CMR on the Funding Bill

Dear Group,

On the front page of the Spokesman yesterday (Feb. 13) was an article entitled “Region’s Lawmakers Weigh in on Border.” First, understand the bill is about funding the government through September 30, not just the border, but Trump apparently has the attention of both the media and the populace to where funding the wall is treated as the only thing worth discussing.

If you have the patience to dig through the article you find: 

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, said she will review the proposal once it’s released before she makes a decision how to vote.

“It sounds like a missed opportunity to secure our border and provide long-term certainty for DACA recipients,” she said. Lawmakers negotiating for adeal tentatively agreed Monday night to provide nearly $1.4 billion for border barriers and keep the government funded for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30.

Perhaps by the time you read this she will actually have cast her vote. At this writing I cannot locate a copy of the written bill. It is possible the Representatives and Senators who will need to vote yea or nay before midnight Friday to avoid another shutdown do not have the text yet either. 

McMorris Rodgers lament is worth dissecting. “A missed opportunity to secure our border” is code directed to the base, Trump’s and her base, the folks who believe Trump’s narrative of crisis and fear. CMR cannot afford to get out of step with these people. The other part, the “missed opportunity to…provide long-term certainty for DACA recipients” is slippery. By “long term certainty” she does NOT mean citizenship or a path thereto, a glaring point she admitted at her Green Bluff town hall on May 29, 2018. As I wrote in that post, “She wants credit for being sympathetic to the Dreamers, but her sympathy only extends to a select few…and keeps citizenship out of reach even for them.” The idea that DACA recipients should be offered a path to citizenship is anathema to Republicans. Some Republicans can bear letting DACA people have some form of legal status, a mechanism allowing them to stay and work in the U.S., but citizenship and voting rights? Never.

Remember when George W. Bush and others were wringing their hands, suggesting they needed to court hispanic voters? Demographers predict a white minority in the United States. The answer was either to attract a part of this new brown majority to the Republican Party or to buck the demographic trend. Trump chose the latter…and now Republicans really cannot afford to offer voting rights to the people they have demeaned and shunned.

I predict there will be no citizenship path for DACA recipients before there is a Democratic majority in the House and Senate and a Democratic president. (And then watch the Republicans claim the Democrats are “playing politics.”)

Let’s watch how McMorris Rodgers finally votes. Will she cast a symbolic vote against the compromise funding bill? That would show her base how committed she is to funding the wall and telegraph her willingness to shut down the government again. Or will she vote for the compromise? We’ll see. Either way, always remember what she means when she speaks of ” long-term certainty for DACA recipients.”

Keep to the high ground,


P.S. I predict a shutdown will be avoided, but McMorris Rodgers will vote against the compromise as a show for her base….