House Republican leaders reportedly did not bring any immigration bills to the floor before the August recess because they were fearful of the backlash they would get from voters in their districts during the break.
According to a report in the National Journal, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), and House Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) think the “tactical play” will “boost” the reform’s changes.
Breitbart News reporter Matthew Boyle reported ten days ago that House Republicans were planning to pass various piecemeal bills and hope to conference with the Senate to get a more comprehensive bill enacted. Conservatives expressed to Boyle their concerns that conferencing with senators–and potentially the White House–would transform whatever is passed in the House into something resembling the Senate’s bill, which Numbers USA Executive Director Roy Beck said, on Breitbart News Sunday, was an “end of America” bill.
Last Friday, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) essentially made the strategy public at a town hall event in his district, confirming Boyle’s reporting.
National Journal noted that House Republican leaders wanted to keep immigration “on the back-burner” to lessen the type of “backlash” that coalesced against Obamacare in August 2009.
As Politico reported, five “a la carte” immigration bills have already passed two key committees in the House while the Senate was debating its immigration bill.
Bills passed in either the Homeland Security or Judiciary Committees include a border security bill that has weaker provisions than the Senate’s, a plan to award 500,000 visas to agricultural workers, which “can be adjusted according to market needs,” a bill to lift the current cap on high-skilled visas, a bill to give states more power to enforce federal immigration laws, and an E-Verify trigger that will make newly-legalized immigrants “undocumented” again if E-Verify is not in place by five years.