Tags: Barack Obama | Immigration | barack obama | harry reid | dhs | funding | executive

Dem Strategist: 'Great Set of Downs' for Obama and Reid

By    |   Wednesday, 25 February 2015 06:02 PM

Democrats are having a good week in Washington, but it's too early to declare victory in a trio of partisan disputes that appear to be going their way, a veteran party operative told Newsmax TV on Wednesday.

David Goodfriend, a political strategist and former Clinton White House staffer, likened Democrats this week to a football team moving the chains and advancing the ball downfield, telling "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner that any end-zone dances right now would be "spiking the football a little prematurely."

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Goodfriend agreed with Berliner that on immigration funding, net neutrality and the Keystone XL pipeline, President Barack Obama and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid are getting more of what they want than Republicans — with Reid in particular proving adept at partisan maneuvering on immigration.

"Harry Reid is taking a page right out of [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell's playbook from last year, when Sen. McConnell was head of the minority in the Senate," said Goodfriend. "And it proves that you can really stop a lot in the United States Senate without having a full majority."

The ball moved again on Wednesday afternoon, as the Senate voted overwhelmingly to start debating a bill that would fund the Department of Homeland Security in full, no strings attached, and leave any bans against funding the president's immigration overhaul for a separate bill, the Washington Post reports.

House Republicans are calling that bill — floated by a chastened McConnell — an abject surrender after the House passed a DHS budget in January that cancels out money for Obama's controversial executive order to prepare work permits and temporary visas for millions of immigrants here illegally.

But Senate Democrats were using their minority filibustering privileges to block McConnell's attempts to do likewise, even as polls showed most Americans blaming Republicans for the impasse.

With Homeland Security funding to due lapse at midnight Friday, it wasn't clear on Wednesday afternoon whether the House would agree to the new, more Obama-friendly Senate plan and leave the immigration amnesty funding battle for another day.

"If the Senate were to pass a clean funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security, would the House actually pass that?" said Goodfriend. "That is the real question of the day if you ask me."

Goodfriend said he would have preferred less partisan wrangling over DHS funding and immigration, especially with the clock ticking toward another potential government work stoppage.

"The problem you'll always have with these situations, with sort of playing chicken at the 11th hour, is that there simply isn't enough time for what's called regular order," said Goodfriend, referring to the deliberate, step-by-step process in which both chambers debate, vote on, combine and finalize legislation to send to the White House.

Goodfriend said that on net neutrality, the issue is also by no means settled, although he applauded this week's expected announcement that the Federal Communications Commission will regulate Internet service providers like public utilities such as gas, water and electricity.

The new rules will forbid data carriers from charging extra to online content providers to speed up their transmissions, meaning traffic from Web giants such as Netflix or YouTube will flow at the same speed as content from a solitary blogger.

"I represent clients in front of the FCC and I'm all in favor of the FCC's open-Internet, net neutrality order that's going to come out tomorrow," said Goodfriend.

"The technology community is very pleased with it," he said, even if the carriers are not.

But Goodfriend added: "There's going to be more. There's going to be challenges in court and there's going to a long history to this thing that hasn't yet unfolded.

"Maybe in this set of downs, the Democrats can say we had a great set of downs just now, but the game Is not over and there are going to be many more events to unfold on the subject of net neutrality," said Goodfriend.

An upshot of this week's Beltway battles is that "the partisanship that we saw in the last Congress last year does not seem to have left us," said Goodfriend. "But I remain optimistic that there are still deals to be made. I'm really rooting for tax reform and I'm really rooting for a privacy bill and cybersecurity bill."

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Democrats are having a good week in Washington, but it's too early to declare victory in a trio of partisan disputes that appear to be going their way, a veteran party operative told Newsmax TV on Wednesday.
barack obama, harry reid, dhs, funding, executive, orders, immigration, net, neutrality
Wednesday, 25 February 2015 06:02 PM
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