It’s Hispanic Heritage month, and one faction of the House GOP is busy putting out videos trying to cover up the fact that it has taken no action on immigration reform legislation that would help the 11 million. A second faction is waving the “hell, no!” flag and is trying its best to ensure that the House never passes meaningful legislation that would bring people out of the shadows and give Republicans new credibility to pursue Latino voters.
Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) this week is sending around a letter to House colleagues asking Speaker Boehner to promise not to conference any House bill on immigration with any comprehensive or multi-issue bill from the Senate (this would include the legislation the Senate passed in June, S. 744). Stockman has called the Senate bill “unconstitutional” and believes that immigration reform will help President Obama “destroy America.” Apparently he doesn’t think that Boehner’s vow not to take up immigration in the House without a majority of the majority is enough. Stockman wants to ensure that immigration reform will be defined by, and only by, the Tea Party wing in the House of Representatives–a small portion of one-half of one-third of the US government.
Meanwhile, a majority of votes exists in the House to pass immigration reform with a path to citizenship. Such legislation passed through the Senate in June on a 2-1 bipartisan basis. And President Obama reiterated just this week that passing immigration reform is a priority for him and his administration.
But the “hell, no” caucus has spoken. God forbid that Speaker Boehner show some leadership and do something other than listen to them.