The Conversation

Boehner Will Not Bring Up Immigration Reform Bill Without Majority GOP Support

It is looking highly unlikely that House Speaker Boehner will violate the "Hastert Rule" by bringing up a comprehensive immigration-reform plan to the floor without a majority of Republicans  supporting it.

Sources tell David Drucker of the Washington Examiner that there's "no way in hell," the speaker will act on a proposal without a majority of his majority behind him.

Although Boehner supports  immigration reform, and has publicly stated that he would like the House to act on a bill before August, he also understands the negative effect it could have on some Republicans in the 2014 mid-term elections. 

Boehner, R-Ohio, does not view immigration in the same vein as the fiscal cliff last December, when he backed a bill that protected most Americans from a tax increase even though less than half of the GOP lawmakers were with him, said multiple sources, who spoke anonymously to allow greater candor.

The Speaker caused a bit of a ruckus, last Monday when he seemed to suggest that he would bring up an immigration bill that didn't have the support of  his majority.

He later clarified to say, "my goal is always to bring bills to the floor that have a strong Republican majority. "Immigration reform is a very difficult issue. But I don't intend to bring an immigration bill to the floor that violates what I and what members of my party -- what our principles are."

"The path for any bill that might pass the Senate will be rocky indeed," said John Fund at NRO. 

The bill would have to be heavily amended in order to have GOP majority support, and if it passed, the conference-committee negotiations with the Senate would be, as Fund notes, "bloody and protracted."

 The chances of any bill emerging from that process wouldn’t be great, especially since Democrats are already prepared to blame failure on recalcitrant Republicans. Indeed, many are hoping to do just that.

 Senator Ted Cruz made that very point in a speech on the Senate floor, last week, when he said, "the Gang of Eight immigration bill would not pass the House as written."

“The reason, Mr. President, however, for pessimism is that to date the conduct of the White House and the Senate Democrats who have been driving this process suggests that they are more interested in finding a partisan issue to campaign on in 2014 and 2016 than they are in actually passing a bill to fix our broken immigration system.


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