Immigration Patriot Jim Jordan May Be Next House Speaker. Dems May Be Cracking On Issue. But Will Middle East War Distract GOP?
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Hamas’ attack on Israel has triggered Establishment hope that deposed House Speaker Kevin McCarthy can be resurrected using the excuse of the emergency [McCarthy does not rule out returning as Speaker if GOP deadlocked, by Emily Brooks, The Hill, October 9, 2023], although it’s hard to see how this can be done if Rep. Matt Gaetz and his allies hold firm. And a new poll has revealed that voters are not actually dismayed by McCarthy’s fall [Majority of Americans—and even the majority of conservatives—support McCarthy’s ouster, Politico, October 8, 2023]. McCarthy wasn’t ousted over immigration, at least not specifically, but it’s possible the next Speaker could be a serious immigration patriot: Rep. Jim Jordan, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee (Career NumbersUSA grade: A). But the new danger: The GOP could abandon the immigration issue to rush after the media and donor spotlight on the Middle East.

It took just eight Republicans to dethrone Kevin McCarthy, a move that highlighted the deep divide within the GOP caucus in its struggle to resist President Joe Biden’s headlong rush to destroy the country. The ouster came just days after the House narrowly avoided a government shutdown with a continuing resolution. Yet McCarthy was ousted over typical Tea Party/Conservatism Inc. issues, despite the fact that the Great Replacement invasion is intensifying at the southwest border. Still, there are signs Democrat officials across the country are cracking on the immigration issue. They might be ready to compromise on border security. Pro-Palestinian demonstrations by immigrants could encourage this trend.

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, a solid immigration patriot (NumbersUSA Career Grade: A), led the effort to oust McCarthy. The rebels thought McCarthy hadn’t lived up to his promises, most importantly, failing to advance all twelve annual appropriations bills individually. This was a conservative wish-list item. Members of the House Freedom Caucus believed separate bills would allow greater cuts to government spending. But McCarthy didn’t deliver. He also cooperated with Democrats to pass the continuing resolution that would fund the government for another 45 days, averting a government shutdown. That, too, irked House conservatives, who saw it as the final betrayal [Kevin McCarthy’s Many Promises Set Stage for Dramatic Ouster, by Kristina Peterson, Siobhan Hughes, and Katy Stech Ferek, Wall Street Journal, October 3, 2023].

But none of these concerns are about immigration. Gaetz focused on the resolution’s funding for Ukraine. Other anti-McCarthy Republicans gave head scratchers for reasons they wanted the Speaker gone. South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace, a moderate, voted against McCarthy because he didn’t advance her rape kit bill [Mace fundraises off of her vote to oust McCarthy, by Nick Robertson, The Hill, October 3, 2023]. Colorado Rep. Ken Buck, an ardent opponent of impeaching Biden, listed his very Con Inc. reasons for voting to unseat McCarthy, including the lack of a balanced budget amendment and spending cuts.

This isn’t quite America First vs. the GOP Establishment. The other Republicans who voted to unseat McCarthy are pretty solid, nonetheless. Gaetz, Andy Biggs, Eli Crane, Bob Good, and Matt Rosendale are some of the best lawmakers in the House. But their solid reputations don’t make the fight an issue of immigration patriotism.

Indeed, most of the war within the GOP caucus this year hasn’t involved immigration. The original fight over McCarthy becoming speaker in January dealt mostly with his ability to reduce government spending. The fight over the budget in the spring entirely focused on spending and the debt, classic Tea Party issues. Republicans haven’t made immigration the central issue in the war over must-pass spending measures [House Republicans face time crunch with looming deadline, by Rachel Looker and Candy Woodall, USA Today, March 22, 2023].

McCarthy did try to include border security in one proposed spending resolution. The measure would have provided more money for border security and a wall, as well as reinstitute Remain in Mexico, a policy that kept “asylum seekers” south of the border while their applications were considered. The bill, however, failed to include mandatory e-Verify as a sop to Business First moderates [McCarthy goes all-in on border with second GOP stopgap funding attempt, by Emily Brooks, The Hill, September 27, 2023].

House conservatives weren’t pleased. Twenty-one Republicans voted against it, primarily because they vowed to vote against any CR and wanted the individual appropriations bills [Republicans reject own funding bill, US government shutdown imminent, by Moira Warburton and David Morgan, Reuters, September 30, 2023]. So McCarthy and the majority of Congress passed the 45-day CR without any border measures.

Republicans now need a new leader to take them into this brutal battle over the budget. Two figures are in the race: Majority Leader Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan. Neither of them is bad on immigration in general and both say the right things about illegal immigration. Scalise boasts a B career rating from Numbers USA. Both have supported ending Birthright Citizenship. Jordan and Scalise backed a bill to end it in 2009.

Scalise, the next in line to be Speaker, is the obvious Establishment favorite. Jordan is the favorite among the conservative rebels and also received Donald Trump’s endorsement.

Jordan is emphasizing immigration the most. He told Fox News that his first priority as speaker would be immigration. “The very first thing I would focus on is one sentence: no money can be used to process or release into this country any new migrants,” he said. He pledged that border security would be attached to any spending bill that the House considers if he’s Speaker. He implied he would not allow any money to go to Ukraine if the border is not secured [Firebrand chairman signals he’s against Ukraine aid until the border is secure, by Morgan Phillips, Daily Mail, October 5, 2023]. “Everyone knows this is the central issue,” the congressman declared. Jordan thought the message was so important that he released his clip through his official YouTube page.

That’s exactly the message immigration patriots want to hear. Of course, House Republicans are limited in what they can do. They have only a razor-thin majority. Democrats control the Senate and the White House. The GOP has just enough capital to focus everything on one issue in the upcoming budget battle. Yet this is where they hold the most leverage on Democrats and where they can insist on serious immigration proposals, something with more teeth than McCarthy’s CR.

Republicans must push for all they can get on the border. They must insist on building a border wall, mandating e-Verify, restoring Remain in Mexico, and most importantly, ending Biden’s illegal measures to import “migrants.” has reported many times before how Democrats seem dead set on Open Borders as the only possible policy. Millions of illegals have poured into America during the past three years and Democrats didn’t care. But with Sanctuary Cities suffering tremendously under the weight of illegals and the invasion worsening with every passing month, some Democrats are realizing that they must do something to get this issue off the public radar. That could well provide an opening for Republicans to get what they want on the immigration issue.

Thus New York Gov. Kathy Hochul recently urged Biden to tighten the border. This basic statement shouldn’t be newsworthy, but it is for Open Border Democrats:

[W]e want them to have a limit on who can come across the border. It is too open right now. People coming from all over the world are finding their way through simply saying they need asylum. And the majority of them seem to be ending up in the streets of New York. And that is a real problem for New York City, 125,000 newly arrived individuals. And we are being taxed.

[New York Gov Hochul wants to ‘limit’ who crosses border, says it’s ‘too open right now,’ by Danielle Wallace, Fox News, October 1, 2023]

Of course, she burbled the usual nonsense about the Statue of Liberty, and bashed Republicans “who refuse to work with” Biden on border security. But her message was something no Democrat leader would have dared say a year ago. Now, paying the price for their own policies, they sound more reasonable.

The most remarkable change may have come from the Biden administration itself. Mayorkas announced that he would waive more than two dozen federal laws to construct roughly 20 miles of border wall in Starr County, Texas [Determination Pursuant to Section 102 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, As Amended,, October 5, 2023]. The president didn’t seem to get the memo and told reporters walls don’t work just hours after the announcement. Biden says it wasn’t his decision to build more walls. Allegedly, the move was required by how the funds were previously appropriated. But this is just a way for Biden to act like he didn’t change from his pledge to discontinue wall construction as president. He knows why it’s needed—he just doesn’t want to offend the Left  [Why Biden claims he has no choice but to build more of Trump’s border wall, by Quinn Onen, Mireya Villarreal, and Selina Wang, ABC News, October 5, 2023].

Given that Biden is simultaneously helping illegals into the country and sued Texas over its barrier in the Rio Grande, the wall move is only a fig leaf to hide the Regime’s complicity in the invasion. Still, it is a sign that Democrats could make serious immigration concessions. Biden and his colleagues see the polls. The vast majority of Americans disapprove of Biden’s handling of immigration—and that number can only increase with the hundreds of thousands crossing over every month [CBS News Poll—September 5-8, 2023].

Republicans can’t ignore it either. It’s the top issue for their own voters. A recent poll found that GOP voters in the battleground state of New Hampshire say immigration is their top concern [Trump’s lead holds in poll and Haley overtakes DeSantis for second place among N.H. voters, by Matt Stout and Emma Platoff, Boston Globe, October 4, 2023].

Jordan faces a tough battle to become the next Speaker. Many moderates and Establishment types might vote against him just to punish those who ousted McCarthy. Acrimony runs high within the caucus and few are ready to forgive and forget. The next Speaker would need to keep moderates in line to force Democrats to surrender on immigration. A divided caucus would fall before the united Democrats in a budget battle. The GOP would face the same situation it faces now in the aftermath of the stopgap CR and McCarthy’s defenestration [Trump Endorses Jim Jordan in Race for House Speaker, by Luke Broadwater, New York Times, October 5, 2023].

The opportunity is ripe for Republicans to do something serious on the border. They just need the right leader to unify them against Democratic malfeasance.

Washington Watcher II [Email him] is an anonymous DC insider.


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