Exclusive--DeSantis: No Conference on Senate Immigration Bill
Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, has called on House GOP leadership to be open and honest about their intentions with any forthcoming immigration bills before they come to the floor.
DeSantis said House GOP leadership should promise that there will be no conference committee with the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” immigration bill, and that there should be no attempt to try to fix the Senate’s bill.
“We should not go to a conference on the Gang of Eight bill for two reasons,” DeSantis said in a phone interview with Breitbart News. “One, I don’t think, if you look at the way the Gang of Eight bill is structured, I think the flaws are so endemic to the bill that even if you had an honest compromise, I don’t think whatever came out of that compromise would represent conservative principles at all. It’s a big gulf between where conservatives are, where millions of Americans are, and what was done in that Gang of Eight bill."
"Number two, Reid and Schumer have already said they don’t care what the House does, just get to a conference and they’re just going to ram through the Gang of Eight bill," he explained. "That will basically put more pressure on the Speaker to basically put it on the floor. You’re looking at going into a conference that doesn’t give you any chance of having conservative policy enacted in the end. So why would we want to step into that minefield?”
DeSantis added that if the House is going to vote on any immigration bills on the House floor, like the SAFE Act interior enforcement bill from Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) or an E-Verify bill, House GOP leadership should be honest with the conference about their intentions with regard to the Senate bill. Such individual bills might have desirable conservative merits, DeSantis said, but leadership may be trying to squeeze them together to get to a conference committee with the Senate bill where they would try to “fix” it, as House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has said.
“I don’t want to go to a conference on that bill and I think we’ve done some good bills in the Judiciary Committee, but I think leadership needs to tell us before they bring those to the floor what their intentions are because I think it would be a big mistake if we’re all voting for E-Verify or Gowdy’s bill about interior enforcement and then that somehow gets spit back to us as this big, 1,500-page omnibus comprehensive bill,” DeSantis said.
House Speaker John Boehner's spokesman Michael Steel has yet to confirm comments from Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) that he has promised he would not go to conference on the Senate Gang of Eight bill. Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), a conservative member who supports immigration reform, said it would be "crazy" for Boehner and other members of GOP leadership to negotiate with Obama on immigration after his behavior during the fiscal fight. Labrador argues President Obama's motive is to "destroy" the Republican Party.