House Homeland Security Committee chairman Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) told Breitbart News exclusively that he does not believe the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” immigration bill should go to conference with any immigration bills the House produces.
In fact, he says the House GOP leadership should abandon any efforts to salvage the Senate bill at all.
“The Senate immigration bill is unworkable, irresponsible and a misguided attempt at appearing to secure the border in order to fast track immigration reform,” McCaul said in a statement provided to Breitbart News. “The House has appropriately started from scratch.”
“The Border Security Results Act is a standalone border security bill which does not address immigration reform,” he explained. “It requires operational control, defined as apprehending no less than 90% of illegal border crossers, in a tight but achievable timeline.”
“I will not support any effort to water down the border control requirements in H.R. 1417,” McCaul declared.
Additionally, one of McCaul’s committee aides told Breitbart News that the chairman’s statement means he does not believe the Senate bill should be salvaged in a conference with House bills.
As Breitbart News detailed over the weekend, conservatives fear that House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) may take a group of House bills, including McCaul’s legislation, to conference with the Senate Gang of Eight bill.
In conference, representatives for House GOP leadership would negotiate with Senate Democratic leadership, and possibly the White House, on what they would call a “compromise” on immigration reform. Conservatives worry that the legislation that would come out of conference would look more like the Senate bill than not or, worse, potentially be exactly the same as the Senate bill.
McCaul’s declaration that such a strategy is unpalatable to him makes it a bit more difficult for leadership to do what conservatives fear they may with a conference, but they still could do that depending on where others come down on such an issue.