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Last night, Rachel Maddow aired a segment on what’s next for immigration reform in the House, or as she called it, “the nonsense-hole that is the United States Congress.”
Last month, the Senate passed its immigration bill by a 68-32 vote, which sets up a dilemma for the House, since they now refuse the pass the Senate bill, are suspicious of doing anything piecemeal, do not have an alternate bill of their own–and realize that they can’t just do nothing.
As Maddow said, “This is like coming to a fork in the road and saying that you can’t go right, you can’t go left, but you have to go!”
As others have noted, however, there is a potential solution:
If somebody wants to free John Boehner and the Republican Congressional leadership from the burden of punching themselves in the face all day long while doing nothing, insisting that they cannot just do nothing, the way to save them, and the way to save immigration reform, is called a discharge petition.
Such a petition, of course, would bring the Senate bill to a vote on the House floor–where it would probably pass–without having to garner the votes needed to satisfy the Hastert rule.
As Maddow said:
It is the trapdoor that Congress could jump through right now to save everybody’s bacon. It’s a win-win-win-win-win. The conservatives would get to complain all they want. John Boehner and the rest of the conservative leadership could say to the Republicans, ‘who, me? We didn’t do it!’ Only people who want to vote for the bill would have to vote for the bill, and one of the stupidest policy quagmires affecting millions of people in this country for decades now would finally get at least partially fixed by a big bipartisan thing that everyone could kind of feel Kumbaaya about. Ta-da!
Watch the segment below: