Giving us more insight into how a far-right-controlled Congress would operate, House Republicans on Wednesday proposed amendments that were counterintuitive even for them. Standing out was the successful vote to defund Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ salary as part of the larger appropriations bill for DHS.

The amendment to withhold the salary prohibits DHS from using funds in the bill to pay Mayorkas. But some of the other proposed amendments to the funding bill were just as far-fetched and somewhat senseless.

During a debate, Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) justified defunding Mayorkas’ salary by again highlighting about a dozen criminals who happen to be migrants out of the millions of non-criminal migrants who reside in the U.S. 

Meanwhile, she continues to ignore the rising gun violence among children and teens, the explosion of rape pregnancies in many states after abortion bans, and violent crimes against women across the country. Never a mention of the record number of police killings of civilians either.

Greene later introduced an amendment to stop funding Safe Mobility Offices in Latin America which provide services to migrants. Those services prevent human trafficking and unnecessary risks to life and open legal pathways to migrate to the U.S. These offices help prevent irregular migration by preventing migrants from traveling thousands of miles only to get denied once they the reach theU.S.-Mexico border.

Since much of the debate has been focused on “root” causes and many on the political right often suggesting that migrants should have to apply in their home countries, Greene’s move to defund Safe Mobility Offices flies in the face of those who claim to support “legal” migration and exposes the more xenophobic and racist nature of her beliefs. It would also help if she knew how Safe Mobility Offices operated, but, I digress.

In her debut as the ranking member of the House subcommittee that drafts DHS funding after replacing Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) after he was indicted on bribery charges, Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL) did not mince words clapping back on Republicans and their amendments by explaining to them how the things they want to cut work and their benefits to taxpayers.

Rep. Mark Amodei (R-NV) proposed an amendment to cut funding to the Shelter Services Program that helps migrants with the basics as they adjust to the U.S. Like Greene, Amodei doesn’t appear to understand how the program works and is only focused on what he sees on the surface to help spread hyperbolic misinformation about the program.

Again, Rep. Underwood takes Amodei to school.

Rep. Robert Garcia (D-CA) presented a suggestion for reallocating funds away from former president Donald Trump’s failed border wall and back to the Shelter Services Program. 

Watching these debates devolve into nonsensical rantings and aggression on the part of Republicans and knowing they have done nothing to help address any issues at the border is beyond frustrating but not surprising. Republicans have been doing this for decades. Their rhetoric has become much more escalatory and offensive. That’s intentional.

They feed on their own fears which are also harbored by their base and create false narratives that drive panic that later leads to animus toward nonwhite, non-cis, and non-male groups. They know exactly what they’re doing. They have their predecessors to look up to and how U.S. society largely let them get away with their bigotry.

Today’s Republicans are expecting the same dismissive treatment their predecessors encountered. And they’re largely getting it. Looking ahead, propagandizing everything is how the Republican Party intends to continue moving forward over the next several years if not decades. This is their strategy.

BONUS

Since Rep. Underwood did so well in her debut as the ranking member of the House subcommittee for DHS funding, here’s one more of her dropping some knowledge on Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL) who wanted to prevent DHS from implementing rules without congressional approval.

Not sure Republicans thought they were going to school when they woke up Wednesday morning but Rep. Underwood stood on business all day.


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Arturo Dominguez

Arturo is an anti-racist political nerd. He is an upcoming author, journalist, advocate for social justice, and a married father of three. He is a top writer on Medium and a regular contributor to several news media outlets. He writes educational and informative material about systemic racism, white supremacy, and racial injustice.

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