As Chamber of Commerce President Donohue Lays Out Political Stakes of GOP Obstruction on Immigration, Speaker Boehner Still Refuses to Deliver a Vote
Yesterday, two prominent Republicans made news on immigration.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue was explicit in warning the GOP about the political stakes of not passing immigration reform, noting that “If the Republicans don’t do it, they shouldn’t bother to run a candidate in 2016.” Donohue’s point echoes our assessment that Republicans are set to march off the “demographic cliff” if they block reform (see the America’s Voice website www.gopcliff.com for more).
Meanwhile, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) issued another volley of immigration chatter, again weighing in with transparent excuses and blame shifting to justify the House’s inaction. Today, the San Antonio Express-News issues a blistering editorial, titled “Boehner Needs to Look in the Mirror,” taking apart the Speaker’s justifications and calling on him to actually deliver a vote on reform. The whole editorial is a must-read:
House Speaker John Boehner was quite right recently slamming his GOP colleagues’ refusal to embrace immigration reform. They do so, he said, because of an attitude that says, ‘Ohhh. Don’t make me do this. This is too hard.’
Speaking of hard things avoided, the key reason immigration reform isn’t now law is because Boehner simply refuses to let it get to the House floor for a vote.
By credible calculation, there are enough votes for passage between most, if not all, Democrats and the Republicans who want it approved.
Boehner stands in the way. When there is a gun to his head, he is willing to suspend the so-called Hastert Rule — which dictates that no bill gets to the floor unless a majority of Republicans supports it. He won’t do this for immigration reform, though support for it includes much of the nation’s business establishment and the actual majority in the House.
Last year, the Senate sent over a comprehensive package, complete with the border security the GOP says it wants. But it also includes a pathway to citizenship, decried as ‘amnesty’ by a lot of Republicans. This ‘amnesty’ requires 13 years of jumping significant obstacles, only to go to the end of the line.
Some have proposed a legal status short of citizenship at the end of the 13 years. In our view, that’s tantamount to telling people, ‘You’re good enough to work for us, but not be us.’ Still, there are indications the other side is willing to listen to this. And still no reform.
Even a version of the DREAM Act that allows people brought here as children to stay if they serve in the U.S. military is savaged as amnesty.
As hard things go, bringing the Senate bill to the House floor for a vote is pretty easy. It’s called democracy. Yes, there could be consequences. Boehner’s caucus might turn on him and he might lose his speakership.
But consider how Boehner finished his thoughts while talking about those reluctant House Republicans: ‘We get elected to make choices. We get elected to solve problems and it’s remarkable to me how many of my colleagues just don’t want to….They’ll take the path of least resistance.’
By late last month, Boehner was furiously backtracking, returning to the fiction that distrust of the president, not GOP infighting and timidity, is the reason there is no comprehensive immigration reform.
Boehner, it turns out, is a frequent traveler on that path of least resistance and believes solving problems is secondary to blaming Obama.
319 Days Since Senate Passed its Immigration Bill; 45 Days Left Until Window of Opportunity Closes