Harry Reid: Let’s face it, Boehner’s going to cave on amnesty

posted at 10:31 am on December 5, 2013 by Allahpundit

And so, seven a half years after Hot Air launched, the day has come. Harry Reid is finally indisputably right about something.

“I think there’s going to be so much pressure on the House that they’ll have to pass it,” he said…

“We have a lot of these congressional districts, they don’t care because they don’t have people of color in their congressional districts,” Reid said. “They don’t care. But there are a number of them who do care. If the Republicans ever want to elect a Republican president again, they’re going to have to get right with the Hispanic and Asian community who by more than 70 percent voted for [President Barack] Obama last time.”…

“This is an issue that isn’t going to go away,” he said. “It’s here. We have 11 million people here who are not going to be sent back to their country of origin. They can’t do that. They can’t do it fiscally. They can’t do it physically. It’s nearly impossible.”…

Although a minority of Republicans would have to join with Democrats to pass immigration reform legislation containing a pathway to citizenship for people in the United States illegally, Reid said Boehner is “going to cave in.”

Mickey Kaus wonders: If Reid really wanted Boehner to cave, he wouldn’t be saying stuff like this, would he? All it’ll do is raise alarms among border hawks in the conservative base, which will make it harder for Boehner to act. Someone who sincerely wanted a compromise with the GOP on immigration rather than a cudgel to beat them with before the midterms would keep his mouth shut now. I don’t know, though — the fact that Boehner just hired McCain’s former immigration advisor says to me that he’s firmly committed to getting this done, sooner rather than later. Boehner’s play now, as Erick Erickson correctly predicts, is to wait until the deadline for primary challenges has passed early next year and then to spring a big new amnesty push on the public. Conservatives will be incensed, but who cares? After a year of horrible ObamaCare news, they’ll turn out for the GOP anyway next November to send Obama a message that America hates his boondoggle. The fact of the matter is that even if Obama’s job approval stays as pitiful as it is now and the economy continues to creep along with slow growth, the big GOP advantage at the polls next year might cost Democrats … just five House seats. There simply aren’t many purple districts left. The real danger to the Dems is in the Senate, and there are more than enough Republican amnesty shills there who aren’t facing voters next year to help Reid get some sort of House immigration bill through.

Between the relatively small stakes for the House in the midterms and the fact that he’ll have ObamaCare’s woes to exploit to shore up conservative support, Boehner probably figures that next year is his best chance to pass immigration reform. It might cost him his Speakership, but if you believe the rumors about his retirement, that might not matter to him. (If he can work out a grand bargain with Obama on deficit reduction to secure his “legacy,” who knows? He might throw in amnesty as a bonus and then ride off into the sunset.) Even if he wants to stay on, a sustained legislative effort to roll back pieces of O-Care might placate House tea partiers enough that they won’t end up ousting him after all. Republican business interests demand their amnesty, damn it, and they’ve been waiting at least six years. Like Reid says, he’ll cave. Why pretend otherwise, even if doing so would make it slightly easier for him to do so? Exit quotation from Mark Krikorian, writing about Boehner’s hire of McCain’s advisor: “This whole incident highlights the trust gap between conservatives and the Republican leadership. It’s not just that the party apparatchiks aren’t conservative — that almost goes without saying. The problem is that they often pretend to be conservative, especially at election time, and then sell out when it comes to making law.”

Update: I think this theory from the comments of why Reid said what he said is correct: “He’s judged conservatives won’t actually be able to stop Boehner, so he feels free to go ahead and do as much damage to Boehner as he can through this miserable process.”

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“Since a bipartisan group of US senators unveiled their proposal this week to resolve the status of millions of undocumented workers in the United States, and President Obama outlined a set of principles for reform, the Mexican government has stayed quietly out of the fray – sparking questions here about what, if any, role Mexico should play.

Mexico has more at stake than many other nations whose people leave for US shores: Fully 10 percent of the Mexican population resides in the US. Sixty percent of the 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants living and working in the US are Mexican, according to Pew Hispanic Center.

“The current Mexican government of Enrique Peña Nieto has been very careful to say that they are not going to interfere in the domestic decisions of the US,” says Jesus Velasco, a political science professor at Tarleton State University in Texas. “It’s silly. The American political system permits that the interests of foreign countries should be represented here.”

Mr. Velasco cited the effective lobbying by the Mexican government on NAFTA in the 1990s. But immigration has been a stickier issue.

Immigration was once the central theme of the bilateral relationship. A decade ago, former Mexican President Vicente Fox met with President George W. Bush five times in nine months to discuss the issue and in an address to Congress boldly requested action before the end of the year. That was in 2001, just days before the Sept. 11 attacks. The agenda quickly fell apart.

Former President Felipe Calderón wiped immigration off the slate in 2006 and retrained the focus of the US-Mexico relationship on security. Today, six years later, Mr. Peña Nieto appears poised to do the same….”


“Yet Mexico’s oil sector is set to begin a radical transformation. Under the leadership of President Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico’s congress will, by the end of this year (according to a half-dozen analysts I spoke to) pass a constitutional amendment to open up the sector to private investment. By this time next year the likes of ExxonMobil, PetroChina and Statoil could even have contracts in place to start exploring for Mexico’s untapped oil and gas bounty.

How big could these oil reforms be for Mexico’s economy? Not only will it be bigger than the revolution in shale drilling and fracking has been in the United States, says Duncan Wood, director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center, “This will be the most significant change in Mexico’s economic policy in 100 years.”

That’s why the energy reforms are the most anticipated piece of the ambitious agenda of government overhauls that Peña Nieto has embarked upon in just his first year in office. This package, which the president has called “The Grand Transformation” aims at shoring up the Mexican economy, reducing violent crime, upending its mismanaged public school system and increasing tax collection.

“The opportunity to accelerate our economy is inside of our country — it’s in the decisions that we will make as a nation,” said Peña Nieto, in his first state of the union speech in September.

Why would the oil and gas reforms be so significant to Mexico? Because of all the oil and gas it could unlock, and the vast wealth that could be created in the process. How much? Well, according to government estimates Mexico contains proven, probable and possible reserves of more than 45 billion barrels of oil and in excess of 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

If the reforms happen, “You will have industrialization in Mexico that didn’t exist before,” Pemex CEO Emilio Lozoya was quoted earlier this year. “After all, we share the same geology as the USA.”

But without reforms, all that oil and gas would simply remain locked in the ground.

Why can’t Pemex get it out? Because Pemex, despite being one of the world’s biggest oil companies, does not have sufficient technical expertise to explore and develop promising prospects such as in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico or in the tricky shale layers just south of the border from Texas’ booming Eagle Ford shale. What’s more, Pemex has virtually no hope of acquiring or borrowing such expertise under the current status quo, which allows the company to only enter into service contracts…

That’s enough to attract the likes of Halliburton and Schlumberger to Mexico. But the Big Oil companies with real expertise and giant balance sheets like ExxonMobil, or Chevron wouldn’t even consider taking on the massive risks of drilling complex wells if they weren’t guaranteed a juicy cut of whatever oil and gas they found. Couldn’t Pemex develop that expertise in-house? No. With Mexico relying on Pemex revenues to fund a third of the federal budget, the company has been starved of the capital it needs to drill, develop and grow…

But President Peña Nieto can’t just push through reforms any more than Calderon could. The Mexican public is wary about “privatization,” and it’s easy to see why. Deregulation of the telecom industry there led to the rise of Telmex, which created the fortune of Carlos Slim Helu — the richest man in the world. Though Mexicans may have some pride in their countryman being the world’s richest, the fact that he became so as a result of the privatization of a monopoly is anathema in a country where so many millions still live in poverty….

“When you hold back market economics you’re going to run into problems,” says Wood. “There’s not one company who can do it all.” Especially in natural gas. Pemex has long fostered an institutional bias against looking for natural gas. Not because Mexico doesn’t need the gas (it currently imports about 2 billion cubic feet a day) but because oil has always been where the money is. “Gas was not a priority,” says Jose Valera. As a result, there will be ample opportunity for gas-focused drillers to enter the game. And following from that will be demand for massive investments in gas pipelines. The nation has 6,000 miles of them now, says Valera, but could use three times as many.

It will be very good for Mexico’s economy to encourage entrepreneurs to invest private capital in new oil companies. To survive, they would have to be efficient and profitable. With time, and success, the character of homegrown Mexican oil companies would have the effect of highlighting what needs to change about Pemex.

In recent years Mexico’s entrepreneurs, including Carlos Slim, have already formed drilling companies to work under contract for Pemex. The hottest spot has been in the offshore drilling business. Sources in the rig brokering industry say that there is nowhere in the world where jack-up rigs for use in coastal waters are in such high demand; shallow water drilling remains a core competency for Pemex…”


workingclass artist on December 5, 2013 at 1:35 PM

At what point do these idiots realize that donations don’t equal votes? Am I to assume that they want to be wealthy and out of power?

Cindy Munford on December 5, 2013 at 1:51 PM

At what point do these idiots realize that donations don’t equal votes? Am I to assume that they want to be wealthy and out of power?

Cindy Munford on December 5, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Can’t fix stupid…

California is calling the shots on this one…Not Texas.

workingclass artist on December 5, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Most Latino illegals come to the US to get work and educate their children…Unless they go to California to go on welfare.

If Nieto succeeds in reforming the Mexican energy sector it will result in an economic boom and Texans are poised to reap the benefit.

I think California will be the big loser in this one which is why they are pushing the amnesty deal.

Just my humble opinion.

workingclass artist

None of which refutes my point…that will still leave about 19 million here, and more will still come. Everyone can’t work in the oil industry. And don’t get me wrong, I’m all for Mexico getting it’s sh*t together, but I’m just not as optimistic as you when it comes to how many will go back.

xblade on December 5, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Some tactical notes for tea partiers:
The issues of Obamacare and amnesty are both linked by cronyism. The two should be tied together and attacked simultaneously, IMO. Conservatives and libertarians should take every opportunity to link the issues in that way whenever possible and evangelize it at left leaning sites where millenials hang out. The same millennials who are coming to realize they are among the biggest victims of Obamacare, will also be the biggest victims of amnesty and open-borders policies that will undermine their employment opportunities and change America for the worse even more than it already has.

Obamacare is actually crony-care, and amnesty is too, and young people will pay the biggest price for the betrayal. The American people should be up in arms if the ruling class tries to impose amnesty, and if they aren’t then it’s only because they’ve been kept in the dark. We need to turn on the light.

If Rand Paul were a strong opponent of amnesty and open-borders, requiring he distance himself from the McConnell/Boehner crony establishment, I think he would win the ’16 nomination and the general in a historic landslide. If he is soft on illegal immigration, but opposes it, then he might have chance, but much less so.

FloatingRock on December 5, 2013 at 2:38 PM

America is in severe need of an American-Renaissance president, one that will put a stop to cronyism like Obamacare and amnesty that are bringing America down and helps to make America a better, freer place to live. Obamacare, amnesty and other manifestations of crony corruption are bringing America down. Candidates that push those policies, rather than representing an American re-birth, represent the death-throws of a once great nation that has been taken over by the corrupt.

FloatingRock on December 5, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Harry Reid poses that same old false dichotomy that every open borders advocate, including my Senator Heller (GOP Amnesty-NV) and Congressman Amodei (GOP Amnesty-NV) use over and over again:

“We can’t afford to deport 11 million, THEREFORE we must make them citizens.. blah blah blah.”

They deceitfully ignore the most popular, economical, efficient, just, and logical solution: attrition through enforcement.

The only poll to offer all three choices:


Watch and listen to this self-deporting illegal alien explain it:


fred5678 on December 5, 2013 at 2:57 PM

I actually think the pressure is on Boehner, to do a tight-rope act, more then anything else. Basically, they cannot pass outright amnesty, the pressure in the vast majority of districts they need to carry in 2014 is outright against it.

Similarly, they cannot, “not,” do something to try to soften minority communities. So, the pressure is to do something to creates the appearance of a pathway to citizenship, that isn’t actually going to legalize many people here illegally.

So, basically, as with 95% of all politics, it’s all one great big struggle to find a political fig-leaf. Reid’s just trying to make that more difficult, by creating creating turbulence between Boehner and conservative groups.

Frankly, I’d ignore it. I refuse to left Reid play mind-games with me.

WolvenOne on December 5, 2013 at 2:57 PM

He had better not!

neyney on December 5, 2013 at 3:07 PM

The party of “cave” men will do it again. There is no anticipation as to ‘if’ they cave, only ‘when’. It will be just another reason to vote them all out and start all over. How could it be any worse, they already let us down at every showdown with the Dems and they sure don’t listen to the voting conservative Repubs. They are part to those of the party that gave us McCain and Romney to vote for the last two campaigns.
Either fix this party or someone start a separate constitutional, conservative party, please !!!

Artie on December 5, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Similarly, they cannot, “not,” do something to try to soften minority communities.

WolvenOne on December 5, 2013 at 2:57 PM

That’s not true, in fact Minorities and young citizens will be harmed the most by amnesty.

FloatingRock on December 5, 2013 at 3:35 PM

If/when the subject of politics comes up during the holidays, don’t talk about the minimum wage, talk about how Obamacare, amnesty, NSA fascism and the Hunger Games are all manifestations of cronyism and elitism, and how the elites in Washington DC have sold out the American people, particularly younger Americans, and are only accelerating their plans to consolidate power as the American people are waking up to their betrayal.

This truly is corrupt Washington DC verses the American people.

FloatingRock on December 5, 2013 at 7:15 PM

If there are still a few Obama die-hards in your family, don’t let them focus on the minimum wage distraction for long, one way to bring meaning to the minimum wage issue is to relate it back to the Hunger Games. Ask them what they would think if, when the serfs start to rebel or whatever, (I haven’t seen the second movie yet), if the corrupt elite in the distant capital tried to buy them off by raising the minimum wage. Such an empty political gesture that soon disappears through inflation. Are beads and bobbles such as a futile minimum wage hike worth their freedom?

FloatingRock on December 5, 2013 at 7:19 PM

None of which refutes my point…that will still leave about 19 million here, and more will still come. Everyone can’t work in the oil industry. And don’t get me wrong, I’m all for Mexico getting it’s sh*t together, but I’m just not as optimistic as you when it comes to how many will go back.

xblade on December 5, 2013 at 2:33 PM

I don’t know how many will stay and how many will go and the jobs won’t just be in Oil but also in manufacturing.

I’m just sayin that US educated Latinos could have an advantage in a booming Mexico that they wouldn’t have here.

I just hope Nieto is successful.

workingclass artist on December 5, 2013 at 9:27 PM

I sure love people who want to enter the nation on their own terms and set their own rules. They are soooooooo important to have around. Sure, they have nations that they come from but rather than improve their nation they just want to flea it to here. What an asset. The top politicos and the left want them here so badly! Not wanting these ingrates here is so Racist! Thank you so much for trespassing. What a great group illegals are! Even the right party supposedly want them – I, however, DO NOT.

The Nerve on December 5, 2013 at 11:20 PM


Confused strikethrough for bold.

The Nerve on December 5, 2013 at 11:21 PM

To me the messaging should be obvious: our foreign worker free-for-all hurts working-class and poor citizens and ‘reform’advocates care more about illegals than vulnerable citizens. And given the many horrible unemployment and and underemployment numbers any businessperson who says we desperately need more foreign workers is a transparent and despicable liar.

Nasty but true.

kd6rxl on December 6, 2013 at 6:31 AM

Cut Reid some slack – All he did was SAY what every Republican / Conservative is THINKING!

easyt65 on December 6, 2013 at 9:59 AM

No question. ‘Cave’ is Boehner’s middle name.

steveracer on December 6, 2013 at 12:38 PM

“I think there’s going to be so much pressure on the House that they’ll have to pass it.”

From who???
He is suppose to represent the peoples will, not a bunch of “co-workers” with big mouths and a fist full of dollar or the influence of lobbyists.

These jellyfish need to go. They have lost understanding of the job and their place in the process.

Mimzey on December 6, 2013 at 10:47 PM

I don’t think Boehner thinks that voters are his employers and that it is part of his job to line up those rich supporters that want what the GOP’s voters want; I think he thinks that rich sponsors are his employers, and his job involves lining up votes and voters in support of causes that rich sponsors favor.

What this means is, if you are not a billionaire the Republican Party thinks that you should work for it (for free); it does not work for you.

The 90% white, overwhelmingly Christian and working class conservative base does not have any meaningful democratic representation.

David Blue on December 8, 2013 at 12:42 AM

Harry Reid is saying Boehner’s got no hair on his balls & he’s probably right. Him & fellow slime trails Peter King, McRino, Cantor & others are too busy trying to subvert Tea Party members to worry about Dingy Harry.

RdLake on December 8, 2013 at 10:48 PM

If the time for the soap box and the ballot box are past, what comes next?

claudius on December 9, 2013 at 9:13 AM