The Boehner Two-Step

So after all sorts of internal maneurvering, John Boehner seems to have come up with a legislative strategy for putting off a cataclysmic collision over immigration policy until a few months down the road. It involves, first, letting a crazy person (Rep. Ted Yoho of Florida) introduce and then pass legislation claiming to stop the president’s executive action on immigration, and second, passing a short-term appropriations measure for the Department of Homeland Security to preserve the possibility of a big nasty funding fight revolving around immigration to occur in March.

With these big chunks of red meat for “the base,” Boehner expects to get his conference to vote for an omnibus appropriations measure funding the rest of the federal government until the end of the fiscal year.

Yoho’s bill ain’t really going nowhere, since it will die in the Senate and would be vetoed by Obama even if it somehow passed. The bigger question is whether Democrats, including the president, go along with the separate deadline for DHS funding, or make an all-or-nothing stand on appropriations right now. If they take the latter course, then Boehner’s hardly going to get out of the woods by playing the manana game.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.