Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said on Laura Ingraham’s radio program that House Speaker John Boehner’s speakership is in jeopardy if any form of amnesty, such as the Senate’s immigration reform bill, becomes law.
“I’m worried about conference,” Paul said Friday, according to Roll Call. “The only way to avoid a problem with conference is for the speaker of the House to say we are not going to conference, and we will not allow a vote on anything coming out of conference that resembles the Senate bill, and if there were a much more limited bill that emphasizes border security first, that we would do that.”
“Conference” refers to a legislative process wherein after the House passes its own immigration bill, it will enter negotiations with Senate leaders and even the White House to reconcile the differences between the two chambers’ bills. Conservative lawmakers fear that in conference, Boehner would allow Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to include a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the final law submitted to President Barack Obama.
Paul asserted that if Boehner passes anything like the Senate bill, conservatives in the House will more than likely drive him out of office.
“If he allows something to pass out of conference that looks anything like the Senate bill and is passed with a majority of Democrats, I think that will be the final thing he does as speaker,” Paul said. “So, I think he knows that, and I think he’s going to be very cautious, and I hope he will defend us on this and not pass something that looks like the Senate bill.”
Boehner has agreed that any bill, or conference committee report, that would be voted on would need the support of the majority of House Republicans before receiving a vote in the House. But Boehner has not agreed to kill the Senate bill once and for all by saying no House immigration bill, or group of bills, would be allowed to go to conference with it.
According to The Hill, House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the GOP’s most recent vice presidential candidate who with Mitt Romney lost to President Obama almost a year ago, is working with the Chamber of Commerce to finalize a deal on immigration legislation.