U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) says House Republicans have won the fight over DHS funding and ending the president’s executive actions on illegal immigration. The problem is that Senate Democrats are just not doing their job.
Sound familiar? It seems like only yesterday when the speaker declared that Congress was in a hopeless stalemate over the budget showdown. His definition of a stalemate, however, relies heavily on the notion that gridlock is the product of one side not accommodating the partisan agenda of the other.
In other words, compromise is a one-way street. Any objection to what leaders in the U.S. House want is the only roadblock preventing legislation from getting to the president’s desk.
Boehner mentioned small books in the capitol’s gift shop that explain how a bill becomes a law, but it is highly unlikely that those books say that laws must only conform to the will of the House leadership, or the House majority, or only the majority party in Congress.
Cloture exists in both chambers of Congress in some form and has since the early days of the republic. The filibuster has always been a viable political tactic — a tool for the weaker side of a debate to slow down the political process.
Speaker Boehner demands Senate Democrats to get out of their chairs and do something, and they have. No one said passing a bill was going to be easy because compromise is a two-way street. It requires a little give and take from everyone involved. Until both sides are willing to acknowledge this and act accordingly, the stalemate in Congress will continue.