Politics & Policy

Hang Tough, Republicans

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)
Don’t let Schumer’s shutdown make you blink.

Senate Democrats have blocked a bill to keep the federal government running and fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program for the next six years. They have, that is, partially shut the government down. They have taken this step not because of any strong objection to provisions of the funding bill but because it omits a provision they want: an amnesty for illegal immigrants who came to our country as minors. Most Republicans, including President Trump, favor this amnesty as well, but the parties have been unable to agree on what other policies, such as restrictions on follow-on immigration from the amnesty, should be coupled with it.

The Democrats are trying to spin the media and the public into thinking that the shutdown is the Republicans’ responsibility, pointing out that Republicans “control” both chambers of Congress and the White House and that several Senate Republicans voted against the bill too. It remains the case that the government would be fully open for business if Democrats had not voted against a bill — a bill, again, which has nothing of substance they oppose — to get leverage for the policy they favor. The Democrats’ negotiating stance is: Give us this amnesty, or we’ll make the government shut down and blame you Republicans for it. It is the exact tactic they decried in 2013, when Republicans refused to pass legislation to keep the government funded unless Democrats agreed to a partial repeal of Obamacare.

The majority of Republicans who favor the amnesty, and even the minority of Republicans who favor it with no strings attached, should not reward this Democratic behavior. They should not reward it even if it is true that the public will fall for the Democratic spin and Republicans will sustain some political damage. The Democratic demands both are unreasonable in themselves and set a bad precedent.

The end of the amnesty for illegal immigrants who came here as minors — President Obama implemented it without legislative authorization, and President Trump said he would cancel it unless authorized — will not mean a mass deportation of this population. Republicans should agree to a limited amnesty only if it comes with real enforcement measures, such as mandatory E-Verify for new hires, and limits on the ability of the amnestied population to sponsor further immigrants. Only such a deal should be acceptable to Republicans, whether it happens in the context of a bill to keep the government funded or separate legislation. Hang tough, Republicans.

READ MORE:

Democrats’ Immigration Policy Could Harm Them Amid Shutdown

Yes, It’s the #SchumerShutdown

Shutdown Showdown: So Much for ‘Norms’

The Editors comprise the senior editorial staff of the National Review magazine and website.

Most Popular

Culture

‘Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself’

It was just one more segment to fill out the hour, and thereby fill the long 24 hours of Saturday’s cable news on November 2. Or so it seemed. Navy SEAL Mike Ritland was on the Fox News program Watters World to talk to Jesse Watters about trained German shepherds like the one used in the raid that found ... Read More
Film & TV

The Manly Appeal of Ford v Ferrari

There used to be a lot of overlap between what we think of as a Hollywood studio picture (designed to earn money) and an awards movie (designed to fill the trophy case, usually with an accompanying loss of money). Ford v Ferrari is a glorious throwback to the era when big stars did quality movies about actual ... Read More
White House

Impeachment and the Broken Truce

The contradiction at the center of American politics in Anno Domini 2019 is this: The ruling class does not rule. The impeachment dog-and-pony show in Washington this week is not about how Donald Trump has comported himself as president (grotesquely) any more than early convulsions were about refreshed ... Read More
Politics & Policy

ABC Chief Political Analyst: GOP Rep. Stefanik a ‘Perfect Example’ of the Failures of Electing Someone ‘Because They Are a Woman’

Matthew Dowd, chief political analyst for ABC News, suggested that Representative Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.) was elected due to her gender after taking issue with Stefanik's line of questioning during the first public impeachment hearing on Wednesday. “Elise Stefanik is a perfect example of why just electing ... Read More
U.S.

What Happened to California Republicans?

From 1967 to 2019, Republicans controlled the California governorship for 31 of 52 years. So why is there currently not a single statewide Republican officeholder? California also has a Democratic governor and Democratic supermajorities in both houses of the state legislature. Only seven of California’s 53 ... Read More