Representative Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) said at a Thursday press conference that House Republicans will rise up against GOP leadership if House Speaker John Boehner tries to rush any immigration reform bill through his chamber of Congress.
“There would be a revolt among Republicans” if Boehner abandoned regular order on this issue, Rohrabacher said in response to a question from Breitbart News at the presser.
According to a recent Politico report, Boehner is seriously considering abandoning regular order to rush through immigration reform. Regular orders is the process by which a bill is supposed to come up through the respective committees of jurisdiction and allow members of those committees to offer amendments, an open and transparent process that then is supposed to continue on the House floor.
“The GOP is also mulling skipping the committee process and instead having lengthy discussions among Republicans to work out the legislation’s kinks,” Politico’s Jake Sherman wrote in the report. “This would allow leading conservatives who are crafting the deal with Democrats to explain the policy. That seems to be the preferred path, according to conversations with several GOP aides.”
If Boehner follows this strategy, he would be abandoning one of the key promises he made to get re-elected as Speaker just a few months ago while several conservative members tried to unseat him. At the time, he guaranteed he would return the House to regular order on all legislation, a promise that ended up helping him turn some who had planned to oppose his re-election as Speaker back into supporters.
In the end, only 12 of the 17 members needed to derail his reelection did not vote for Boehner, allowing him to squeak by in his re-election.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), who was also at the Thursday press conference, responded to Breitbart News’ question about members’ reaction to reports that Boehner might abandon regular order, saying he hopes Boehner keeps his promise. “He has pledged absolutely that we are following regular order,” Gohmert said. But Gohmert said if Boehner abandons it for even this bill, “the Speaker would make himself a liar.”
Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA), another House member at the presser, said he had asked House GOP leadership in writing whether Boehner will hold true to his promise of regular order on the forthcoming immigration legislation. He said he received reassurances that the House would follow regular order.
Over on the Senate side, conservatives have similar worries about the still-unfinished immigration bill from the bipartisan “Gang of Eight.” A battle for transparency in the process has been brewing between those on the Gang of Eight and conservatives in the Senate.
With help from the Republican establishment, Democratic Senate leadership is expected to race an immigration bill through the Senate once it is introduced with little public input or hearings.