The Wall Street Journal editorial page published a scorching editorial Sunday evening excoriating House Republicans over their handling of Department of Homeland Security funding legislation.
The editorial follows House Democrats effectively bailing out House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) by helping him to pass a short-term DHS funding bill that averted a shutdown. The bill only lasts for one week though. Boehner needed House Democrats to come to the rescue after a number of House Republicans revolted against the speaker’s plan to fund DHS for three weeks. That, according to the Journal editorial page, “effectively put Nancy Pelosi in charge of the House.”
In the end though, the advantage is with President Barack Obama, the editorial said.
“The sad if predictable irony is that this is exactly what Mr. Obama hoped to incite with his November immigration order,” the editorial said. “He wanted to goad an overreaction that made the GOP look both anti-immigrant and intemperate enough to shut down the government.”
In the event of a DHS shutdown, the editorial also warned, Obama would get an opportunity “to gain the political high ground on national security.”
“Miracles do happen, but in every previous shutdown the voters blamed Republicans more than Mr. Obama,” the editorial said. “And if there is a terror attack, good luck explaining that Congress isn’t to blame because those DHS workers were supposed to be on the job even if they weren’t being paid.”
The editorial recommended that House Republicans just fund DHS but acknowledges that Republican opponents see that as “surrender. “
On Sunday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) argued that Senate Republicans should change filibuster rules. That falls in line with calls by some House Republicans who want to change filibuster rules as an immediate means of passing their preferred DHS funding bill.. The Journal op-ed poured cold water on that too, warning that it would go a step beyond what then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) did with the filibuster on executive nominations.
“Most important, this would remove what has long been a procedural barrier to narrow liberal majorities rewriting labor and election laws to hurt conservatives,” the editorial concluded. “If Republicans are going to throw out the filibuster, it should be done based on more than the desperation of a rump group in the House.”