RUSH: Okay, the continuing agony, angst, and anxiety over the Department of Homeland Security funding bill in the House and the Senate. The National Journal has a story today that the Democrats are worried about an ambush, that Mitch McConnell has really hoodwinked ’em and really, really tricked ’em out there. And here is the thing in a nutshell. The Democrats are clearly paranoid here, are afraid that if they pass a clean Department of Homeland Security bill in the Senate, which is what Dingy Harry is demanding, and what McConnell signaled that he’s gonna do. I mean, McConnell yesterday announced that they’re caving, they’re gonna pass a clean bill. And remember, that’s when Harry Reid said (imitating Reid), “Not good enough, not good enough. Boehner has to do the same thing. We’re not talking, we’re not voting, and we’re not doing anything until Boehner comes back with the same thing.”
Boehner so far is holding firm, and he sounds like that he is ready to let the deadline go by tomorrow and certain elements of DHS shut down because the Democrats won’t fund it. He looks like he’s ready to do that, but there’s still 24 hours left to cave. And we have to remember who we’re talking about here. But it just adds to all of the anxiety on the Democrat side.
Now, there’s two reasons why the Democrats want a clean bill. We discussed one of them yesterday, is for future court rulings on this. Courts love to cite the will of the people by virtue of congressional votes as a way of getting themselves out of the jam of having to decide a case. So if both the House and the Senate pass a clean funding bill, in other words, underwrite a whole department all the way through the end of the fiscal year, then the court can say we got no case here. I mean, if this is the will of Congress then that’s the will of Congress and we’re out. That’s one reason the Democrats want it. But here’s another. They’re paranoid.
Now, this is a case of projection. The Democrats are paranoid ’cause this is the kind of stuff they do, and therefore they are aware this kind of stuff could be done to them, except they are forgetting the Republicans don’t do this kind of stuff. What is this kind of stuff? It’s very simple. Democrats are afraid that if they pass a clean DHS bill, that they won’t be able to prevent the House from adding amendments.
They’re scared to death of Boehner saying, “Okay, okay, send me your bill.” They’re afraid to death that Boehner will, quote, unquote, cave and ask for the Senate bill, which fully funds the department, to be sent back to the House. Because when that happens, the Republicans, members of Congress can add amendments to it, and once that begins, once amendments are added to the House version of the Senate bill, the Democrats can no longer filibuster.
The adding of amendments makes it no longer a clean bill, and that means no filibuster is — well, it used to mean no filibuster. The rules don’t matter anymore. Nobody’s obeying the law. Nobody’s obeying the rules. So I have to say under all of this, under some advisement and with some acknowledgement that the law, the rules say they can’t filibuster, there’s nothing stopping them from doing it, but that is the rule. Once amendments begin being added to the House bill, the Democrats can no longer filibuster. So all it would take for an amended bill to pass the Senate would be 51 votes, not 60.
So the Democrats are afraid that McConnell’s cave and clean bill get sent up to Boehner, and then the House Republicans add the amendments to it that defund Obama’s executive action. That bill would then have to be sent back to the Senate, because the Senate would have to also agree with what the House did to the bill in changing it, amending it, but that bill couldn’t filibuster when it came back, and therefore they wouldn’t need 60 votes to pass it, only need 51.
Now, that’s brilliant political maneuvering, and the Democrats are deathly afraid that that’s what McConnell has set up. And I think it’s just a case of projection. This is the kind of stuff the Democrats do, and that’s why they’re worried about it being turned around and used against them. But we have to ask ourselves, would Senate Republicans, led by McConnell, play that kind of hardball? There no evidence of it, but we don’t really know.
This is a story in the National Journal, and here’s a little pull quote from it. “Asked about worries over extraneous amendments Wednesday, Reid told reporters, ‘Senator McConnell wouldn’t do that. We’re beyond that now.'” And the sad fact is that Dingy Harry’s assessment is probably correct. You know, in the past we had Yellow Dog Democrats and Blue Dog Democrats. Now we just got Whip Dog Republicans. And while it is a beautiful plan, oh, wouldn’t this be delectable? Trick ’em into passing this clean bill and then send it to the House where the amendments are added that defund Obama’s executive amnesty, then send it back to the Senate where it only would take 51 votes, which the Republicans have? Oh, that would be so juicy.
We just don’t have any recent evidence of the Republicans operating that way. And clearly Dingy Harry is not worried. He said, “No, Senator McConnell wouldn’t do that. We’re beyond that now.” And then the Washington Post. They’re all happy, they’re cheering about this. “The Senate voted Wednesday to move ahead with a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security after Democratic leaders dropped an earlier pledge to block it unless they get assurances from House Republican leaders that it would pass their chamber. The bill advanced on a procedural vote by a 98-2 margin. The only dissenters were Republican Sens. James Inhofe (Okla.) and Jeff Sessions (Ala.)”
When I see, I say, “Why even bother with elections?” We got a two-party system here, it seems to be about as honest as the WWE. 98-2? 98-2? And the Republicans run the place? And it’s 98-2? Now, this is just a procedural vote. It’s important to keep that in mind. The bill advanced on a procedural vote by a 98-2 margin. But it would be funny if McConnell changed the cloture rules and removed the filibuster option from the bill. He could do that by sending it up to Boehner and letting the House amend it.