably ICE, which are, in part, responsible for pushing the paperwork necessary to provide temporary work permits to the millions of undocumented workers the Obama Administration is looking to legalize. That’s risky, since we, theoretically, need DHS to protect us from domestic terror attacks and full-size bottles of shampoo accidentally left in carry on bags. And then there’s this, from a New York Times looking to proactively blame Republicans for a devastating lapse in security theater.
A complicating factor, however, is that the primary agency responsible for carrying out the president’s executive action is United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, which is financed entirely through fees collected from immigration applications and therefore cannot be defunded in the appropriations process.
That would leave everyone screwed, as Hot Air points out: Congress would defund DHS, leaving important parts of the organization bereft, while USCIS, which is overseeing the program, still operates with impunity. Of course, as Hot Air also points out that this isn’t dispositive, because USCIS isn’t the only agency charged with overseeing the amnesty program, it can’t touch the fees they collect in the immigration process absent Congressional authority, and no one in their right mind believes any government agency operates on the fees it collects alone unless all it does is collect fees, and even then, there’s an appropriation for at least ten employees who show up around 50% of the time.
Of course, the GOP could always try to pass their own version of Obama’s executive amnesty plan and force him into a showdown, but that’s going to require a great deal of courage and forward-thinking, which isn’t exactly the Republicans’ forte.
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