While everybody tries to divine exactly what John Boehner might do if confronted with a choice between no enactment of immigration reform and allowing a mostly-Democratic coalition to enact a bill over the shrieks of conservatives, Republicans on the actual committee of jurisdiction on the subject, the House Judiciary Committee, are making it clear they’re in no mood for any Gang of Eight sell-out amnesty nonsense. This report is from National Journal‘s Fawn Johnson is full of bad news for those who think it’s all going to work out fine because everyone secretly wants a deal:
House Speaker John Boehner eased his caucus’s fears that he would kowtow to Democrats when he declared three times Tuesday at a closed-door meeting that he would not put an immigration bill on the House floor without the support of a majority of rank-and-file Republicans, according to a lawmaker who was there.
Boehner also made it clear that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., is running the show when it comes to how the House will approach changing immigration law. Goodlatte wants the overhaul to be done piece by piece, a distinct departure from the Senate’s comprehensive legislation.
Goodlatte came out swinging. The first bill taken up by his committee on Tuesday is by far the most hated by reform advocates and Democrats because it deputizes all police officers to enforce immigration laws. Activists disrupted the committee meeting with cries of “No!” and wore signs that said “Keep Families Together” and “Remember November.” Committee ranking member John Conyers, D-Mich., called the bill “extreme and heinous.”
According to another report, from Jonathan Strong at National Review, Boehner has made it clear his “no bill without a Republican majority” reassurances to conservatives would extend to a House-Senate conference committee bill. So the scenario whereby Boehner and his leadership go through the motions of enacting a “tough” bill with no path to citizenship only to cave to the Senate in the conference committee and then whip the report through the House with mostly Democratic votes doesn’t look too likely at the moment.
All in all, it’s beginning to look like the only thing more arduous than the path to citizenship even Democrats are likely to impose on undocumented workers is the House’s path to final enactment of an immigration bill.