Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA), a Republican member of the House who supports comprehensive immigration reform, said on Sunday’s Univision Al Punto show that House Speaker John Boehner promised him there would be immigration votes in the House of Representatives soon.
Politico reported that according to an English-language translation of the interview where Denham spoke in Spanish, he said House GOP leadership has promised him that there would be more immigration hearings and floor time for immigration legislation some time in “the next month or so.”
“I’m confident he’s going to bring it to the floor,” Denham said, according to the Politico story, making a reference to Boehner. “But we’re going to continue to make sure that the entire country focuses on this, and that we actually get more Republicans that are willing to take a stand and get out there.”
Denham has also decided to publicly endorse the House Democrats’ immigration bill, introduced by House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and others. At a press conference where she and the House Democrats introduced the legislation, Pelosi said the intent of the bill is to get to a conference committee with the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” bill.
Michael Steel, Boehner’s spokesman, has not responded to Breitbart News’ request for comment in response to Denham’s remarks and has not authenticated Denham’s claims. But if Denham’s claims are true, that means claims from mainstream media figures that immigration reform was “dead” have turned out to be false.
If Boehner allows any immigration bill to the floor without the support of the majority of the House GOP conference, he will be breaking a promise he made earlier this year that he would follow the Hastert Rule–an informal but usually-followed rule of thumb that the Speaker of the House will not consider legislation before garnering the support of the majority of the House majority. House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), who is currently co-writing a bill that would legalize the status of America’s at least 11 million illegal immigrants, suggested in July that he thinks Boehner should break his previous promises to the GOP conference on the Hastert Rule.
If Denham turns out to be correct, too, that would technically mean immigration votes might happen before the end of the year. If immigration votes happen before the end of the year, that would mean Politico‘s Jake Sherman would have incorrectly reported that they would not in a Friday morning story. There is always the possibility, too, that Boehner would consider immigration legislation in January, February, or March next year, even though 2014 is an election year and most conventional wisdom predicts that will not happen.
Washington Post liberal blogger Greg Sargent has argued that Democrats in Congress believe that House GOP leaders have leaked in public that immigration reform was “dead” with the intent of quieting the conservative base and opposition.
Conservatives that oppose comprehensive immigration reform scored a major victory on Saturday evening when Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), the lead sponsor of the Senate “Gang of Eight” bill who infamously spent months attempting to sell it to conservatives, effectively un-endorsed his own legislation by saying he opposes efforts by some to save it via a conference committee with any bill or group of bills the House may end up passing some time in the near future.