Immigration Shoe Dropping

I don’t know how many people actually thought that after manufacturing a fiscal crisis House Republicans would announce: “As our next act, we’ll whip immigration reform through to enaction!” But since pro-reform groups, with some help from the president, turned the heat back up, GOPers are having to respond, and the excuses for doing nothing are sadly hilarious, per this Palmer/Sherman report in Politico:

Following the fiscal battles last month, the internal political dynamics are tenuous within the House Republican Conference. A growing chorus of GOP lawmakers and aides are intensely skeptical that any of the party’s preferred piecemeal immigration bills can garner the support 217 Republicans — they would need that if Democrats didn’t lend their votes. Republican leadership doesn’t see anyone coalescing around a single plan, according to sources across GOP leadership. Leadership also says skepticism of President Barack Obama within the House Republican Conference is at a high, and that’s fueled a desire to stay out of a negotiating process with the Senate. Republicans fear getting jammed.

“I think there are a lot of folks who are concerned about this issue not getting solved, and I think legitimately so,” Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) told POLITICO. “Because I do think that every day that goes by, it makes it more and more difficult.”

Other prominent immigration supporters like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) have also backed off any deal, saying the Obama administration has “undermined” negotiations by not defunding his signature health care law. Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) went further, saying Obama is trying to “destroy the Republican Party” and that GOP leaders would be “crazy” to enter into talks with Obama.

Hey, and those are the Republicans supporting immigration reform, including the senator most associated with the Senate bill that reform advocates are asking the House to take up. Just wait until the nativists weigh in.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.