FEATURED:

No room for amnesty in our government spending bill

No room for amnesty in our government spending bill
© Greg Nash

Has House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanGOP leaders hesitant to challenge Trump on Saudi Arabia Republicans should prepare for Nancy Pelosi to wield the gavel Ryan signals support for sanctions if Saudis killed Khashoggi MORE (R-Wis.) already conceded victory to Democrat Luis GutierrezLuis Vicente GutierrezTrump changes mean only wealthy immigrants may apply, says critic Trump seeks to restrict green cards from those on food, housing assistance Trump ignores practical solution for stopping illegal immigration MORE (D-Ill.) and other pro-amnesty radicals before the negotiations over a year-end spending bill have even begun? And if he has, hasn’t he set himself to be forced to rely on Democratic votes to pass that monster spending bill, thereby giving them even more negotiating leverage than they already have?

And if that’s so, isn’t it likely that the result will be yet another massive spending bill that funds an ObamaCare insurance company bailout and other liberal priorities, legislates amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants, and otherwise breaks faith with the grassroots activists who put Republicans in the majority and Ryan in the Speaker’s chair? And if all that comes to pass, wouldn’t that put GOP control of the House at serious risk?

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That’s what worried conservative grassroots leaders and activists are wondering after word leaked last week that Ryan privately told a group of his conservative House GOP colleagues he intended to include a so-called “DACA fix” in the expected December omnibus spending bill. According to the Huffington Post, Ryan told House conservatives that he “plans to include a legislative fix for undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children in a year-end spending deal.”

“Asked if he envisioned a December omnibus spending bill including Cost Sharing Reductions for ObamaCare or some sort of solution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program,” the Huffington Post reported, “Ryan told leaders of the Republican Study Committee that he didn’t believe CSR payments would be part of the deal with Democrats, but that DACA would.”

From a simple legislative and political strategy standpoint, this is stupid, stupid, stupid. The overwhelming majority of House conservatives — who make up the overwhelming majority of the House Republican Conference — oppose a “legislative fix” for illegal immigrants. They know “legislative fix” is code for “amnesty,” and they know their constituents oppose that.

So any attempt to add an amnesty for illegal immigrants of any age, whether they were brought to the United States as children or not, is a deal-breaker for the vast majority of the House Republican Conference. Adding that amnesty to the spending bill would make it virtually impossible to win the 218 votes necessary to pass the bill from the members of Ryan’s own party caucus.

If he can’t get to the 218 votes necessary to pass the omnibus spending bill with Republican votes, Ryan — who, like his predecessor John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Citi — House postpones Rosenstein meeting | Trump hits Dems over Medicare for all | Hurricane Michael nears landfall Kavanaugh becomes new flashpoint in midterms defined by anger Juan Williams: The GOP can't govern MORE, seems to be terrified of the prospect of even a temporary, partial government shutdown — will have to look to Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for votes.

Pelosi, as she has proven before, will drive a hard bargain. Since Ryan will have already included the amnesty for DACA recipients in his opening bid, she won’t even have to negotiate for that. She can just pocket that win for her side, and then turn to other pressing matters, like demanding funding for the insurance company bailout known in Washington as “cost sharing reduction” payments in exchange for the Democratic votes necessary to pass the omnibus spending bill.

So Ryan’s opening gambit is virtually sure to guarantee the results Democrats seek and Republicans oppose, leaving his GOP colleagues to wonder how in the world they’re going to excite and mobilize their own disappointed base in advance of next year’s crucial midterm elections. Instead, Ryan should introduce an omnibus spending package that contains neither an amnesty for DACA recipients nor an insurance company bailout. He should rely on GOP votes to pass that spending bill through the House, and he should send that bill to the Senate.

If Senate Democrats — under the leadership of Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerMcConnell says deficits 'not a Republican problem' Medicare for All is disastrous for American seniors and taxpayers Senate Dems race to save Menendez in deep-blue New Jersey MORE (D-N.Y.) and Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenate Dems ask Trump to disclose financial ties to Saudi Arabia Trump officials ratchet up drug pricing fight GOP senators: Mnuchin should not go to Saudi Arabia MORE (D-Ill.), both known to be pro-amnesty radicals themselves — want to filibuster the omnibus spending bill because it doesn’t contain amnesty provisions or an insurance company bailout, let them. In that event, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP leaders hesitant to challenge Trump on Saudi Arabia Overnight Health Care — Presented by Purdue Pharma — Trump officials ratchet up fight over drug pricing | McConnell says Republicans could try again on ObamaCare repeal | Dems go on offense against GOP lawsuit Republicans should prepare for Nancy Pelosi to wield the gavel MORE (R-Ky.) should allow the Democrat filibuster to proceed, but he should insist that the Senate will do no business until the filibuster is ended.

Let Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinTrump Jr. to campaign in West Virginia for Manchin challenger Dems go on offense against GOP lawsuit on pre-existing conditions Credit union group to spend .8 million for vulnerable Dem, GOP incumbents MORE (D-W.V.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyPoll: Dem Donnelly has 4-point lead in Indiana Senate race Election Countdown: O'Rourke goes on the attack | Takeaways from fiery second Texas Senate debate | Heitkamp apologizes for ad misidentifying abuse victims | Trump Jr. to rally for Manchin challenger | Rick Scott leaves trail to deal with hurricane damage Credit union group to spend .8 million for vulnerable Dem, GOP incumbents MORE (D-IN), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampPoll: Dem Donnelly has 4-point lead in Indiana Senate race Election Countdown: O'Rourke goes on the attack | Takeaways from fiery second Texas Senate debate | Heitkamp apologizes for ad misidentifying abuse victims | Trump Jr. to rally for Manchin challenger | Rick Scott leaves trail to deal with hurricane damage Heitkamp: Staffer no longer with campaign after ad naming abuse victims MORE (D-N.D.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillMcCaskill calls on GOP opponent to appoint special prosecutor to look into undercover video Dems go on offense against GOP lawsuit on pre-existing conditions Credit union group to spend .8 million for vulnerable Dem, GOP incumbents MORE (D-Mo.), Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterTrump renews attacks against Tester over VA nominee on eve of Montana rally Election Countdown: O'Rourke goes on the attack | Takeaways from fiery second Texas Senate debate | Heitkamp apologizes for ad misidentifying abuse victims | Trump Jr. to rally for Manchin challenger | Rick Scott leaves trail to deal with hurricane damage The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Trump travels to hurricane-ravaged Florida, Georgia MORE (D-Mont.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownOn The Money: Deficit hits six-year high of 9 billion | Yellen says Trump attacks threaten Fed | Affordable housing set for spotlight in 2020 race Lawmakers, Wall Street shrug off Trump's escalating Fed attacks The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Dem victories in `18 will not calm party turbulence MORE (D-Ohio), Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyDems target small cluster of states in battle for House Overnight Health Care — Presented by Purdue Pharma — Trump officials move to require drug prices in TV ads | 4,000 more people lose Medicaid in Arkansas | New top official for Medicaid Election Countdown: Cruz, O'Rourke fight at pivotal point | Ryan hitting the trail for vulnerable Republicans | Poll shows Biden leading Dem 2020 field | Arizona Senate debate tonight MORE (D-Pa.), Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonGillum holds razor-thin lead in Florida race Senate panel wants Hyundai, Kia to answer over reported engine fires Election Countdown: Dems outraise GOP in final stretch | 2018 midterms already most expensive in history | What to watch in second Cruz-O'Rourke debate | Trump raises 0M for reelection | Why Dems fear Avenatti's approach MORE (D-Fla.), Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowElection Countdown: Dems outraise GOP in final stretch | 2018 midterms already most expensive in history | What to watch in second Cruz-O'Rourke debate | Trump raises 0M for reelection | Why Dems fear Avenatti's approach Republican Senate candidate apologizes after swastika spotted in campaign ad Poll: Dem Stabenow has 9-point lead over Republican James in Michigan Senate race MORE (D-Mich.), and Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinHillicon Valley: Facebook deletes accounts for political 'spam' | Leaked research shows Google's struggles with online free speech | Trump's praise for North Korea complicates cyber deterrence | Senators want Google memo on privacy bug Poll: Baldwin leads GOP challenger by double digits in Wisconsin The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Trump, Pence fan out to protect the Rust Belt MORE (D-Wis.) explain to their constituents why they voted to shut down the government rather than pass a bill that does not contain amnesty provisions or an insurance company bailout. To the millions of grassroots conservatives who gave Republicans control of the House and Senate, this choice looks easy. Only in Washington, with its warped views, would it appear difficult.

Jenny Beth Martin is chairman of Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund.