It's that magical time of year when the wee folk of Capitol Hill actually get something done. These brief bursts of activity only happen very rarely, of course, and always immediately proceed another one of the many, many long vacations Congress takes during the year.
Republicans should be more concerned about the failure of GOP leadership to address this issue. Not only did Boehner miss out on an opportunity to mend fences with a growing Hispanic voting bloc, he has now backed himself into a corner with no clear way out.
It's a sign of how far right the Republican Party has moved that John Boehner is the standard bearer for moderate Republicans. But there's a new meaning to the word "moderate" that illuminates the new political reality for the GOP and for the country.
With their longstanding allies now in Senate leadership, big polluters will seek to load up must-pass spending bills with anti-environmental riders and pass stand alone bills to block or overturn hard-fought safeguards.
While Republican leadership wants to depict Democrats and the president as uncompromising ideologues, such assertions from a group that have shown to be uncompromising ideologues falls on deaf ears.
While President Obama should be applauded for reaching past the partisan gridlock in Congress that has made it impossible to improve the lives of millions of families torn apart because of strict immigration laws, his emphasis on families over felons seems outdated and a rhetorical step backward, not forward.
While the Republicans are scrambling to figure out their next steps and keep their forces together, the president and Democrats are taking victory laps with cheering crowds of recent immigrants who are mobilizing to stand up and defend executive action.
This week, President Obama announced the temporary halt of deportations for an estimated 4.4 million undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents. It was a welcome, if belated, move for a president who, as of April, had deported 2 million people. One might think Republicans would welcome a policy that keeps families together and rewards hard work. But the move was met with the obligatory threats of shutdowns and impeachment. "In the days ahead, the people's House will rise to this challenge," thundered John Boehner. But, really, all they have to do is what President Obama suggested: simply "pass a bill." If only Congress were as hardworking as the families whose lives their ugly inaction has put into limbo. Meanwhile, we lost Mike Nichols, a man who embodied the American dream: an immigrant who came here to realize his talents and left America better than he found it. Now there's a challenge to rise to.
When Congress wouldn't pass a bill, the president had to act on immigration and deportation policy, to keep families intact -- a measure that affected 40 percent of the undocumented immigrants in the United States.
There is a reason why it has taken so long to emerge from the Great Recession. And the Republican leaders of the House and Senate with their new majorities exemplify why we have barely emerged from it.
Obama, like some treacherous Jacobean villain, has had the nerve to make decisions while the Congress was out on a well-earned vacation for six weeks from doing nothing for over six years.
President Barack Obama took a historic step in announcing he would take far-reaching executive actions to change immigration policy. But his actions have set up a major confrontation with Republicans who have accused the president of an abuse of power.
We've waited this long, I think we can afford to wait another couple of weeks. It might not change anything -- it might not influence congressional Republicans in the slightest -- but there is a chance that it could. That chance is worth taking.
Nancy Pelosi is a unifier and not a divider within her Caucus. Time after time the Democrats were united -- from promoting the Make it in America jobs agenda to fighting the GOP shutdown.