Come January, Mitch McConnell has promised action from the Senate in response to the president’s amnesty for illegal immigrants. Unfortunately, whatever bill they do decide to try and pass to counter the executive action, the magic number of 60 is still a tough target for the GOP majority that will take their place when the new year’s session gets underway. There are 5 Democratic Senators who have expressed disappointment with Obama’s amnesty, but their disapproval may not necessarily translate into a yea when the crucial vote comes, and even if all five do, that’s still one short. And that’s assuming Louisiana’s run-off election goes the right way. But let’s assume somehow the GOP manages to get 5 Democratic Senators to vote their way and even convinces a sixth to vote with their legislation. The ensuing symbolic victory will be just that, symbolic, and will be vetoed when it reaches the president’s desk.

Then we have Ted Cruz’s proposal. Decline to bring nominations to the senate floor, aside from those involving vital security interests. As well as funding, “one at a time, the critical priorities of the federal government.” While attempting to pass legislation might be seen as a more positive response, one that would involve an alternative plan on immigration perhaps implicit in any legislation attempted by the GOP Senate majority, Ted Cruz’s proposals would certainly have an impact. Would Cruz’s way be too negative and contribute to voter’s views of Washington as dysfunctional? Perhaps that depends on how the senate frames such a tactic in the media. For example, as a response to a unilateral action from the executive branch with no Congressional or, for now at least, Judicial overview, making it necessary to tie up nominations in response. An interesting question is, when voters criticize dysfunction in Washington, are they really talking about presidential nominations? It seems more a case that they want certain problems and issues that affect their lives taken care of. The problem of course is that there are very differing views among voters on how to solve immigration. The GOP House bill was one, and the Gang-of-Eight bill was another. And Obama’s amnesty is more a defining away of the problem rather than a legislative solution to the long running immigration issue in America. Maybe combining Ted Cruz’s hardball, focused response with alternative legislation put together by the GOP majority is possible. Hold up nominations and put together meaningful legislation that secures the borders and deals with the issue. Senators have lots of staff and pretty awesome budgets for their offices. Why not try both?

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