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John Boehner just put immigration reform on life support

Nov 15, 2013

"John Boehner, at a presser just now, just said something that pushed immigration reform closer to death than anything he has said thus far: House Speaker John Boehner says he will not allow any House-passed immigration legislation to be blended with the Senate’s sweeping reform bill, further quashing the chances of comprehensive immigration reform legislation being signed into law anytime soon. “We have no intention of ever going to conference on the Senate bill,” Boehner told reporters Wednesday.

At the presser, Boehner also refused to say whether any of the piecemeal proposals reportedly being developed by House Republicans will get a vote this year, which means they almost certainly won’t. He did say that GOP Rep Bob Goodlatte, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, “is working with our members and across the aisle on developing a set of principles for us to deal with this issue.”

But if Boehner really means that Republicans will not “ever” go to conference on the Senate bill, it’s very hard to see a path to comprehensive reform. Frank Sharry, the executive director of America’s Voice, emails me this: “If Boehner kills off immigration reform, he’s going to go down as the Speaker who helped kill off the GOP. If he doesn’t promise to go to conference, he won’t be able to get Democrats to vote for any immigration measures, and he won’t be able to pass them with just Republican votes. He’s painting himself into a corner with procedural concessions to the far right, where failure is the only possible outcome. If he keeps to this, he’s dooming reform. Let’s hope he wants a legacy that includes growing the economy and saving his party.”

The point here is this. The House GOP leadership will never hold a vote on any comprehensive reform package that includes legalization or citizenship. So the only way forward is if House Republicans pass piecemeal provisions — border security measures, plus some sort of legalization proposal for the 11 million, or barring that, the Kids Act (which gives citizenship only to the DREAMers). That would be a route to comprehensive reform if it provided a way to get to conference.[...]" - To read the full story from Washington Post, click here

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