Updated: June 5, 2015
How petty are we getting? I was under the impression that if Democrats and Republicans agreed on something, then it would get done (the few things they actually do agree on, that is.) But apparently this doesn’t apply to the crucial issue of immigration. Both Dems and the GOP have said that they are in favor of immigration reform, and yet they have completely halted any actual progress on passing a bill because they have slightly different ideas on how they would like to see it done.
To be accurate, a bill did pass the Senate 500 days ago, but it stalled out in the House, leading to President Obama threatening executive action in order to address the issue. And that brings us to tonight’s national address.
Honestly, I don’t even see why the mainstream media and politicians are making such a fuss over this executive action. We all knew it was coming, the president told us so himself multiple times. But of course we can’t even pass a budget anymore without shutting down the government for two weeks, so naturally Obama’s announcement is now undergoing the standard transformation from presidential duty to tyrannical power-grab.
This is Obama’s 193rd executive order since taking office, which is nearly 100 less than his predecessor George W. Bush issued during his presidency (although you’d never know it by the way the Right have been talking.) Don’t think I’m only coming down on Republicans, either; this issue could have been handled better by both sides.
But when you get down to the most basic facts, the bare truth is that Republicans killed the immigration bill in the House, and that’s why tonight’s announcement was necessary.
The president approved of the bill that the Senate passed, and it also had the approval of all the Democrats in the House (not to mention a few House Republicans.) But thanks to the radical factions within the GOP, the bill was unable to pass the House and into law. These are the people who were bent on seeing Obama lose reelection in 2012 and are now determined to make him a lame duck president for the last two years of his “rule.”
This is very frustrating to see for someone such as myself, who voted a straight republican ticket in the midterms (no, really.) More importantly the people, the politicians and the president know that the reforms which will be pushed though the executive branch are both limited and temporary.
The only way to have long lasting and comprehensive reform is for Congress to pass a bill.
In truth, I voted a straight republican ticket in the hopes that the GOP would take back the Senate. Not because I think Republicans do a better job than Democrats, but because I knew that the GOP had a much better chance of winning back the Senate than the Dems had of winning back the House. I also understand that nothing would have gotten done in these next two years if the chambers remained devided.
Now the GOP has no excuse not to pass some sort of immigration bill (especially with the Supreme Court blocking parts the president’s executive action twice in the last six months.) If the Republicans continue with their policy of inaction, they’re going to show up to the 2016 presidential election empty handed, and that won’t resonate well with the voting public. People will look at the president and his party and say “Well, at least they tried something.”
From a purely objective standpoint, the president’s decision to push ahead with executive action was the right course to take, not just politically but also for the nation. Think of it as a tool to get the reform ball rolling. The president’s immigration strategy will go into effect this spring, and that will give the republican-controlled congress time to come up with a proper reform bill.
And the GOP will pass an immigration bill soon. How do I know? Because we’re talking about the people who’ve attempted to repeal Obamacare over 50 times since it was passed. The Republicans are going to want Obama’s reforms to go sooner rather than later.
This all may sound rather anti-GOP, but I actually believe this is a good thing. Republicans have a lot of good ideas when it comes to reforming our broken immigration system, and I believe they are going to pass a solid reform bill. Now that they won back the Senate, all they needed was for the president to give them a kick in the pants to get them moving. And Obama’s executive action will do just that.
Photo credit to blog.oup.com