Texas judge blocks Obama immigration action

The Morning Line

Today in the Morning Line:

  • Federal judge halts Obama’s executive action the day before it’s set to take place
  • Obama administration to appeal decision
  • Americans disapprove of Obama’s handling of foreign policy
  • Why Jeb Bush has to talk about the Iraq war
  • Immigration order delayed: A day before President Obama’s executive action on immigration was set to take place, delaying deportation for as many as 5 million people, a federal judge in Texas blocked it at least temporarily. Judge Andrew S. Hanen, a George W. Bush appointee and outspoken critic of the Obama administration, sided with Texas and 25 other states opposing the action. “Texas and the other states said the executive measures were an egregious case of government by fiat that would impose huge new costs on their budgets,” the New York Times notes. The White House responded saying, in part, “The Supreme Court and Congress have made clear that the federal government can set priorities in enforcing our immigration laws—which is exactly what the President did….” It also notes that the administration will appeal the decision. This is by no means a death knell for the executive action, but will mean a delay for people who were expecting to begin filing paperwork Wednesday.

    DHS funding battle latest: The Tweets keep coming from both sides, following House Speaker John Boehner’s interview on Fox News Sunday, and his statement that he’s “certainly” willing to let Department of Homeland Security funding run out next week if the Senate won’t act on a House-passed immigration bill. Short summary of the fallout: the blame game for a potential shutdown has moved into high gear. Boehner and Republicans continue to blame Senate Democrats for blocking votes, while Democrats point out that it’s not clear Republicans have put together any other funding plan with enough GOP votes to make it through the House. Quick summary of where we are: At the moment only two options seem politically feasible — (1) a short-term funding bill that keeps the issue (and DHS) alive or (2) a partial shutdown of DHS starting a week from Saturday. (“Partial” because a majority of DHS staff is considered “essential” and could be required to work without pay in a budget impasse.) By the way, the Tribune’s Mike Memoli and Lisa Mascaro point out that “President Obama’s veto threats outnumber the bills Congress has been able to send him.”

    Poll watch: Congressional Republicans aren’t the only ones facing tough news on their ability to govern. A CNN/ORC poll finds Americans have a sharply negative view of how President Obama is handling foreign policy. A whopping 57 percent disapprove of his handling of IS while just 40 percent approve. That mirrors his overall handling of foreign affairs (41 percent approve, 57 percent disapprove). What’s worse for this president, when it comes to the security of electronic information, 60 percent disapprove of his handling; just 35 percent approve. Ironically, foreign policy and terrorism had been the area that held up as a strength for much of Obama’s presidency.

    Jeb Bush has to answer questions about Iraq: To some 2016 news… Jeb Bush is set to give a major foreign-policy address Wednesday, but he indicated to Bloomberg that he is not going to get into the Iraq war. “I won’t talk about the past,” he said, adding, “I’ll talk about the future. If I’m in the process of considering the possibility of running, it’s not about re-litigating anything in the past.” That is not going to be politically acceptable for the entirety of the 2016 presidential campaign. One of, if not THE, main obstacle to his being able to win in a general election will be his last name. And not because of “legacy,” but because of policy. For as much as Americans disapprove currently of Obama’s handling of foreign policy, they were even more critical of George W. Bush’s decision to get the U.S. involved in Iraq. Bush HAS to explain at some point how his foreign policy would be different from his brother’s. Asked last month in Detroit about the hurdle his last name presents, Jeb said, “If I have any degree of self-awareness, this would be the place where it might want to be applied.” That’s true. He might want to apply that self awareness to foreign policy.

    Daily Presidential Trivia: On this day in 1972, President Richard Nixon departed for his historic trip to China; he was the first U.S. president to visit the People’s Republic of China. Which Chinese leader did Nixon meet with during his trip? Be the first to tweet us the correct answer using #PoliticsTrivia and you’ll get a Morning Line shout-out. Congratulations to roy wait ‏(@ind22rxw) for guessing Thursday’s trivia: Which president installed a radio in the White House? The answer: Harding.


    • ICYMI: former Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s out with his first campaign ad set in the early primary state of New Hampshire.

    • In other news from the Perry world, the Texan is beefing up his team for the Iowa caucus.

    • Sunday’s NBC/Marist early state polls show that the GOP nod is still anyone’s to win. Mike Huckabee narrowly leads among possible GOP caucus-goers in Iowa, while Jeb Bush leads in New Hampshire. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham is ahead in his state.

    • Scott Walker’s budget cuts funding for the University of Wisconsin system by 13 percent. He’s comparing his new fight against public universities to when he took on public sector unions four years ago.

    • Speaking at a GOP dinner in New Hampshire Monday, Chris Christie said the first two pieces of legislation he’d push within 100 days of his presidency would be tax reform to keep companies from leaving the country and a national energy policy. Get ready to see a lot more Christie in the Granite State; his team is planning a series of town-hall meetings.

    • Politico reports that Wall Street is on high alert over possible Rand Paul presidency.

    • Jeb Bush was at Richmond’s Jefferson Hotel on Presidents’ Day to headline a fundraiser for the Republican State Leadership Committee.

    • Michael Schiavo told the AP he will be “very active” in the campaign against Bush, who sided with Terri Schiavo’s parents to try to keep their daughter’s feeding tube in.

    • Barbara Bush wants everyone to know she’s changed her mind about there being “too many Bushes” in the White House.

    • Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul went to Sen. Marco Rubio’s home state of Florida Saturday and took aim at Rubio’s foreign policy choices in the Senate.



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