Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who was relatively quiet during the debt ceiling negotiations, gave his post-mortem to Fox News Sunday:
“Immigration reform is going to be a lot harder to accomplish than it was three weeks ago.”
Rubio echoes Tea Party House member Raul Labrador, who said recently that the House has little appetite to take up immigration reform after the debt ceiling/government shutdown negotiations, because Obama didn’t negotiate with them.
Keeping up with the Republican Party logic here involves jumping through some strange hoops. It essentially goes like this: the Republican Party decided that keeping the government operational and solvent is not a basic requirement of their job, but a favor that they are doing for President Obama, for which they should be reimbursed. President Obama disagreed and refused to negotiate with the Republican Party, leading to the standoff which led to the government shutdown. The GOP caved after 16 days, after their poll numbers took a serious hit.
Now that that’s all over, Obama would like the Republican Party to get back to the business of actually crafting and voting on legislation, but conservative Republicans are saying no simply because they have no desire to do anything that Obama wants. Got that? Screw the country. Screw good policy. Screw our jobs. We’re mad at Obama, so no immigration reform until 2014.
The real strategy: delay. Immigration reform was the issue of the summer, but then the government shutdown took over for a month. Now the Republican Party will delay until we have more shutdown/debt ceiling negotiations this winter. The longer they kick the can down the road, the less Obama can accomplish as President.
The American public called out the Republican Party over the government shutdown. Hopefully they will understand this issue well enough to continue punishing them in the polls. Right now, it’s what they deserve.