It is said politics makes strange bedfellows and it would be tough to find a stranger couple than President Barack Obama and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. But for a brief, shining moment the two elected officials were united in a “bipartisan” moment as Obama signed a bill sponsored by Cruz.
Even better that this example of bipartisanship was not the usual “bipartisan bill” that means Democrats were forced to agree to spend a tiny bit less money, while Republicans got nothing.
This bill was specifically targeted at Hamid Aboutalebi, an Iranian national who was involved in the 1979 invasion of our embassy in Iran and subsequent capture of U.S. citizens who were held hostage. Aboutalebi was recently appointed as Iran’s U.N. ambassador. The Cruz bill forbids issuing him a U.S. visa and effectively bars him from ever entering the country.
The language of the bill specifically bars terrorists, or others felt to be a national security threat by the White House, from using an appointment to the United Nations as a pretext for sneaking into the country. I know you’re probably thinking: Why does it take federal legislation to keep a terrorist out of the USA? Isn’t using common sense enough? But when a country harbors an institution steeped in anti-Americanism like the United Nations, it often requires legislation to make the U.N. behave.
This marks the first time any legislation proposed by Cruz has actually become law. And in this instance the bill was so popular it passed both the House and the Senate by a unanimous voice vote. As Cruz described it in a Business Insider story, “It is a terrific moment of clarity for this country that Congress can act in a bipartisan manner in unison — voting 535-0 — that we should keep acknowledged terrorists out of this country."
Naturally political reporters looked at the Cruz bill through the prism of presidential politics and speculated that it was “a shrewd move that could bolster any ambitions Cruz has toward running for president in 2016.”
Unfortunately, Obama had to ruin the moment by declaring during the signing ceremony that he will “use discretion in enforcing the law.” This turned quickly turned a love fest back into the usual Washington paranoia party.
When one remembers how the president has used “discretion” in enforcing immigration law, adhering to the Obamacare law, and monitoring IRS enforcement practices, it’s hard to see that statement as a positive development.
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan. He is president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation and chairman of the League of American Voters. Mike is an in-demand speaker with Premiere. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.
© Mike Reagan