The PJ Tatler

Has Boehner Grown a Spine?

In a move more reminiscent of Texas Senator Ted Cruz than Ohio Representative John Boehner, the House Speaker has pursued a strategy to defund President Obama’s executive action on immigration, leveraging funding for Homeland Security in the process.

Bloomberg News reports:

House Speaker John Boehner said he’s prepared to let funding lapse for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and blame Democrats if the Senate fails to pass a House-backed bill for the agency.

The Homeland Security Department faces a shutdown of nonessential operations if Congress does not reach agreement before current funding ends on Feb. 27.

When asked if he was prepared to let the funding lapse, the Ohio Republican said, “Certainly. The House has acted. We’ve done our job.”

Predictably, Democrats stand poised to blame Republicans in the event of a partial government shutdown.

“He will be responsible for shutting down a large part of the government,” [New York Sen. Chuck] Schumer said in a statement. “The American people will perceive it that way, and his party and the country will suffer for it.”

Adding to that sentiment is everyone’s favorite me-too moderate, Senator John McCain:

“The American people didn’t give us the majority to have a fight between House and Senate Republicans,” McCain said on Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “They want things done. We cannot cut funding for the Department of Homeland Security. We need to sit down and work this thing out.”

In a fight between John McCain and John Boehner, which one represents the establishment? After recently claiming that he was Tea Party before it was cool, Boehner is now positioning himself to look the part.

Has he actually grown a spine, or is this too little too late? Where was this defiant opposition to Obama’s executive action when the Congress passed the Cromnibus? Does this move win you over?

(Today’s Fightin Words podcast is on this topic available here.)