Republicans won't let Paul Ryan forgot he's a lame duck.
Lame duck speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) has tried to make it clear to the GOP caucus he wants nothing do with any House attempt to try to save DACA, the Obama-era immigration initiative.
Trump unilaterally canceled DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, last year, sending the issue of immigration into turmoil as the courts determine whether Trump has to power to stop it.
But tired of the GOP’s inaction, a small army of nervous Republicans up for re-election, and facing a blue wave of opposition, suddenly seem desperate to show voters that they’re not trying to sabotage children who were brought to the U.S. by their parents, even though that has been Trump’s signature issue for the last year.
In a rare bout of insurrection, more and more Republicans are trying to use an obscure House rule to force the hand of their own party’s leadership.
And Ryan, running interference for the White House, is not feeling it.
“Obviously — how do I say this kindly — the speaker is not too happy,” DACA petition supporter Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) told CNN.
Pointing to the fact that Trump would veto any DACA bill passed by the House, Ryan remains adamantly opposed to the petition.
In doing so, Ryan is completely abdicating his legislative role. After all, the job of the speaker of the House is not to make the White House look good — it’s to pass legislation and to maintain the integrity of an equal branch of government.
The DACA rebellion comes after Ryan had to backtrack on firing the House chaplain, a move that irked many Republicans. Note also that Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who is angling to succeed Ryan when he quits next year, also opposes the DACA petition even as it gains momentum in the House.
Republicans, since taking control of the House in 2010, have categorically refused to enact immigration reform legislation. That hallmark obstructionism is what forced Obama to sign off on the DACA initiative.
Trump might love wallowing in bashing immigrants, but in this year’s midterm election cycle, that strategy of hate likely won’t be effective. Immigration is among the top issues voters say is motivating them this year.
By overwhelming margins, Americans support the purpose of DACA, which is to protect undocumented children brought to America.
Today, as some panicked Republicans try to align themselves with that popular view out of sheer desperation, Ryan and the White House stand in the way.