House GOP wages war with itself, the Senate, and reality

House GOP wages war with itself, the Senate, and reality

The government-funding can that Congress kicked down the road earlier this month is inexorably rolling toward the new deadlines in early March, and so far, none of the 12 appropriations bills that have to be completed have made it through both the House and the Senate. But that doesn’t seem to be a priority this week, because the House Republican majority is once more at war with itself, the Senate, and reality. The agenda for this week includes fighting over the border policy bill the Senate is preparing, fighting over a tax bill that should be a no-brainer for every member of Congress, and impeaching a cabinet secretary over nothing.

House Speaker Mike Johnson is working hard to appease both Donald Trump and the MAGA crowd in the House on the border legislation that a bipartisan group in the Senate has been working on. That’s the immigration policy changes Republicans insisted be included in a national-security supplemental funding package with aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. Now that a deal on immigration—which Republicans have been claiming to be the most important policy issue of the day—is within reach, the House is rejecting it. They would rather have the issue to run on in this election than to actually do something to solve it.

That’s putting Johnson at loggerheads with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is pushing hard for some sort of deal in order to salvage assistance to Ukraine—a top priority for the Kentucky senator. Last week, Johnson said the deal is “dead on arrival,” without even seeing legislative language. And the fight has spilled over into the Senate, where hard-line MAGA members—like Ohio’s J.D. Vance, who is opposed to Ukraine aid—are lining up against McConnell.

“If you’re going to take a tough vote, you take one but you want to accomplish something. The worst of all possible worlds is you take a vote, you put a lot of political pressure on the House and you don’t get any policy accomplished,” Vance told Politico. The Senate could vote on the legislation as soon as this week.

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