Reform That’s Borderline Impossible

A new WaPo/ABC News poll dings both Obama and Republicans in Congress for their handling of the border crisis:

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The Republicans fare especially badly, but Noah Rothman attributes that to dissension in the ranks:

Republicans in Congress, who receive poor marks from nearly two-thirds of the public, can attribute some of that antipathy to their own voters. “Almost as many Republicans disapprove of their party’s handling of the issue as say they approve, with negative ratings rising to a majority among conservatives,” reads The Post’s write up of the poll. 48 percent approve of the GOP’s approach to the crisis while 45 percent disapprove. Only 22 percent of independents and 9 percent of Democrats approve of the GOP’s approach to the crisis.

The president, meanwhile, maintains the support of 57 percent of Democrats who approve of his approach to the border crisis. 12 percent of Republicans and 28 percent of independents agree. If the GOP maintained the intraparty unity that Obama benefits from, their numbers would look similar to the president’s.

The poll also asked respondents about the government’s $3.7 billion proposal to address the crisis. Sargent believes these results augur poorly for the plan’s fate in the House:

Crucially, only Republicans and conservatives oppose the plan. A majority of independents (51 percent) and moderates (58) support it, but only 35 percent of Republicans back it, versus 59 percent who are opposed, and only 36 percent of conservatives back it, versus 59 percent who are opposed. Among “conservative Republicans,” those numbers are a dismal 29-66.

This again raises the question: Can any plan to address the crisis pass the House? As I noted the other day, conservative groups such as Heritage Action are opposed, and may “score” the eventual vote on it, meaning more pressure on GOP lawmakers to vote No. Any funding plan first has to clear the Senate, which will be hard, but Democratic aides believe it will be doable. The House is another matter.

Drum agrees:

So Democrats are split and Republicans are opposed. This is not fertile ground for any kind of compromise. The only thing Obama has going for him is that what’s happening on the border really is a crisis, and at some point everyone might genuinely feel like they have to do something. But what? Even Obama’s fairly anodyne proposal has already drawn significant opposition from both sides, and any proposal that moves further to the left or the right will draw even more opposition. This could take a while unless, by some miracle, both parties decided they’re better off just getting this off the table before the midterm elections. But what are the odds of that?