Remember the days when Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was called the “maverick” because he often wasn’t afraid to speak his mind, work with Democrats or even call out his own party? Well, things have changed since the tea party rose to power, forcing Republicans like McCain to fear being primaried if they don’t subscribe to their certain brand of hate and ignorance.
And while McCain has mostly sold out to the tea party in terms of pandering to the ridiculousness of the far right, he still has moments where he’s not afraid to call out his own party for acting foolish. Such as when his party threatens to defund the Department of Homeland Security because they’re childishly trying to tack on provisions to rollback President Obama’s executive order on immigration.
In case you haven’t heard, the DHS is set to run out of funding soon, but House Republicans refuse to send the Senate a clean bill to fund the department and help preserve our national security. Instead, they’re trying to exploit this situation to tack on wording (on an unrelated partisan issue) to block parts of the president’s executive order that halts the deportation of some undocumented immigrants.
It’s 100 percent petty partisan politics, pure and simple. John Boehner has recently said that he’s more than willing to let the DHS go unfunded to play this ridiculous game. In other words, he’s perfectly fine putting our national security at risk just to appease those within his party who can’t stand that President Obama used his authority to get something done on immigration.
Well, McCain called out this nonsense when he was asked by Chuck Todd on Meet the Press about his party’s tactics with this bill.
“I think it would be terrible. The American people didn’t give us a majority to have a fight between House and Senate Republicans. They want things done. We cannot cut funding from the Department of Homeland Security,” McCain said. “And there’s ways we can address what the President did was unconstitutional. But it’s not through shutting down the Department of Homeland Security. It’s too serious.”
Notice how he said “between House and Senate Republicans”? Those words are in stark contrast to Boehner who insisted that the American people would blame Democrats, not Republicans, for the DHS shutting down.
It seems John McCain disagrees with John Boehner and agrees with my viewpoint that House Republicans will be blamed for this. It’s not Democrats refusing to approve funding for the DHS, it’s Republicans trying to use this bill to force unrelated partisan legislation through Congress. It’s exactly what they tried to do during the government shutdown – when the majority of Americans put the blame on them.
But it’s indisputable that if the DHS ends up running out of money, McCain has put the fault for that solely on the shoulders of House Republicans.
Though at the end of the day, odds are House Republicans will do what they always do – they’ll act like children until they realize they’re not going to get their way. Then they’ll eventually send a clean bill to the Senate, which will then be passed and signed by the president, and all of this will have been for nothing.
Just like in 2013, when our government was shut down after House Republicans tried to pull this same kind of nonsense.
Watch McCain’s comments below via NBC News: