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'Speaker' Ted Cruz forces revisions of House immigration legislation

'Speaker' Ted Cruz
'Speaker' Ted CruzPhoto by Darren McCollester/Getty Images

The Washington Examiner noted on Friday that the House was obliged to spend an extra day tweaking the border emergency bill to satisfy conservatives before passing it largely along party lines/ A little later it passed a separate bill that would end the president’s deferred deportation program that has slowed down the deportation of illegal children who crossed the border as children. The Senate, having already gone home for the August recess, would not take up either bill until September and in any case is not expected to pass either one. The credit or blame is entirely Ted Cruz’s.

Breitbart Big Government noted that Cruz met with a group of House conservatives in his senate office to plot immigration legislation strategy. The position of many in the House was that the original leadership bill did not address the core problem of the immigration crisis, which was President Obama’s granting of de facto amnesty to children who crossed the border illegally, which many have concluded has served as an incentive for tens of thousands of kids from Central America to swarm over the southern border. Hence, the House leadership lacked the votes to pass its own bill.

House Speaker John Boehner and the House Republican leadership sensibly pulled the bill, adjusted it, and added the second piece of legislation that dealt with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Obama’s executive order that many believe constitutes an overreach of power. Democrats are already attempting to make hay over the development, referring to Cruz as “Speaker Cruz.” While one suspects that Boehner may find that embarrassing, it is doubtful that Cruz minds the jibe over much.

Cruz was already headed for Iowa as the House voted for the two bills to attend a weekend event. His hardline stance on the border crisis matches the concern that the majority of Americans feel about. It is especially popular with the Republican base, some of whom will vote in the Iowa Caucus in about a year and a half. Washington insiders may hate him for his hardball politics that have constantly upset their best laid plans, but a lot of people in the heartland love it.

That is not a bad place to be for a young man in a hurry with his eyes on the ultimate political prize of the presidency.