Senate’s Border Bill Fails (Video)

Our government has become completely dysfunctional. Nothing useful, positive or productive can happen as long as Reid is Senate Majority Leader and Barack Obama is POTUS. The next two years are really about mitigating the damage the community organizer incurs and running out the clock until 2016. That’s really about all this weak kneed GOP can handle.

Via the Blaze:

The Senate on Thursday night failed to advance a $2.7 billion bill to address the southern border crisis, just hours after the House Republicans had to pull their own bill from consideration due to a lack of support.

Together, the two votes show just how difficult it will be for Congress to agree not only on how much to spend to resolve the border crisis, but how to spend it.

In the Senate, Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) led the Republican effort on Thursday to include language that would defund any new Obama effort to expand DACA. These two senators said that overhanging threat from Obama would outweigh any attempt to stop the flow of immigrants.

But like so many other bills in the Senate over the last few years, Democrats didn’t give senators a chance to amend the bill. That prohibition led an outraged Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to storm onto the Senate floor and demand that Democrats start allowing real debate and real consideration of amendments on bills.

“Is that a hell of a lot to ask here?” McCain said. “I don’t think so.”

Sessions made an attempt to force Democrats to allow a vote on tougher language, but because Republicans are the minority party, it failed in a 43-52 vote. Sessions warned that failing to add language blocking further amnesty programs from Obama would be a “hammer blow” to millions of unemployed Americans.

“We have the power to block this action,” he said of Obama’s expected policy change. “We have a duty to block that action.  We can do that today by supporting my motion here today.”

“The vote we are about to have will be a vote on whether to support the president’s illegal executive amnesty, or to stop it,” he added.

Sen. Sessions said that by shooting down his motion to vote on Sen. Ted Cruz’s bill,  Senate Dems essentially voted to enable Obama’s unlawful executive order that would provide amnesty and work permits to 5-6 million illegal immigrants.

The President’s planned action would be in contravention of plain law, and at the expense of unemployed Americans.  Senate Democrats voted in lockstep to block Sessions’ motion and to thereby back the President’s executive amnesty—only Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) dissented.  Senate Democrats, who had previously intimated public concern over the illegal actions, sided with Majority Leader Harry Reid and voted to enable and encourage the President’s planned unilateral amnesty and work permits.

UPDATE:

This is scary:

Via Weasel Zippers: Border Bill Back On Deck, Members Plan To Take Action Before Recess:

Via Townhall

Update (Amanda): House leadership announced that members will stay until a vote on border legislation takes place. Currently, there is no set schedule for the vote. It could take place late Thursday or Friday.

#BREAKING House GOP plans to hold another conference in morning on border Source says “almost every mbr said stay..it was pretty hot.”
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) July 31, 2014

#BREAKING Sr Hse GOPer after border mtg: I know 1 thing, we’re not leaving here until we get the votes.”
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) July 31, 2014

Has anyone in Congress figured this out, yet:

Via Ann Coulter: THE LOOPHOLE IS OBAMA:

The law is not — as George Will suggested on “Fox News Sunday” — a general humanitarian mandate allowing all 2 billion poor children of the world to show up at our border and be told, “Welcome to America!” It’s a law to combat sex trafficking.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Vice President Joe Biden wrote the law — and Feinstein isn’t stupid. She’s well aware of illegal immigration. That’s why the law specifically excludes two huge categories of illegal aliens from getting hearings: (1) Mexicans; and (2) children who have relatives in the U.S.

Those cases look more like illegal immigration than sex trafficking. (Didn’t anyone wonder why Mexican kids are excluded?)

Mexicans make up the lion’s share of illegal immigrants in the U.S., and children with relatives already living in the U.S. are probably just trying to rejoin family — not trying to escape a fiendish kidnapper about to sell them into sex slavery.

According to last Friday’s New York Times, almost 90 percent of the 53,000 illegal alien kids given refugee status since October have already been transferred to parents or relatives living in the U.S. By the law’s clear terms, those 47,000 kids should have been summarily turned away at the border — just as Mexican children are.

(Democrats wailing about a “humanitarian” crisis — after calculating the precise number of voters they need — evidently don’t care about the Mexican kids.)

No law needs to be fixed. The only thing that needs to be fixed is the president.

Cruz weighs in: Democrats are Perpetuating the Border Crisis:

  1. Reid’s do-nothing Senate has abdicated all responsibility

 WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today released the following statement regarding the Senate vote this evening on border funding legislation:

“Today Harry Reid blocked all consideration of legislation to stop President Obama’s amnesty. By refusing any debate or even a vote on legislation to stop Obama’s amnesty, Senate Democrats are cynically choosing to perpetuate the crisis.  Every Senate Democrat but two voted against taking up legislation to stop President Obama’s amnesty.  They now own this crisis; each bears responsibility for enabling the President to march forward with plans to give amnesty to millions more who arrived in our country illegally.

“The evidence shows that the crisis at the border is a direct consequence of President Obama’s lawlessness, and the surge of unaccompanied children trafficked to the United States by drug cartels and transnational gangs will not ebb until Congress restrains the President from taking any further executive action.

“The House of Representatives is working hard to solve this crisis, but Harry Reid’s do-nothing Senate has abdicated all responsibility.

“Last week, I introduced the Protect Children and Families Through Rule of Law Act that would stop President Obama’s amnesty. Faced by an extreme president who refuses to follow the law, Republicans should unite to stop the amnesty that is causing tens of thousands of children to be victimized by violent coyotes and drug cartels. The responsibility for the pain and suffering experienced by those children who are exploited by dangerous criminals and the associated burdens imposed on our border towns and cities now lies directly on Senate Democrats who would rather put hundreds of thousands more children and countless Americans at risk than stand up to the out-of-control and lawless president.”

Linked by Doug Ross, thanks.

Cruz: Keep the Internet Tax Free (Video)

Today, Senator Ted Cruz requested unanimous consent to pass H.R. 3086, a bill that would stop Internet bills from increasing by making permanent the current ban on Internet access taxes, which is set to expire in November.

“If the Senate refuses to take action, the Internet will be taxed this November,” Sen. Cruz said. “For a decade and a half, Americans have been able to use the Internet all across the country free of taxes, and Republicans and Democrats have agreed on this basic principle… I would note that anyone objecting to this right now is setting the stage for a massive internet tax.”

He went on, “We ought to come together on what should be a noncontroversial bill, a bill that has passed three times before, a bill that was signed by President Bill Clinton, a bill that in this body is introduced by a senior Democrat, we ought to come together in a bipartisan way to say, we stand in unison protecting Internet tax freedom.”

 

Earlier this year, the House passed H.R. 3086, the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act. The Senate version, S. 1431 that is sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, has 52 Senate cosponsors, including Sen. Cruz and 18 Senate Democrats.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-North Dakota, objected to the legislation.

Sen. Cruz was joined on the floor by Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R.-New Hampshire, supporting legislation to keep the Internet tax-free. Sen. Mike Lee, R.-Utah, later spoke on the Senate floor in favor of the legislation as well.

House Votes To Sue Obama (Video)

Last month, on the same day the Supreme Court invalidated Obama’s recess appointments, Obama defiantly taunted Republicans: “So sue me,” he told reporters when asked about Speaker Boehner’s lawsuit.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) said in a conference call with conservative media, this afternoon, that Republicans are taking him up on that; “okay we will,” he said.
Confident that they will have standing in court, the House GOP voted Wednesday to authorize Speaker Boehner to file suit against the president on their complaint that he has failed to faithfully execute laws and overstepped his legal authority.

Via the WSJ:

In a 225-201 vote, the House told Mr. Boehner (R., Ohio) to move ahead with the suit. House GOP leaders have said they would focus the suit on the White House’s decision last year to give employers a one-year reprieve on enforcing a requirement under the Affordable Care Act that they offer health coverage or pay a penalty. The requirement was delayed until 2015, and the White House then revised the health law further by saying employers with between 50 and 99 full-time workers wouldn’t have to comply or pay a fee until 2016.

Five Republicans joined Democrats in voting against pursuing the lawsuit. No Democrats voted to move forward with the suit.

Fox News reported that the five Repubs who voted with Dems may have been protesting that the lawsuit doesn’t go far enough.

Mr. Boehner, speaking just before the vote, said Congress needed to assert its authority under the Constitution to combat executive overreach. “This isn’t about Republicans and Democrats. It’s about defending the Constitution we swore an oath to uphold,” he said.

Mr. Obama, speaking to a friendly crowd in Kansas City ahead of the vote, said that suing him wasn’t a productive thing to do.

“Everybody recognizes this is a political stunt,” he said of the lawsuit. “But it’s worse than that, because every vote they’re taking like that means a vote they’re not taking to actually help you.”

Which was a pretty remarkable thing for Mr. Obama to say – given the fact that not everybody thinks the lawsuit is a political stunt. No one would accuse Professor Jonathan Turley of being a political hack, for instance – he voted for Obama in 2008. But last month on MSNBC, he confounded the liberal panel he was on, saying he thinks the lawsuit has a chance.

…after being asked by MSNBC host Steve Kornacki whether Boehner had “any kind of a case” with the lawsuit, Turley remained consistent.

“I think there is a case against the president for exceeding his authority,” he declared. “I happen to agree with the president on many of his priorities and policies, but as I testified in Congress I think he has crossed the constitutional line.”

“So where has he crossed it?” Kornacki pressed. “Like, what specific issue has he crossed it on?”

“Well, when the president went to Congress and said that he was going to go it alone, it obviously raises a concern,” Turley noted. “Because there’s no license for going it alone in our system.”

The law professor noted the unprecedented changes made to the Affordable Care Act — including the shift of nearly half a billion dollars to a purpose unspecified by Congress — as well as his deliberate disregard of existing law on immigration and the effective rewriting of other laws.

“While I happen to agree with him — I voted for him — I think this is a problem,” Turley asserted.

Intellectually honest libs understand that this has been a problem for some time.

Greta Van Susteren covered the House vote shortly after it occurred.

She split a gasket when the House Rules Chairman Pete Sessions gave her the price tag on the expected legal fees, which he estimated would be around $2 million dollars.

“I can find someone to do it for you for $30,000!” she exclaimed in protest.

Incidentally – the word of the day is “injunction” – which could become relevant in the not too distant future if Obama decides to act unilaterally on immigration.

Update:

Charles Krauthammer offered his take on the lawsuit on Special Report:

Via NRO:

Video: Sens. Cruz and Sessions Colloquy on Stopping Obama’s Amnesty

On Thursday, illegal immigration hawks Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), joined forces in urging their colleagues to put more pressure on  Obama to prevent him from unilaterally granting amnesty to millions more illegal immigrants.

Via Big Government:

In a colloquy with Cruz on the Senate floor, Sessions said Obama’s potential executive actions represent an “exceedingly grave threat that go[es] beyond anything we’ve ever seen in this country” and “threatens the very constitutional framework of our republic and the very ability of this nation to even have borders.”

He vowed that the “American people will not allow it to happen” if they discover what is going on. He said it was now up to members of Congress to rally the nation against Obama’s potential grants of amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants.

Referencing a letter that he and 21 other Senators sent to Obama warning him not to nullify the country’s immigration laws, Sessions said every Senator should back Cruz’s bill to prevent Obama from extending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to future illegal immigrants.

Cruz has also introduced legislation that would make it easier to deport illegal immigrant children from countries other than Mexico and Canada and require the federal government to reimburse states and local governments for dealing with the border crisis.

Sessions said Congress rejected Obama’s amnesty plan “under the circumstances he advocated” and noted that “he has no power to go forward and go beyond that, and we’re not going to allow it to happen. It’s wrong.”

“This president is not going to get away with unilateral amnesty,” Sessions said. “This Congress will be held to account.”

Governor Perry Press Conference: Deploying the National Guard (Video)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced plans, today, to activate and deploy up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border to increase the presence of border security.

Here is the entire presser, but the audio is pretty messed up. In case you can’t get through it, shorter but cleaner videos follow.

The National Guard should stay plenty busy dealing with problems like this:

 

The Border Patrol found itself under fire on Friday night from what they think were.50-caliber weapons, not exactly light arms. The fire appears to have been an attempt to suppress border security actions while smugglers brought their human cargo to the north side of the Rio Grande, according to Fox (via Katie Pavlich):

U.S. Border Patrol agents on the American side of the Rio Grande were forced to take cover Friday night when high-caliber weaponry was fired at them from the Mexican side of the river, sources told FoxNews.com.

The weapons were fired at the U.S. side of the riverbank in the area of the Rincon Peninsula across the Rio Grande from Reynosa, Mexico, at about 8:30 p.m., sources said. Bullets ricocheted into an area where Border Patrol agents were positioned, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, told FoxNews.com.

Border Patrol sources confirmed Gohmert’s account, and said the shots may have been fired by .50-caliber weapons.

“We don’t have any armor that can stop a .50-caliber round, so our Border Patrol agents had to take cover when the rounds were richocheting around them,” said Gohmert, who has been in the area for the last week to get a first-hand look at the border situation.

“When the shooting stopped, about 40 to 50 people came out on the U.S. side and turned themselves in. So clearly the rounds were being fired to suppress every effort to stop anybody intervening with anyone or anything coming across,” Gohmert added. “We have no idea what or how many or whom came across with the other illegal immigrants.”

Sources said they believe the gunfire came from members of Mexican drug cartels, which include former military members trained in shooting that type of weaponry.

That would be a problem that the National Guard could address, certainly, if this incident has been verified — if the federal government won’t react to it.

I can’t help but wonder if any of these high caliber weapons will be traced back to any of the ATF’s gun-walking operations…

Battle of the Photo-ops – Preezy vs Perry

obama perry in tx

Via Mediaite:

 Perry toured the border Thursday, joining the Texas Department of Public Safety law enforcement officials for a boat ride down the Rio Grande. His office released this photo to the press.

PerryRioGrandeRiver-620x412

When Perry met with Obama on Wednesday, he got the impression that the president didn’t know where the border patrol were stationed.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry last night told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that during his discussion with Obama Wednesday, he concluded that the president doesn’t even know where his own border patrol agents are situated, suggesting a gross lack of familiarity with the whole process.

Perry said:

We ought to be stopping people from crossing that border, not apprehending them after they get inland. And the president understood that. And, interestingly he did not know that. He – I’m comfortable that he was not knowledgeable about where his border patrol was stationed.

But President Preezy sure as heck knows where Austin’s  bestest BBQ restaurant is stationed.

“The Bear was loose” and his tummy was rumbling…as he yukked it up with “the folks” and did an awesome fist-bump with the cashier.

Colin Jacob, 25, and Jane Litvin, 23, were in town from Boston and Washington, respectively, and had gone to Franklin because they saw a TripAdvisor tweet declaring the restaurant’s barbecue the best in the country. They waited in line for two to three hours before they reached the cashier.

“And out of nowhere, Obama showed up,” Litvin said.

Jacob said the president seemed like a “people person.” Litvin, who shook hands with Obama, said his were “very soft.”

I hope he didn’t hurt his soft knuckles….

obama

 

So which photo-op is cooler? Vote in the comments!

 UPDATE:

Via Twitchy: Obama was spotted on the border!:

 

He’s so dreamy.

Senator Sessions: Harry Reid Is Demeaning The Senate (Video)

Speaker Boehner wasn’t the only Republican who went into BeastMode, today.

After Harry Reid blocked a slew of  votes on gun rights  that could have been a politically awkward for Democrats seeking reelection, Senator Sessions took to the Senate floor and let Dingy have it.

“The reason the Majority Leader will not allow amendments is because he wants to protect his members from actually being held accountable by the voters of the United States of America… That’s what it’s all about. It’s gone on way too long. It’s demeaning this Senate, and he demeans the loyal opposition who are doing the only thing they have as a tool, which is refuse to move forward with a bill if the Majority Leader is going to use parliamentary maneuvers to block anybody’s amendment…

It’s not a question of time. It’s a question of control [and] domination of the Senate. The Majority Leader is not entitled to do that. He’s just not. It is not going to continue, and this is going to be broken sooner or later.”

Harry Reid used “Senate procedures to prevent votes on any amendments to a bipartisan measure expanding hunters’ access to public lands”

The bill was co-sponsored by 26 Republicans, 18 Democrats and one independent, a measure of bipartisan harmony rarely seen at a time of sharp divisions between the parties.

But Reid said he’d been unable to reach agreement with Republicans on “a reasonable list” of amendments, which he said has been an oft-repeated pattern.

“They want to kill the bill like they’ve tried to kill everything the last six years,” Reid said.

Republicans complained that Reid’s move was the latest in which he refused to let GOP senators offer amendments because he wanted to protect Democrats from difficult votes that might be used against them in their re-election campaigns.

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