Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) told Breitbart News he is confident House Republicans as a whole will stop the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” immigration bill, and take up an alternative aimed at securing the border before handling anything else.
“I can’t say exactly what’s going to happen in the future, but based on what I know now and based on what I know about leadership, I would say that we’re not going to see this thing get watered down [to get a version of it passed],” Kelly said. “Our conference is a very strong and independent conference.
“Sometimes folks get upset about that and I know why they do. But on the other hand, these folks I serve with are very principled and I don’t think they’re going to yield anything because they were promised a certain process was going to take place. I don’t think the Speaker was going to promise that if he wasn’t going to live up to it. I have a lot of respect for him, but he’s made commitments and I’ve never yet seen him break away on a commitment. I see him remain pretty strong.”
Kelly said that members of Congress should have learned from the 1986 amnesty that border security needs to come before legalization. He added that Congress should have learned from Obamacare that massive pieces of legislation, like this 1,200-page immigration bill, should not be rushed through to passage.
“If we did not learn anything from 1986, if we didn’t learn anything from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, that big pieces of legislation shoved through in a hurry are dangerous, they are dangerous for people,” Kelly said.
“I’m disappointed in the Senate. I’m disappointed in our colleagues in the Senate for doing what they did. I think they really made it look like they tried to put it in the House to position it as ‘these Republicans are going to try to hold it up.’ The Speaker has said that we will break this into smaller pieces. We will have a heavy debate, not a conversation–that’s ridiculous–there’s going to be a heavy debate and we’re going to look at it. And I still, I can’t imagine anybody looking at this piece that came out of the Senate and saying ‘you know, I feel pretty good about this.’ If I’m one of the four and a half million [legal immigrants] standing in line, waiting in line and who played by the rules, I’m not feeling very good about it. I’m not feeling very good about this at all.”
Kelly said he thinks much of the misconception about what may or may not happen in the House moving forward is contrived by pundits, especially the common theme that assumes House Republicans will cave and pass a bill like the Senate one. “The pundits say ‘oh no, they’ll cave, they’ll give in to pressure, they’ll do this, they’ll do that, because they know if they don’t they won’t win the next election,'” Kelly said. “I don’t buy that. We lost the last election because we didn’t have enough of our people come out and vote.”
Kelly added: “You and I both know a lot of this stuff comes from these people sitting around drinking brandy and smoking cigars and have never been a part of this but are actually trying to drive opinion and drive policy,” Kelly said. “They say ‘this is the way it’s got to be or it can’t float.'”
“‘Well, you’ve never been in a boat. How do you know what makes it float?'”
“These people are wrong as much as they’re right but they don’t get held accountable for the things that they do that are wrong,” Kelly said.