Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) said on Wednesday at the Heritage Foundation-hosted Conversations with Conservatives press event that House Speaker John Boehner has promised him that the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” immigration bill is dead in the House.
“I very recently had a conversation with the Speaker and if immigration reform moves, it’s going to move piecemeal,” Salmon said in response to a question from Breitbart News. “And it will go over one bill at a time and if there is any kind of conference, it will be on specific bills we send over. It will not be on the Gang of Eight bill.”
While Boehner’s spokesman Michael Steel has not immediately responded to confirm what Salmon said, if true it means the push for amnesty is dead. While House GOP leadership has postured that the Senate bill will not be taken up in the House of Representatives, it still survived with a glimmer of hope from congressional Democrats and amnesty advocates via what is known as a conference committee.
A conference committee is where the House would pass a bill, or group of piecemeal bills, and then send negotiators to meet with Senate leadership and White House officials to work out what would be billed as a compromise. Gang of Eight members like Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) have pleaded with the House for a conference on immigration, and Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) has promised that his Democrats would “win” in a conference if House GOP leadership allowed one.
If Boehner’s promise to Salmon is true–and he follows through on it amid the intense pressure from the special interest community pushing for amnesty–then it means the Senate’s Gang of Eight bill is dead once and for all. Then the focus would turn to individual House immigration bills meant to address specific aspects of our immigration system.