Immigration reform collapsing in the House?

posted at 6:01 pm on June 6, 2013 by Allahpundit

‘Twas ObamaCare that killed the beast. Or at least momentarily stunned it.

Bipartisan meetings in the House of Representatives on a comprehensive immigration reform bill have failed, and the congressmen will meet for the last time today without reaching an agreement on a House bill, ABC News has learned.

The stumbling block is GOP insistence that newly legalized workers now working in the shadows have no access to government-sponsored health care during their 15-year pathway to citizenship, according to two sources with access to the secret house “Gang of 8″ meetings.

Democrats say that since these newly legalized immigrants would be paying taxes they should be eligible for benefits.

Raul Labrador, who’s been playing a role similar to Rubio’s in the House’s version of the Gang of Eight as a rising GOP Latino star who might be able to sell reform to conservatives, quit the group last night over the health-care impasse and will start writing his own bill now. Is that a divorce, though, or a trial separation, with his new, more conservative bill designed to squeeze the House Gang into caving to his original health-care demands?

One reason to think this is more significant than a mere negotiating ploy: Per Conn Carroll, Rubio himself suddenly sounded open yesterday to passing reform in a series of smaller separate bills, as the House GOP prefers, rather than in one omnibus comprehensive package. The solution has to be comprehensive, but maybe we can get there piecemeal. From the Hill’s report on Rubio’s (and Rand Paul’s and Mike Lee’s) meeting with the House Republican Study Committee:

Lawmakers described the meeting as an “airing of ideas” rather than a debate, but Rubio and his allies received confirmation — if any was needed — that conservatives in the House remain skeptical if not outright opposed to the border security element of the Senate bill…

Flake and Rubio downplayed the impact that a collapse of the bipartisan House group effort would have on the overall push, but Flake said the chances for a final bill would improve if the House passed legislation that is “more comprehensive.”

“I’m not in a position to tell the House what they can or should do,” Rubio said. “This issue can be handled in separate bills, but ultimately it must be handled comprehensively. It doesn’t have to be one bill.”

Carroll thinks maybe that’s Rubio’s Plan C in case Plan B, his border-security amendment with John Cornyn, fails in the Senate. Would Plan C work, though? Both Schumer and McCain said in late April that comprehensive reform via piecemeal legislation won’t fly. Obviously, Democrats would never agree to pass a border-security bill now with the promise of passing a path to citizenship later; they don’t care about border security for its own sake, they care about it as a bargaining chip for legalization. Passing the former without the latter would mean giving up entirely on the bargain. Rubio’s idea of separate bills would, I take it, involve the House passing a discrete border-security bill and a path to citizenship bill (along with bills on visas, guest-worker programs, etc) and then sending both to the Senate so that the bargaining remains in effect. I’m not sure what the virtue of piecemeal legislation is in that case, though.

Maybe, by splitting each issue off, you’ll encourage Congress to consider the details in each more carefully than they would if you jammed everything together in one big sloppy comprehensive bill. Or maybe not; if everything’s going to have to pass as part of a grand immigration bargain anyway, the process will remain an exercise in horse-trading on security and legalization. Another potential virtue of piecemeal bills is that they might slow the whole process down: Take some time to get border security right, then move on to guest workers, then move on to legalization. Give each component the attention it richly deserves. The problem with that approach is that 80 percent of the reason the GOP’s taken this up in the first place is to impress Latino voters next year (and in 2016). If the process bogs down, that purpose may be defeated. Which makes me think Rubio’s endorsement of Plan C might be more of a face-saving gesture than a bona fide option in case things start to fall apart in the Senate. He doesn’t want to be seen as quitting on this process, for reasons I explained in yesterday’s post. If all else fails, he’ll endorse piecemeal bills and then let Democrats walk away so that they can take some of the blame for failure.

Exit question: Is Pelosi suddenly trying to sabotage the House’s efforts on immigration? And if so, er, why would she do that?


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Exit question: Is Pelosi suddenly trying to sabotage the House’s efforts on immigration? And if so, er, why would she do that?

No she’s not trying to sabotage it, she’s just delusional. Unfortunately delusional people are sometimes successful in their efforts.

Fenris on June 6, 2013 at 6:07 PM

In other words “Mi casa is mi casa”

VegasRick on June 6, 2013 at 6:07 PM

Rubio is the wacko bird

redguy on June 6, 2013 at 6:07 PM

Nice. Good news for now on that front. I think it’ll barely pass senate and people will basically just nod the house to kill it. I’m an eeyore as much as you Allah but I do not see a plus thousand page immigration bill getting to the One’s desk this year.

Flapjackmaka on June 6, 2013 at 6:09 PM

Immigration reform collapsing in the House?

YES IT CAN!

Stoic Patriot on June 6, 2013 at 6:12 PM

Democrats would never agree to pass a border-security bill now with the promise of passing a path to citizenship later; they don’t care about border security for its own sake, they care about it as a bargaining chip for legalization.

So let’s make them campaign on that. Americans care about border-security. It is a populist argument. Let liberals attempt to be on the opposite side of wanting to secure our border and see what happens electorally.

weaselyone on June 6, 2013 at 6:14 PM

The RINOS/d-cRAT socialist extremists might be trying to REPEAT HISTORY:

President Reagan had a deal with disgusting lying reporbate Tip O’Neill, who was the d-cRAT Speaker of the d-cRAT-controlled House, to enact strict, permanent border-control actions that would STOP ILLEGAL immigration if Reagan sign the AMNESTY BILL. Reagan approved the AMNESTY in good faith expecting O’neill to then do his part on border security. Naturally, as a lying, unethical degenerate d-cRAT (pardon the redundancy) O’neill simply shafted Reagan and America by not doing ANYTHING on border security, and letting the invading hoards of taxpayer leeches/criminals to continue their take-over of our country.

TeaPartyNation on June 6, 2013 at 6:15 PM

Obviously, Democrats would never agree to pass a border-security bill now with the promise of passing a path to citizenship later; they don’t care about border security for its own sake, they care about it as a bargaining chip for legalization.

That’s absolutely the case. So if a comprehensive bill is passed, why would we trust the democratics and an illegitimate president to EVER secure the border?

slickwillie2001 on June 6, 2013 at 6:16 PM

Guess the idiots on Capitol Hill decided to actually READ their bill BEFORE passing it.

Nancy Pelosi is devastated.

GarandFan on June 6, 2013 at 6:18 PM

This thing was doomed almost from day one…and it really was doomed the second all these scandals took flight.

I never understood the argument that the scandals made it easier to pass immigration reform. Right now the water is so poisoned that they will be lucky to even pass any of the broken down portions of this thing, including even more border security.

It is going to be gridlock until at least after 2014, and more likely after 2016. It is political trench warfare and the lines are not going to move any time soon.

William Eaton on June 6, 2013 at 6:18 PM

I’ve never hired an illegal and never will. But I lose money because of that. Why are we still allowing business owners so much leeway in this matter? The business across the yard from us appears to totally operated by non-English speaking, non-citizens. They’re doing damn good too. But how many Americans are out of work because of it?

You’d think it was about money. It’s not. It all comes down the vote.

Franchise rights are the real prize here. It would be unfair for millions of non-citizens to be granted the rights of US citizens.

That’s the deal.

The problem arises when reality kicks in and Tea Party bigotry surfaces and true intentions are revealed.

Capitalist Hog on June 6, 2013 at 6:18 PM

GOP is drinking on the way to the car ready to floor it into oblivion. Priebus FAIL!

Capitalist Hog on June 6, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Nancy Pelosi is devastated.

GarandFan on June 6, 2013 at 6:18 PM

She almost had a facial expresion.

VegasRick on June 6, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Rubio has 75% of the letters in RINO

philw1776 on June 6, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Rubio has 75% of the letters in RINO

philw1776 on June 6, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Rubio is an anagram for “Our Bi”. Make of that what you will.

Fenris on June 6, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Rubio has 75% of the letters in RINO

philw1776 on June 6, 2013 at 6:25 PM

obama has 60% of the letters in MORON.

VegasRick on June 6, 2013 at 6:30 PM

it’s not “reform”……..IT’S AMNESTY!!!

It’s lipstick on a pig.

PappyD61 on June 6, 2013 at 6:33 PM

Capitalist Hog Jun 6, 2013 6:18 Tea Party bigotry. The return of Johnny One-Note.

Bitter Clinger on June 6, 2013 at 6:35 PM

I’m actually for immigration reform at some point in some form, but as long as Obama is president, why should we even bother? Immigration reform requires people skeptical of it to trust their government, and there is no reason for someone even slightly right of center to trust the government right now.

MinnesotaSlinger on June 6, 2013 at 6:35 PM

It better collapse.

Mirimichi on June 6, 2013 at 6:36 PM

Oh well, Pelosi will simply have to keep hiring illegals to work on her vineyards.

Bishop on June 6, 2013 at 6:38 PM

Democrats say that since these newly legalized immigrants would be paying taxes receiving tax “credits” they should be eligible for even more taxpayer-funded benefits, such as $20,000 a year in Obamacare subsidies.

Edited for accuracy.

I for one am enjoying the irony of the prospect of one of the Dims’ big legislative debacles (Obamacare) destroying the chances of passing the other (“comprehensive” amnesty).

AZCoyote on June 6, 2013 at 6:39 PM

This could actually kill the whole amnesty deal. The Senate bill was structured so that newly-amnestied illegal aliens would not be eligible for taxpayer-funded benefits (at least on paper) for 10 years.

The selection of that 10 year time period was no accident. When the CBO scores the “comprehensive” bill to ensure that it will be “deficit neutral,” they only look at . . . the first 10 years of the law’s operation.

So if amnestied illegals are allowed to claim Obamacare subsidies from Day One, that throws a big monkey wrench into the “gang’s” little 10-year scam.

As we all know, the vast majority of illegal aliens who will be amnestied are low-skill, low-education, limited-English individuals who will be working in low-paying jobs. Allowing them to be eligible for all those expensive Obamacare subsidies ($20,000 per year for a family of four, and that’s just for a mid-range plan), would be hugely expensive — and would destroy the CBO’s ability to pretend that the amnesty bill is “deficit neutral.”

AZCoyote on June 6, 2013 at 6:52 PM

Retard Hog

Speaking of bigots….

xblade on June 6, 2013 at 7:04 PM

I’m not so sure. I think the 3 stooges in House leadership are gearing up for an amnesty bill in the House. Why else would they stage a meaningless vote against Obama’s amnesty? I’m sure many have read about it in the Washington Times. It is currently linked on Drudge. The House did the same thing with Obamacare. They vote to repeal it while at the same time voting to fully fund it in a budget resolution.

Wigglesworth on June 6, 2013 at 7:10 PM

Why does everything always have to be comprehensive? The last comprehensive bill was Obamacare and look how thats turning out.

ldbgcoleman on June 6, 2013 at 7:11 PM

The problem with that approach is that 80 percent of the reason the GOP’s taken this up in the first place is to impress Latino voters next year (and in 2016).

Really?

Really?!?

Is that where this country is at?

Is that the purpose of the United States Congress now?

Guess the other 200 million Americans in this country don’t have a say in this.

Nice to know that 80% of the reason for this circle jerk is ethnic pandering.

MichaelGabriel on June 6, 2013 at 7:13 PM

Why does everything always have to be comprehensive? The last comprehensive bill was Obamacare and look how thats turning out.

ldbgcoleman on June 6, 2013 at 7:11 PM

Because that’s how Dems work. Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, etc.

Wethal on June 6, 2013 at 7:14 PM

it’s not “reform”……..IT’S AMNESTY!!!

PappyD61 on June 6, 2013 at 6:33 PM

It’s not amnesty … it’s TREASON.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 6, 2013 at 7:39 PM

Gang of 8 got an ear full from a few in the House when they went to sell the immigration (amnesty) bill.

Rep. Louie Gohmert on the scandals and setting priorities:

All these things are like termites that are eating into the framework and they’re destroying the framework and for the first time the American people are finally noticing all the damage to our infrastructure, to our framework and to our very existence here in the country,” Gohmert said. “And now all of a sudden you guys want to stand up and say forget about the termite damage, and the fact the house is about to fall in on us, let’s talk about all the guests we have in our home right now and whether we’re going to give them legal status and whether we’re going to have more guests join us and what their status will be. And the house is about to come down around our ears. We need to fix this problem and not get distracted, do it right, and fix these other problems while America is looking and supporting. And then we need to demand that the president secure the border and then we’ll take care of the immigration problem after he secures the border.”

jffree1 on June 6, 2013 at 8:03 PM

Capitalist Hog on June 6, 2013

…eat your OWN Rocky Mountain Oysters!

KOOLAID2 on June 6, 2013 at 8:06 PM

Further good news: The House has voted to defund Obysmal’s illegal Executive Order re The Dream Act.
http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2013/06/house-votes-to-defund-obamas-illegal-executive-order-for-the-dream-act/

onlineanalyst on June 6, 2013 at 9:28 PM

Pelosi would sabotage it because she knows the media will spin any death of the bill in the House on republicans no matter what. Win win for her.

Iblis on June 6, 2013 at 10:44 PM

We already have laws on the books on immigration. Why do we need new laws when the old ones aren’t being enforced? Use the laws we have and if they need changing work on that. We don’t pay these guys by the word, do we? KISS it. Oh, and that dem lie about the newly non illegals paying taxes is a joke. They’ll be getting a refund check instead.

Kissmygrits on June 7, 2013 at 8:44 AM

We already have laws on the books on immigration. Why do we need new laws when the old ones aren’t being enforced?
Kissmygrits on June 7, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Why indeed. Truth is the only reason for new “laws” is to create and save far more corruption and waste that will benefit politicians and their cronies. Period.

DrDeano on June 7, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Exit question: Is Pelosi suddenly trying to sabotage the House’s efforts on immigration? And if so, er, why would she do that?

Allah, the answer seems to be two-fold. Democrats need enrollees for Obamacare because if they don’t have that, Obamacare premiums skyrocket. The second reason is that she, like Reid and Schumer, are anxious to paint the GOP as the anti-Hispanic party. The GOP mistakenly believes that the reason why they lost the 2012 Presidential election was because of Hispanics. Hispanics voting strongly for Obama was one factor, but another factor was very high turnout among African Americans, a depressed GOP ground game caused by a number of factors both self inflicted by the Romney campaign, IRS suppression of tea party groups, and people that stayed home not voting for Romney. Schumer and Pelosi are using this to try to hoodwink the GOP on these mistaken perceptions and save their butts when next year’s mid-terms roll around. The House’s approach is correct because doing it piecemeal denies the Democrats a boon for their chances in 2014 since the scandals and the Obamacare hikes that are coming are going to kill them. Rubio’s got a very fine line he has to walk here and it shows in his most recent statements. Screw Schumer and McCain. All Boehner has to do is smile, keep talking about it, but for the House to pass any bill that comes out prior to the 2014 mid-terms would be a monumentally stupid political move.

phoenixrisen on June 7, 2013 at 2:16 PM