Republicans may have control of both chambers of Congress but the party is gaining little traction on its legislative initiatives, The New York Times
The Times noted that the Republican Party is struggling to contend with divisions within its own party as well as the challenges of getting through Democratic filibusters, both of which are putting a drag on its expected momentum.
"The Republicans are like Fido when he finally catches the car," New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer, told the Times. "Now they don't have any clue about what to do.
"They are realizing that being in the majority is both less fun and more difficult than they thought."
And while the GOP is enjoying some elements of being in power, namely control of the Senate floor, chairmanships on the standing committee, and better real estate for caucus meetings, the Times says that those perks are canceled out unless the party can agree among itself how to move its agenda forward.
"They promised voters positive movement when they crushed Democrats in the midterm elections. So far, inertia has prevailed," the Times said.
At the moment, the GOP is grappling with the possibility of being blamed if funding for the Homeland Security Department expires on Feb. 27. Though Republicans passed a bill to fund it, Democrats are blocking it with a filibuster.
"I'm hoping public opinion starts to recognize that it's not Republicans who are objecting or obstructing," Wisconsin GOP Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, told the Times.
"Time out," he added. "We wouldn't even be discussing this if President Obama hadn't done what he did."
Johnson was referring to the president's executive action on immigration, which the GOP has responded to by trying to strip funding for his initiative out of the Homeland Security bill. Specifically, the GOP plan would rescind the new legal protections extended to some 5 million illegal immigrants and subject them to deportation.
At the end of the day, Senate Republicans may have difficulties within their own party passing the Homeland Bill, with some believing it to be too harsh and acknowledging it would not pass the Senate unless the immigration aspects are stripped out.
"The question they cannot resolve is how to get conservative lawmakers to realize that. Some have suggested that the repeated Senate votes that all end the same way, in defeat, will help drive that point home," the Times said.
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