House Unlikely to Pass a 'Pathway' to Anything

House Unlikely to Pass a 'Pathway' to Anything

Now that the Senate has passed its amnesty legislation, attention turns next to the House, which returns Monday for three weeks of work before the month-long August recess. Supporters of the Senate bill had hoped action on the issue in that chamber would put pressure on the House to act. Speaker Boehner, however, has already said the Senate bill is DOA in the House. The most likely outcome is the passage of narrow legislation focused primarily on border security and enforcement. 

The foundational flaw in the Senate bill is that it trades nearly-immediate legalization for a promise of increased security and enforcement in the future. Obama’s decision last week to ignore, for at least one year, a major provision of ObamaCare shows the folly of that bargain. 

If the Obama Administration won’t enforce laws it supported, what chance is there that it will enforce provisions it either doesn’t support or believes are unnecessary? The strongest security and enforcement mechanisms are worthless if the Administration simply chooses to ignore them. 

Rep. Steve King told Breitbart News, “What’s the point of passing news laws if Obama isn’t going to enforce them?”

The only certainty provided in the Senate bill is a multi-year “pathway to citizenship.” Some in the House have discussed a “pathway to legalization,” that would allow current illegal immigrants to remain in the country but not have the opportunity to become citizens. Many activists consider either “path” amnesty. Without assurances that the border will be secured and enforcement increased, opposition to any “pathway” will intensify. 

Of the fourteen GOP Senators who voted for the amnesty bill, only three are up for reelection next year. In the House, every member of the GOP caucus is up for reelection. For the overwhelming majority, a primary challenge is the only thing that could knock them out of Congress. For many, it would be political suicide to support anything resembling the Senate bill. Members of Congress are not in the habit of committing political suicide.