With just a week's worth of legislative days to go before the Department of Homeland Security shuts down, Republicans don't seem to have a strategy to fund the department and respond to President Obama's actions on immigration.
And the senators who hope to run the party— and the country—are nowhere to be found.
The DHS fight should be the perfect opportunity for Sens. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio to stake out claims on immigration and federal spending and to exhibit their ability to lead the party in finding a new way forward. But all three have been largely silent.
In the four weeks since Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell brought the House-passed DHS spending bill to the floor, not one of the three would-be presidential candidates has spoken on the floor about the issue (Rubio skipped one of those weeks entirely in order to fundraise for a presidential bid).
All three agree that the Department of Homeland Security should be funded. All three blame Democrats for filibustering the bill. And all three want to see Obama's 2014 executive action overturned. But what none of them are saying is how.
Of the three, Cruz has been the most active on the issue. The Texas firebrand worked with Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine to push an amendment to dilute the House's bill in the hopes of attracting more Democratic votes —or, at the very least, to get Democrats who said they had concerns about Obama's executive action on the record in voting to maintain funding for it. Cruz also argued that the Senate should not approve any of Obama's nominees until the immigration issue had been resolved.