* House Republicans are close to voting on a border bill that contains even tougher language than before to expedite the removal of arriving minors and to block Obama from expanding his program to defer deportations. The GOP measure could even prevent those who are currently protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program from renewing their status.
In other words, to pass this thing, the number of deportations from the interior it would require continues to rise. — gs
* In a statement, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops condemns the House GOP bill. The group sends over this, from Thomas Wenski, the Archbishop of Miami:
“It is a sad day for our country. A chamber of Congress is poised to send vulnerable children back to danger and possible death. It violates our commitment to human rights and due process of the law and lessens us as a nation. I pray that this legislation never sees the light of day.”
Something to watch: Will religious and evangelical groups — or any GOP-aligned constituencies who want immigration reform — support Obama’s coming executive action to ease deportations? If so, that could mean a broader coalition than expected might form behind it. — gs
* The key quote from Obama’s presser this afternoon:
Congress’ failure to act “means while they’re out on vacation, I’m going to have to make some tough decisions to meet the challenge,” Obama said. “I’m going to have to act alone.”
As noted earlier today, the failure to provide funding to address the crisis clears the way for Obama to act unilaterally on shifting resources in that direction, too, in addition to acting to ease deportations. Republicans are likely working so hard to pass a bill today because they know that failure to do so makes it politically easier for Obama to make his case for moving on his own. — gs
* With House GOP leaders agreeing to move the border bill further and further to the right to win over conservatives, GOP Rep. Steve King lays it all bare:
“The changes brought into this are ones I’ve developed and advocated for over the past two years,” he told CQ Roll Call. “It’s like I ordered it off the menu.”
Yup, on immigration, the GOP is Steve King’s party. — gs
* Dylan Scott has a great piece digging deep into the history of CBO analyses of the health bills to show that no one ever thought subsidies wouldn’t be available on the federal exchange — once again debunking the latest conservative obsession with the law.
* Abbe Gluck explains what the above piece really means in legal terms, demonstrating that the government has a fairly easy hurdle to clear to get the law upheld in the face of the Halbig challenge.
* Adrianna McIntyre with a nice corrective to many of the main fallacies in the Halbig argument.
* Today we heard that the economy created over 200,000 new jobs in July, but what kind of jobs are they? CNN explains that, yes, much of the post-recession job growth until now has been in lower-wage jobs, but now middle class jobs are on their way back.
* When they gave up on passing a bill to address this problem, Republicans told President Obama it was up to him to take executive action to solve it — just days after they voted to sue him for taking executive actions. Steve Benen flags this interview with Rep. Tom Cole a member of the House GOP leadership, in which he was asked to reconcile the contradiction:
“Well, I’m not going to disagree with you because it’s a point I made myself in conference. Look, you can’t say on the one hand that the president’s overreaching by acting without legislative authority and direction, and then refuse to give him legislative authority and direction in another area. So, I don’t disagree with what you have to say at all.”
Kudos to Cole for acknowledging what is blindingly obvious to everyone. But it says something that he’s on the bleeding edge of Republican candor these days.
* Matt Lewis on how GOP rhetoric on immigration has only grown harsher in recent years, and on why being compassionate to new arrivals ought to be part of that “American exceptionalism” his fellow conservatives talk so much about.
* With Paul Ryan mounting a new push to repackage GOP ideas about transferring poverty poverty to the states, Jamelle Bouie argues that liberals should redouble their own push for a major federal role in maintaining the safety net.
* Because he can’t bear to spend a few more months on the job, Eric Cantor announced today that he’s resigning. At the American Prospect, I explained how this is yet more evidence that we ought to do away with special elections for the House entirely.
* And Simon Maloy eviscerates Peggy Noonan, an easy but sometimes necessary task. On Noonan’s notion that Obama is dividing America by slouching at podiums (seriously, she wrote that), he says:
A real president – like Ronald Reagan, to pick an example entirely at random – knows that a shared sense of national unity begins with good posture.