Opinion: Morning Examiner

Morning Examiner: Farm bill failure shows how pointless Senate immigration debate is

|
Beltway Confidential,Congress,Conn Carroll,Morning Examiner,Immigration,Senate,Agriculture,Analysis

Like so many other pro-amnesty Republican promises, Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. and John Hoeven, R-N.D., completely failed to produce any actual legislative text for their “border surge” amendment yesterday.

A pointless debate
As a result, the Senate will again spend another day debating an amendment no one knows what is in, all in an effort to bump the number of ‘yes’ votes for amnesty up from the 60 everyone knows Democrats already have now, to the 70 they want to put pressure on the House.

But yesterday, the House again showed just how pointless the search for extra Senate votes was. After the Senate voted 66-to-27 to pass the Farm Bill two weeks ago, the House rejected the bill 234-195 yesterday.

Too little spending for the left, too much for the right
House Republican leaders blamed Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for the Farm Bill’s defeat, claiming that while she promised 40 Democratic votes for the legislation, she only delivered 24. Rank and file Democrats balked at voting for the bill since it cut $20 billion from the growth of the food stamp program over the next ten years (more than 80 percent of all spending in the farm bill goes towards food stamps).

Conservatives abandoned the bill because it created multiple new agriculture subsidy programs that would only further distort economic incentives. In the end more than 60 Republicans voted with Democrats against the bill.

Immigration impact
A majority of the House Republican Caucus will never vote for any bill that gives citizenship to those illegal immigrants already in the country. The only hope Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, ever had of moving amnesty through the House was on the backs of Democratic votes. After the Farm Bill, House Republican leaders are reassessing that strategy.

“I’d think that Democrats’ decision to sandbag us on the farm bill today makes it obvious how impractical it would be to rely on them for votes on immigration,” a GOP leadership aide told Roll Call.

Resistance to the Schumer-Rubio bill is already strong among House Republicans and the Corker-Hoeven spend-a-thon will only strengthen that opposition. Sometime next week, the Senate will pass Schumer-Rubio, maybe with 60, maybe with 70, votes. The final tally will be completely irrelevant. The fate of immigration will be settled in the House.

From The Washington Examiner
Editorial: Sorry, Mr. President, but al Qaeda is not on the ‘path to defeat’
Byron York: New immigration deal abandons 90 percent security requirement
David Drucker: Sen. Flake says immigration reform may now have enough votes to clear Senate threshold
Susan Ferrechio: Top Shulman aide frequent White House visitor
Joseph Lawler: Markets fall, suggesting fears of Fed stimulus exit
Brian Hughes: Obama to nominate James Comey as FBI director Friday
Steve Contorno: Sen. Rand Paul demands more info on FBI domestic drone program
Sean Higgins: EPA abandons plan to link Wyoming pollution to fracking
Charlie Spiering: Cheers heard on the House floor as Farm Bill fails 195-234
Tim Carney: Americans increasingly concerned about regulator-lobbyist revolving door

In Other News
The Wall Street Journal, Turmoil Exposes Global Risks: Worries about China and the Fed’s plans rattled global markets for a second day, sending U.S. stocks to their biggest loss this year and hammering bonds and many commodities.
The New York Times, White House Offers Stealth Campaign to Support Immigration Bill: President Obama’s staff has turned a suite of offices into an immigration war room on Capitol Hill, aiming to secure passage of the first immigration overhaul in a quarter century.
The Washington Post, New documents reveal the bounds of NSA surveillance: They describe a series of steps the world’s largest spy agency is supposed to take to keep Americans from being caught in its massive surveillance net.

Lefty Playbook
Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services claims Obamacare saved Americans $3.9 billion in insurance premium last year.
BuzzFeed reports that Mayor Bloomberg’s anti-gun Mayors Against Illegal Guns honored terrorist Tamerlan Tsarnaev and cop killer Chris Dorner as “victims” of gun violence.
At Netroots Nation in California, Howard Dean says he’ll challenge Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic nomination if nobody else will.

Righty Playbook
Charles Krauthammer comes out against Corker-Hoeven.
Betsy Woodruff reports that the Tea Party seems to oppose the Senate Gang of Eight’s legislation with the same vehemence that it directed at the Affordable Care Act.
Veronique de Rugy advises Republicans to get food stamps out of the farm bill.
Jonah Goldberg urges millenials to sign up for the expensive Obamacare insurance they voted for.

View article comments Leave a comment