Trump keeps lurching from one unforced error to another. Wednesday morning he was still playing his chicken game. Wednesday evening he’d changed his mind, saying he’d keep families together, but he insisted on a quick legislative fix. So congressional Republicans scurried around to ready a couple of bills to vote on.
But Thursday morning, before the Republicans could vote on anything, he’d changed his mind again. Trump — or his tweeting alter ego, Stephen “Seig Heil” Miller –Â undermined the whole thing. He has noticed that passing stuff in Congress actually requires some bipartisan cooperation, which is an alien thing to him.
What is the purpose of the House doing good immigration bills when you need 9 votes by Democrats in the Senate, and the Dems are only looking to Obstruct (which they feel is good for them in the Mid-Terms). Republicans must get rid of the stupid Filibuster Rule-it is killing you!
â€” Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 21, 2018
Tara Golshan at Vox —
And as if on cue, lawmakers seemed to suddenly hit the brakes on one of theÂ two votesÂ slated to take place on Republican-led immigration bills on Thursday: a â€œcompromiseâ€ bill between House conservatives and moderate Republicans, and a conservative bill originally introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). Neither proposal was designed to get any Democratic votes, and Republican House members are alreadyÂ preparing for both bills to fail on the floor.
Charles Pierce explains what happened to the bills:
On Thursday afternoon, there were two bills pending to address the crisis caused by the administration*â€™s cruel and boneheaded zero-tolerance policy on the southern border. One of them was a draconian bill, and the other a purportedly more moderate one backed by Ryan and his Keystone Kops leadership team.
The former got clobbered when it came to a vote. And then, when it was time for the latter to come up, the Freedom Caucus belfry came alive with bats, and Ryan had to postpone the vote lest he suffer yet another embarrassing loss.
There was a significant altercation between Ryan andÂ Mark Meadows, leader of the House Freedom (for Troglodytes) Caucus.
Meadows is all up in Ryanâ€™s grill, in the well of the House, in front of God, man, and Louie Gohmert. If someone had done this to Sam Rayburn, that personâ€™s desk would be out on the sidewalk by the end of business that day. But, because Ryan is as terrible a leader as he is an economist, Meadows pretty much blows him off.
Today, Trump has decided that Republicans in Congress should stop “wasting their time” on immigration, but to wait until after the midterms.
“Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November,” Trump tweeted. “Dems are just playing games, have no intention of doing anything to solves this decades old problem. We can pass great legislation after the Red Wave!”
Sure, guy, whatever you say. Meanwhile, the border is in chaos. Nobody seems to know what to do.
President Donald Trumpâ€™s administration was gripped by confusion on Thursday as agencies struggled to implement his executive order halting the separation of migrant families at the U.S. border.
At the heart of the problem was uncertainty about how to begin detaining families together and whether the government would make any effort to reunite parents still in the U.S. with children currently held in separate shelters or foster facilities.
The mixed messaging began Wednesday, just hours after Trump signed his order, when the Department of Health and Human Services sent out a statement saying one of its spokespeople â€œmisspokeâ€ in saying that children who were already separated would not be returned to their parents but rather processed as unaccompanied minors.
On Thursday, the Department of Justice took issue with a report that border crossers would no longer automatically be referred for prosecution â€” the central tenet of Trumpâ€™s â€œzero-toleranceâ€ enforcement policy, announced in April by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
The chaos followed the hasty development of the executive order in response to a growing public outcry over the separations, which resulted in even babies and toddlers being sent alone to shelters. Two people familiar with the process said Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told only her inner circle about the executive order, keeping top officials at DHS â€” including those at Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection â€” out of the loop.
It seems virtually none of the people responsible for implementing Trumpâ€™s executive order got any kind of advance notice it was coming. And more importantly, the practical implications of continuing a â€œzero toleranceâ€ policy without separating kids from parents being prosecuted werenâ€™t worked out at all. That became obvious today when border-control officials and the Department of Justice got into aÂ public conflictÂ with the WashingtonÂ PostÂ in the middle.
In brief, the Border Patrol informed WaPo â€œWeâ€™re suspending prosecutions of adults who are members of family units,” but the Justice Department told WaPo that prosecutions were not at all suspended.
Of course, immigration isn’t exactly a new issue:
A United Nations report condemning entrenchedÂ poverty in the United States is a â€œmisleading and politically motivatedâ€ document aboutÂ â€œthe wealthiest and freest country in the world,â€ according to the Trump administration’s ambassador to the world body.
U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley criticized theÂ report for critiquingÂ the United States’ treatment of its poor, arguing that the United Nations should insteadÂ focus on poverty in developing countriesÂ such as Burundi and Congo. The U.N. report also faulted the Trump administration for pursuing policies it said would exacerbateÂ U.S. poverty.
â€œIt is patently ridiculous for the United Nations to examine poverty in America,â€ Haley wrote in a letter to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Thursday.Â â€œIn our country, the President, Members of Congress, Governors, Mayors, and City Council members actively engage on poverty issues every day. Compare that to the many countries around the world, whose governments knowingly abuse human rights and cause pain and suffering.â€
Yeah, the nitwit actually said that.