John Boehner Puts Conditions In Place That Mean Amnesty Is Dead In The House

Amnesty has always been a non-starter for most of the Republicans in the House. That’s partially because they’re more conservative than the Republicans in the Senate, but it’s also because House Republicans have to defend their seats every two years and amnesty is an explosive issue. You come down on the wrong side of the issue and it has the potential to cost you your job.

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So, how did proponents of amnesty hope to get a bill through the House if only a handful of Republicans would vote for it?

Simple, they wanted John Boehner to betray his caucus.

He could have done that by bringing up the Senate bill and trying to pass it with mostly Democrat votes or alternately, he could pass another bill, load up the conference committee with squishes on amnesty, bring back a bill that’s amnesty and get Democrats to vote for that.

Boehner had already explicitly said that he wouldn’t violate the Hastert rule by bringing a bill up that the majority of his caucus opposed, but he has now gone a step further than that.

Speaker John Boehner said at a press conference today that for “any legislation – including a conference report – to pass the House, it’s going to have to be a bill that has the support of a majority of our members.”

But even if Boehner wanted to try passing a bill in violation of this so-called Hastert rule, it would cause an internal fight that he would probably lose. The right flank of the conference is too worked up about immigration, too on guard. Consider this: Ryan, the House’s Rubio, said he “absolutely” thinks it’s important for the Hastert rule to be followed for the final, conferenced bill.

Now, you may think, “Yeah, but, maybe he’s still lying to us like Rubio did!”

Maybe, he is, but I really doubt it. This quote tells you why John Boehner probably means exactly what he says.

The American people elected a Republican majority in the House of Representatives. For a leader of that majority to use his authority to circumvent that majority would be cause for removal in my judgment. — Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) on the possibility of Boehner not following the Hastert rule on the immigration bill

Would enough Republicans in the House feel the same way to cost Boehner his speakership if he tried to pull a fast one on immigration?

Yes, almost certainly.

So, unless John Boehner is willing to be bounced as Speaker of the House to betray not only conservatives, but almost his whole caucus, he’s probably going to play it straight on the bill.

That means you can expect that either the Republicans in the House will come up with a security only bill, a bill that offers up legalization (but, not citizenship) AFTER security is in place or for them just to drag their feet and never bring the subject up at all.

Long story short, amnesty is now dead as a doornail.

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