Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Immigration Disintegration

Once again:  anyone who thinks what the Senate "Gang of 8" is doing on immigration isn't paying attention to the near 100% certainty that House Republicans will never let a real immigration bill pass.  First of all, if Orange Julius even considers the Senate bill, he's facing revolution.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) warned Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) would face a conference revolt that could threaten his Speakership if he allows a House vote on the immigration bill presently being debated in the Senate.

Conservatives have been pressuring Boehner to adhere to the unwritten “Hastert Rule” — named after former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) — that says no bill should come to the House floor unless it has the backing of a majority of a chamber's majority party.

Rohrabacher said if Boehner moves forward with a vote on immigration reform without a Republican majority, it would be a “betrayal” of his party.

Second, Boehner has already caved on Rohrabacher's threat.

House Speaker John Boehner is not going to bring a comprehensive immigration-reform plan to the floor if a majority of Republicans don't support it, sources familiar with his plans said.

"No way in hell," is how several described the chances of the speaker acting on such a proposal without a majority of his majority behind him.

Boehner, R-Ohio, does not view immigration in the same vein as the fiscal cliff last December, when he backed a bill that protected most Americans from a tax increase even though less than half of the GOP lawmakers were with him, said multiple sources, who spoke anonymously to allow greater candor.

Starting to get the picture?  Only an "immigration bill" awful enough to pass a majority of the House will even get a vote.  The Senate bill the Gang of 8 is trying to pass?  It will never get a vote.  Republicans will make sure immigration reform dies.

The plan is for the House to scare Senate Republicans into a bill that will never pass the Senate so they can blame the Democrats.  There are any number of poison pill amendments waiting to pass for just such a reason, like this one from Rand Paul:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) will introduce a series of amendments to the Senate immigration reform bill that would position him for a potential Republican presidential primary bid, The Hill reported Tuesday.

Paul's most prominent measure would eliminate a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants while lifting a cap on guest workers, Senate aides familiar with the proposals told The Hill. Under that amendment, to be introduced this week, employers who demonstrate need would be provided with immigrant workers while the workers themselves would have to apply for permanent residency and citizenship according to the policies of their native countries.

The only question is how the Village will frame it, and how the people will accept it.

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