House Homeland Security Committee chairman Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) told radio’s Laura Ingraham on Wednesday that he has told House Speaker John Boehner that he must publicly promise there will be no conference committee on the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” immigration bill.
“I am not going to go down the road of conferencing with the Senate bill and I told Boehner that he needs to stand up and make that very clear,” McCaul said on Ingraham’s program on Wednesday morning. “We’re not going to conference with the senate period.”
McCaul said that he believes a conference committee on the Senate immigration bill is a “political trap” that President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are trying to set. McCaul said he does not want to be caught in the trap. “I was invited to the White House yesterday and I refused to meet with the President because I saw it as a political trap,” he said.
Boehner, House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor have publicly left the door open to conference, with Ryan actually publicly advocating for one. “A lot of people are saying, just pass the Senate bill,” Ryan said in July. “That’s not what the House is going to do. I think we can make it better.”
The Senate bill’s principal GOP sponsor, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), said this weekend in a Breitbart News exclusive that he is opposed to a conference committee and does not think the House should make efforts to save his immigration bill there. Rather, Rubio said, the House should focus on what Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL) have described as a true step-by-step piecemeal immigration reform, whereby individual pieces are passed and then implemented before other pieces are taken up by Congress.