House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) still has yet to join the rest of the House GOP leadership to publicly reject the possibility of a conference committee with the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” immigration bill, Breitbart News has learned.
On Wednesday, House Speaker John Boehner publicly denounced any efforts to go to conference with the Senate bill, saying the House would never do so. House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Majority Whip Rep. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) (R-CA), and Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) each quickly joined Boehner’s vow to never negotiate on the Gang of Eight bill with Senate Democrats.
But Ryan, who has stated in the past he wants a conference committee, has not joined them in disavowing such a plan.
At a town hall event in Racine, Wisconsin in July, Ryan said that he thinks a conference committee could result in making the Senate bill better. “A lot of people are saying, just pass the Senate bill,” Ryan said at the time. “That’s not what the House is going to do. I think we can make it better.”
When asked to respond to Speaker Boehner’s announcement that there would never be negotiations with the Senate on the Gang of Eight bill and if Ryan supported the Speaker’s pledge to never have a conference committee, Ryan’s spokesman Kevin Seifert did not directly answer the question from Breitbart News.
“Congressman Ryan has said a number of times that the House should not consider the Senate-passed immigration bill,” Seifert said in an email early on Wednesday. “Instead, it should work its will and develop better solutions to fix our broken immigration system. Congressman Ryan has made clear that his preference is any immigration-reform proposal should receive the support of the majority of the House Republican conference.”
Seifert has not responded to followup emails about whether Ryan will in fact disavow what he said in July when he publicly advocated for a conference committee.
While the rest of the House Republican leaders have now publicly disavowed conference, Ryan is the last man not to do so. Even the Senate bill’s lead GOP sponsor, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), has since come out to publicly oppose a conference committee, as have several other Republican lawmakers.
Ryan has been in the process of writing a bill that would legalize the status of the at least 11 million illegal aliens in the United States, and has worked closely with Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) on immigration reform efforts this year. Gutierrez has publicly expressed hope for a conference committee with the Senate Gang of Eight bill.