If you were hoping that the House was going to keep getting things done this year, House Republicans have disappointing news for you. Instead of continuing to work in a bipartisan fashion that got things done in recent weeks, Republicans have decided to put party ahead of country and will spend the rest of the year papering over their deep divisions. From the Washington Post:
“After a tumultuous week of party infighting and leadership stumbles, congressional Republicans are focused on calming their divided ranks in the months ahead, mostly by touting proposals that have wide backing within the GOP and shelving any big-ticket legislation for the rest of the year.”
“Comprehensive immigration reform, tax reform, tweaks to the federal health-care law — bipartisan deals on each are probably dead in the water for the rest of this Congress.”
“’We don’t have 218 votes in the House for the big issues, so what else are we going to do?’ said Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.), an ally of House Speaker John A. Boehner (Ohio). ‘We can do a few things on immigration and work on our principles, but in terms of real legislating, we’re unable to get in a good negotiating position.’”
“Added Frank Luntz, a Republican pollster who works closely with party leaders: ‘It is an acknowledgment of where they stand, where nothing can happen in divided government so we may essentially have the status quo. Significant immigration reform and fundamental tax reform are probably not going to happen.’”
“GOP brass in both chambers have shifted their focus to stability, looking to avoid intraparty drama, rally behind incumbents and build Republicans’ ground game ahead of November’s midterm elections, where they hope to be competitive in a slew of Senate races and hold on to the party’s 17-seat House majority.”
Great strategy by our Republican friends: ignore large majorities of Americans who want to see Congress take action on critical issues, like immigration reform and raising the minimum wage, and instead just stop working until the election is over. If they don't have 218 votes to get anything done, here's our suggestion: work with House Democrats to reach bipartisan compromise.