Good news: Bipartisan group of House members working on immigration bill too

posted at 7:24 pm on January 28, 2013 by Allahpundit

If you assume that some sort of terrible immigration reform bill is destined to pass, then maybe this is for the best.

According to a House member involved in the talks, the bipartisan group is extremely close to not only an agreement, but to actually producing legislation. While a specific time table is not yet known, a bill could be introduced in the next several weeks, according to this lawmaker.

“I’m very cautious because we’ve been here before,” the member said, pointing to previous failed efforts at reforming the system. But after four years of often intense, secretive negotiations by the group, legislation now appears to be close at hand.

A leadership aide offered a slightly more cautious assessment, but acknowledged the group which also includes border-state Republicans, Latino Democrats and others has made progress…

The involvement of Sen. Marco Rubio in the efforts both in the House and the Senate have been key, Democratic and Republican aides said. One Republican aide noted Rubio “has had extensive conversations with House members over the last three month” building on his unsuccessful efforts last year to find compromise on the Dream Act. Those discussions have included key committee chairmen as well as influential conseravtives like Rep. Raul Labrador, members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and leadership.

Boehner is reportedly “pretty optimistic” that a deal can be made, in case you thought House Republicans were prepared to torpedo the Senate’s efforts on immigration the way they’ll surely torpedo any significant gun-control bill that Reid can get through. So why is this, potentially, a positive development? Because, in theory, a House immigration bill will be more conservative than anything that comes out of the Senate and that’ll be useful in dragging Reid’s bill towards the right in the conference committee later. Although, admittedly, after the fiscal-cliff deal and the Sandy relief bill passed with only a minority of Republican votes, that’s a dodgier proposition. Maybe we’ve reached the point in the House now where Boehner’s all but abandoned the conservatives in the caucus and is prepared to pass key legislation with a huge majority of Democrats and a small but reliable band of Republican centrists — a total repudiation of the “Hastert Rule,” in other words. In that case, who knows just how squishy the eventual House bill will be? In fact, a friend who’s savvy about politics e-mailed me after the Sandy bill passed to say that immigration would be a true test of how far Boehner’s willing to go, and maybe also a test of how far conservatives are willing to let him go:

I’d suggest that something more subtle may be going on. What you *may* have on the GOP side with the Sandy bill, the fiscal cliff deal, and now a debt ceiling deal is a collective action dilemma. The party collectively does not want the political fallout from keeping those things from becoming law, but members don’t want to do the anti-conservative thing and vote for them, because they will catch hell back home. Thus, they have empowered Boehner to go make deals with the Democrats; that way, they get their cake and eat it, too: the spend-a-thon continues, but they can boast of how they voted against it.

The real test of my thesis versus the Roll Call article’s suggestion (that Dems control the House floor) will be on pieces of legislation that aren’t related to crises. Specifically, immigration and gun control, where the status quo of doing nothing is acceptable. We’ll have to see what Boehner does. If he lets the committee system do its work on these bills, then lets them go through Rules, and ultimately on to the floor with a majority of GOP support, that’s a signal the GOP caucus is in charge. If he negotiates with Reid/Obama, then brings bills directly to the floor, then yeah, the Dems are in charge.

Early bit of evidence in my favor: Boehner was elected Speaker just a day or two after the cliff deal. That tells me that he wasn’t really going against the will of the caucus. If he had, then we would have seen a bigger coup attempt than the idiotic one that happened.

Even if the draft of the House bill is more conservative than the Senate’s draft, the fact that Boehner has proved that he’s willing and able to get tough bills passed by relying on Democrats means Reid and Obama have every incentive to drive a hard bargain in the conference committee. They know there’s a moderate contingent in the House that’s prepared to defy the base; they also know that Republican leaders are in a white-knuckle panic about further alienating Latinos by being cornered on this issue. The votes will be there in the House for whatever Senate Democrats produce so there’s no reason to move to the right in their own draft. Only if the Republican caucus stuck together would the House have real leverage, but we already know that they won’t and thus don’t. In which case, I repeat what I said earlier: If the party really is convinced that a cynical, politically calculated cave on this subject is the only way to begin to heal the breach with Latino voters, despite even centrist conservative pundits warning them that that’s a sucker’s game, then they’re far better off voting for it unanimously than having a majority of the caucus split off and vote no on principle. That would be the ultimate gift to Obama but I think that’s what we’re destined to see. Influential voices on the right are already being raised against the bill, from Ted Cruz to Rush Limbaugh to the boss emeritus. Which House Republican from a strongly conservative district wants to run in 2014 with the base mad at him for voting to legalize illegals?


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JP – I have an Indian friend who will be a citizen next year and he’s shooting blood through his eyes over this.

TxAnn56 on January 28, 2013 at 9:15 PM

I just got back from my holiday in Czech Republic and have a really bad attitude right now. My entire family over there are horrified at what they are seeing unfold. This is a huge knife in the back to those of us who played by the rules.

I wish your friend the best of luck and he should think real hard about what he is about to embark on.

JPeterman on January 28, 2013 at 9:21 PM

Chalk one up to Ted Cruz!!

Scrumpy on January 28, 2013 at 9:08 PM

Actually Scrump, chalk it up to the people that burned his phone lines today. I called every office today as did thousands of other Texans. His office was non-committal most of the day and then the statement came out around 5:00. Not that it was all that great, but we’ll see.

TxAnn56 on January 28, 2013 at 9:21 PM

Any favorite Hendrix tune?

Bmore on January 28, 2013 at 8:08 PM

There can be only one:

“Castles Made of Sand”

Bishop on January 28, 2013 at 9:24 PM

10% of the 2012 vote was hispanic. There are at least 17% hispanics in our nation now. Thats probably underestimating the numbers. Imagine doubling the hispanic vote by 2020? Texas is now in jeopardy. Whats worse, I believe the Democrats have learned that once you get the Hispanics legalised, they will even further begin the “relocation” that is already going on as we speak. They will funnel these new Democratic voters to swing states.

Democrats know what they are doing. They are playing chess. The Republicans are playing Russian roulette.

KMav on January 28, 2013 at 9:28 PM

Rubio is on Hannity blah, blah, blah. He’s talking so fast I can’t keep up with him. Looks like Hannity has caved to this bullsh!t too.

JPeterman on January 28, 2013 at 9:07 PM

Contrary to what he says, Sean Hannity is a Republican first and a conservative second (or maybe tenth).

bw222 on January 28, 2013 at 9:29 PM

House should just tie any discussion on the immigration bill to a growing economy. Two consecutive quarters of 5% growth and real unemployment at 5%.

The GOP would come down on the side of the 23 million AMERICANS unemployed, the 6 million AMERICANS who have just given up hope, the 47 million AMERICANS already on food stamps, the black and hispanic AMERICANS who have double digit unemployment, etc. We really should be already to pit these groups against each other and against amnesty.

monalisa on January 28, 2013 at 9:31 PM

The Republican Party will end due to their own stupid legislation. I am relieved that many of you have finally awakened and are leaving this stupid party for solid Conservatives in third parties. Perhaps, consolidation will occur and a solid Conservative Party will emerge after the Republic burns down and the rest of America awakens to the failure of Statism.

Decoski on January 28, 2013 at 9:33 PM

To allow those who came here illegally to be placed on such a path is both inconsistent with rule of law and profoundly unfair to the millions of legal immigrants who waited years, if not decades, to come to America legally.

can_con

Not to mention a slap in the face to American citizens.

xblade on January 28, 2013 at 9:37 PM

Well I’m listening to Karl Rove on O’Reilly and he can’t shower enough praise on this plan and the remarkable Marco Rubio.

JPeterman on January 28, 2013 at 8:42 PM

Sounds like the “next in line” has already been determined.

kim roy on January 28, 2013 at 9:39 PM

Contrary to what he says, Sean Hannity is a Republican first and a conservative second (or maybe tenth).

bw222 on January 28, 2013 at 9:29 PM

He sure isn’t any “great American”. He’s a great opportunist and puppet though. We should probably start calling him Lamb Chop (the older crowd will know who that is).

TxAnn56 on January 28, 2013 at 9:40 PM

Democrats know what they are doing. They are playing chess. The Republicans are playing Russian roulette.

KMav on January 28, 2013 at 9:28 PM

with four out of six chambers loaded.

arnold ziffel on January 28, 2013 at 9:41 PM

He sure isn’t any “great American”. He’s a great opportunist and puppet though. We should probably start calling him Lamb Chop (the older crowd will know who that is).

TxAnn56 on January 28, 2013 at 9:40 PM

I call him his Irish name, “dead to me.”

arnold ziffel on January 28, 2013 at 9:42 PM

Sounds like the “next in line” has already been determined.

kim roy on January 28, 2013 at 9:39 PM

I mentioned that in another thread.

Rubio/Jeb Bush 2016 or the other way around. Time for a 3rd party.

JPeterman on January 28, 2013 at 9:44 PM

Rubio/Jeb Bush 2016 or the other way around. Time for a 3rd party.

JPeterman on January 28, 2013 at 9:44 PM

Probably more like Bush/Rubio, aka Edgar Bergen/Charlie McCarthy

TxAnn56 on January 28, 2013 at 9:49 PM

He sure isn’t any “great American”. He’s a great opportunist and puppet though. We should probably start calling him Lamb Chop (the older crowd will know who that is).

TxAnn56 on January 28, 2013 at 9:40 PM

As we have discussed recently, Sean Hannity isn’t the brightest star in the sky. I am sure he takes whatever stand Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes tell him to take.

bw222 on January 28, 2013 at 9:51 PM

The best bet the Republicans have is to keep McCain away from the microphones and keep their mouths shut. There are ways to get this done and I’m just not ready to believe they know how to do the political side of this bill.

bflat879 on January 28, 2013 at 9:51 PM

The best bet the Republicans have is to keep McCain away from the microphones

bflat879 on January 28, 2013 at 9:51 PM

And keep the sun from rising in the East. :)

arnold ziffel on January 28, 2013 at 9:53 PM

Sounds like the “next in line” has already been determined.

kim roy on January 28, 2013 at 9:39 PM

I mentioned that in another thread.

Rubio/Jeb Bush 2016 or the other way around. Time for a 3rd party.

JPeterman on January 28, 2013 at 9:44 PM

I was saying that after the primary when Romney won. All Romney was is a stop gap and we’re seeing what the libs/Obama have in mind with a weak GOP.

kim roy on January 28, 2013 at 9:57 PM

I was saying that after the primary when Romney won. All Romney was is a stop gap and we’re seeing what the libs/Obama have in mind with a weak GOP.

kim roy on January 28, 2013 at 9:57 PM

You have no idea how unhappy I am right now.

JPeterman on January 28, 2013 at 10:06 PM

House should just tie any discussion on the immigration bill to a growing economy. Two consecutive quarters of 5% growth and real unemployment at 5%.

monalisa on January 28, 2013 at 9:31 PM

Uh … NO.

This is an issue of sovereignty and the Rule of Law, not economics. It’s not a difficult concept.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 28, 2013 at 10:49 PM

One word describes the elitist GOP–complicity!

psst, vote for them or you’ll get Obama….

Don L on January 29, 2013 at 5:19 AM

Uh … NO.

This is an issue of sovereignty and the Rule of Law, not economics. It’s not a difficult concept.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 28, 2013 at 10:49 PM

I get your point but if you tie it to a growing economy it will never happen with Obama in office and it will expose the democrats for who they are.

monalisa on January 29, 2013 at 7:32 AM

House dinosaurs to join Senate dinosaurs in trying to find a way to say that the big bright fiery object in the sky is just the rising of a new sun and a new day.

Ah, how cute they are trying to figure out that this is going nowhere. I cannot wait for the day that these numbskulls are no longer elected not because their politics are dead but because their voters just stop voting for them. They deny the obvious.

They think this is the herald of a brighter day… yeah, right… bright enough to vaporize you if you stand around trying to figure out how to just ‘play it right’. Their brains are gone, but their bodies will lumber on for awhile yet until the stupidity becomes blindingly obvious to everyone. Might be too late by then, of course, but is worth pointing out now for the ability to say ‘I told you so’ in a few months.

If we want to find other Nations with far harsher border controls we need but look south of our own border and into Latin America. They do a MUCH better job at stopping this stuff than we do, and yet we dare not emulate a good example. But that takes intelligence, brains, and ability to actually think and not act like an apparatchik. Their end is coming, D’s and R’s both as their Elites flail around to re-apply old tricks to problems that can’t be solved by them. Poor old dinosaurs. Yet they have so many fellow sauropods wanting to believe in something that just doesn’t work that its failure, once more, just might be enough to be a cluebat. I’m not betting on that. Ignorance can be fixed, stupidity is a disease that only the individual can cure.

ajacksonian on January 29, 2013 at 8:07 AM

The health-care crisis wasn’t and neither is immigration – in the sense of government making the problem even worse with secretive and ill-considered arbitrariness.

The budget crisis is and the government is unable to face it.

Every lawmaker voting for non-essential reform at this time is in dereliction of duty.

virgo on January 29, 2013 at 10:38 AM

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