Green Room

“I don’t think you’d find…even a small number of Republicans voting for any kind of bill that has amnesty first and enforcement second”

posted at 12:46 pm on June 18, 2013 by

I interviewed Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show yesterday evening.  He shared his thoughts on Speaker Boehner’s reported allegiance to the so-called ‘Hastert rule’ on immigration reform:

GB: Congressman, let’s start with a report today in the Washington Examiner. We’ve been talking about it throughout the program. David Drucker, who’s just made the jump over from Roll Call, reports that sources close to the Speaker’s office who understand what the machinations are inside the Speaker’s strategy moving forward, they say there is ‘no chance’ that Speaker Boehner will allow a comprehensive immigration reform bill, such as whatever emerges from the Senate, be it the Gang of 8 or what have you, he will not allow that to come to the floor of the House unless he knows that a majority of the Republican majority conference backs whatever the bill is going to be.  Meaning he’s going to stand by the Hastert rule, which he has jettisoned on a number of occasions over the last year or so. Your reaction to those reports?

TC: Those reports, if true, reflect, in my opinion, Speaker Boehner simply reflecting the will of the House Republican Caucus. I don’t think you’d find a majority of support, even a small number of Republicans, voting for any kind of bill that has amnesty first and enforcement second…maybe. So I am not surprised by the report. I suspect it probably is correct, and it also reflects the Speaker’s oft-stated desire that the House will move forward trying to fix our broken immigration system on areas where we have bipartisan agreements. It’s just border security or improved E-verify programs or improved entry/exit visa programs, that those areas should not be held hostage towards a massive, complicated bill like what’s moving through the Senate right now.

GB: All right, Congressman, let me circle back to what you just said, because you said you don’t think that even close to a majority of your caucus, the Republicans in the House, would be able to support or vote for any plan that would put the legalization element first, and then enforcement second — which is exactly what the Gang of 8 bill spells out. Are you saying that even if some measures are beefed up on the Senate side, if that basic one-two timetable sort of remains in place, it is dead on arrival in the House?

TC: That is my belief, Guy. Now in my short time in Congress, I have found myself wrong in my predictions about what the House would or would not do, but I believe that most House Republicans feel strongly that the basic problem with our immigration system is a failure of enforcement, and that’s not just border security, but internal enforcement through employment verification measures and visa problems and so forth. It’s partly with our, the way we grant visas for legal, permanent residents. You know, it’s focuses less on what it should be, which is skills and jobs and training. And you know, this is reflected by some senators as well. Ted Cruz has said repeatedly in the Judiciary Committee, and now on the Senate floor, that he wants common sense immigration reform to pass, as I think we all do. But the difference between a flawed status quo and an even worse proposed bill means that you should stick with the better of the two outcomes, which would be the flawed status quo than a bill that makes the situation worse.

My analysis of the implications of Cotton’s answer — and what Democrats may be up to — is here.

Recently in the Green Room:

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Well there’s Rubio. And Ayotte. And McCain. Do three congressweasels count as “a small number?”

gryphon202 on June 18, 2013 at 12:50 PM

What is broken about our immigration system other than the lack of will on the part of our political class to enforce the law? This is all “bait and switch.” Create a problem and then use it to grab power.

yesiamapirate on June 18, 2013 at 12:54 PM

What is broken about our immigration system other than the lack of will on the part of our political class to enforce the law? This is all “bait and switch.” Create a problem and then use it to grab power.

yesiamapirate on June 18, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Just the other day, I was told that enforcement of the law as it currently stands is an unreasonable policy position, as if enforcement of the law is not in fact mandated by the constitution. This is why America is already dead.

gryphon202 on June 18, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Come on, gryphon, the ones you name are Senators and this guy is clearly talking about the House. You know, Speaker Boehner and all that.

mdavt on June 18, 2013 at 1:18 PM

I have said this repeatedly, and I’ll continue to say it.

There is no good reason to produce any kind of broad “comprehensive” immigration reform bill. ANY bill of that kind would be guaranteed to be full of unnecessary crap.

However, there are plenty of legitimate and independent issues in our immigration system and border security. Most of these issues have common sense solutions that can be agreed upon by overwhelming majorities. When we don’t address these issues because we can’t get a “comprehensive” bill passed, we look like idiots.

So, break the bill up into pieces. Each piece should address one issue. Pass the parts that you can pass, then figure out what other issues are left on the table. Write bills to address those issues. Debate them. Pass them if you can. Fix them if necessary, and pass the fixed versions. If you can’t get any kind of compromise on those issues passed, accept the fact that the status quo is the way it’s going to be for the time being, and move on.

If our government actually worked, this is how this issue, and in fact, most issues, would be tackled.

The fact that no one is attempting this from either party in either chamber makes me think they’re all a) corrupt, b) morons, c) representing themselves and not the people, or most likely, d) all of the above.

I don’t trust any of you anymore. I don’t care if your name is Ryan, Cruz, Rubio, Schumer, McCain, Boehner, Pelosi, or Reid.

Time to raze Washington, D.C. and start over.

Chris of Rights on June 18, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Now in my short time in Congress, I have found myself wrong in my predictions about what the House would or would not do …

In other words, a Congressman can’t trust the Congress.

Welcome to the club, Mr. Congressman.

Carnac on June 18, 2013 at 1:52 PM

What is broken about our immigration system other than the lack of will on the part of our political class to enforce the law? This is all “bait and switch.” Create a problem and then use it to grab power.

yesiamapirate on June 18, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Bingo, give that pirate a prize.

Start by enforcing the laws making it illegal to hire illegal aliens. And enforcing them hard. The hordes pouring over the border would dry up pretty quickly, and just maybe some citizens would end up with the jobs vacated by illegals.

iurockhead on June 18, 2013 at 3:31 PM

I don’t think you’d find a majority of support, even a small number of Republicans, voting for any kind of bill that has amnesty first and enforcement second…

I do. I just don’t believe this stuff about how the House will “kill” it, not when they’ve passed nearly every other piece of garbage the Democrats have thrown at them. This sounds to me like they are trying to get pressure off the Senate so they can get this thing passed.

Doomberg on June 18, 2013 at 3:38 PM

Don’t we get it, enforcement is going to be moot.
Because they’re called undocumented Democrats for a reason, and a coalition of libs and these future immigrant voters will nullify any enforcement in this bill, because these immigrants with the “altruistic open-minded” libs are going to put Mexico first, and allow in the future people from Mexico to immigrate freely and become citizens freely. Because they will have the voters, period. That’s why we need to stop this crazy bill. Enforcement is a non-issue right now. Don’t even worry about it, worry about stopping amnesty. -Joe

anotherJoe on June 18, 2013 at 3:38 PM

What is broken about our immigration system other than the lack of will on the part of our political class to enforce the law? This is all “bait and switch.” Create a problem and then use it to grab power.

yesiamapirate on June 18, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Arrgh!

davidk on June 18, 2013 at 4:02 PM

I just don’t believe this stuff about how the House will “kill” it,…
Doomberg on June 18, 2013 at 3:38 PM

That’s like what the bishops thought when they okayed the release of Obamacare to the floor through Stupak.

Ryan and Rubio are not to be trusted any more that McCain and Grahamnesty.

Don L on June 18, 2013 at 4:13 PM

Senate just killed the fence. Freaking morons.

It’s perfectly acceptable to compile “metadata” on who calls whom in domestic calling and to record and/or observe emails, telephone conversations, etc. all in the name of keeping us secure, but it’s NOT okay to build a bloody fence to secure the border against illegal immigrants, never mind the fact that it’s easy enough for would-be jihadis to slip over the border posing as illegals if they wish?

Stupid, freaking morons.

Othniel on June 18, 2013 at 4:15 PM

That’s like what the bishops thought when they okayed the release of Obamacare to the floor through Stupak.

Ryan and Rubio are not to be trusted any more that McCain and Grahamnesty.

Don L on June 18, 2013 at 4:13 PM

This is pretty much exactly what I am afraid of – a “kabuki theater” coalition of Republicans that Boehner pretends to placate for the consumption of the base, followed by the passage of the Senate bill in its entirety.

Doomberg on June 18, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Senate just killed the fence. Freaking morons.

Othniel on June 18, 2013 at 4:15 PM

This certainly gives easy cover for the Republicans in the House to say they won’t go along with the Senate bill. Really, we need to have effective for 5-years, then we can talk about amnesty.

And not until we have effective enforcement do we talk about amnesty, that should be glaringly obvious… especially to Repuublicans! Primary any Repub that goes along with trav-amnesty.

anotherJoe on June 18, 2013 at 5:43 PM

“I don’t think you’d find…even a small number of Republicans voting for any kind of bill that has amnesty first and enforcement second”

Never come between a politician and a chance to pander for votes. It is like getting in the way of a buffalo stampede.

crosspatch on June 18, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Never come between a politician and a chance to pander for votes. It is like getting in the way of a buffalo stampede.
crosspatch on June 18, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Or the big checks from the Crony Crapitalists who want cheap laborers.

And the guaranteed high paying featherbed ‘job’ with them if they get kicked out of office for stabbing their constituents in the back a few too many times.

LegendHasIt on June 18, 2013 at 7:01 PM

So, break the bill up into pieces.

The fact that no one is attempting this from either party in either chamber makes me think they’re all a) corrupt, b) morons, c) representing themselves and not the people, or most likely, d) all of the above.

Chris of Rights on June 18, 2013 at 1:37 PM

a) corrupt!!

The Democrats have always held, and always will hold, hostage our border security and interior enforcement in order to obtain amnesty for new Democrats/foreign invaders. Democrats will NEVER vote for enforcement alone, and maybe never true enforcement even with amnesty!!

Note retired Heath Shuler’s (Blue Dog D-NC) SAVE Act, which was strict enforcement. TWICE during Pelosi’s reign he got 200+ sponsors, both D and R, but when Pelosi refused to hold a vote, and they tried to get a majority of members to force a vote, most of the D sponsors refused to demand a vote on a bill they co-sponsored!!!! D’s speak with forked tongue!!

Call toll-free daily, courtesy of La Raza friends:

1-888-979-7506

option 1 then Zip code for your Congressman
option 2 for Senators, then your ZIP code,
then use option 0 for Capitol switchboard and ask for anyone in DC

and open borders PICO front group pays for your call!!

http://www.piconetwork.org/issues/immigration

fred5678 on June 18, 2013 at 7:25 PM

What is broken about our immigration system other than the lack of will on the part of our political class scurvy bilge rats to enforce the law, matey. This is all “bait and switch.”“lookit me new sword!” Create a problem and then use it to grab power a pint ya mangey cockroach.

yesiamapirate on June 18, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Edited for accuracy.

egmont on June 18, 2013 at 10:16 PM

I’m late to the party, but is that because the GOP is changing its name or because the bill is actually Shamnesty First, Enforcement Never?

Steve Eggleston on June 19, 2013 at 9:09 AM

These politicians are trying to sell us something we don’t want, so they flood the media & ads with their propaganda. You have a Congress with favorability in the single digits, add to this the greasy ‘Gang of 8′ Democratic members of Chuckie Schumer, DICK Durbin & Bob Menendez. To add salt to injury, throw in fake GOP of McRino & Graham. Nothing good can come. from this. This is Obamacare on steroids. Combine the two & wait for the countdown clock to reach zero.

RdLake on June 19, 2013 at 11:41 AM

Or the big checks from the Crony Crapitalists who want cheap laborers.

LegendHasIt on June 18, 2013 at 7:01 PM

If they want “cheap laborers” wouldn’t big business just want to keep them illegal? I am failing to understand the logic behind saying that businesses want amnesty. They don’t gain cheap labor, once the 8, 11, 15+ million get legalized they’ll demand the same wages as every other American makes. Why would they continue to work for pennies on the dollar, seems logical to just stay in the shadows at that point and not pay taxes.

mauioriginal on June 19, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Just get everyone to call Republicans racists every few minutes and they will fold like cheap suits.

Cindy Munford on June 19, 2013 at 12:28 PM

mauioriginal on June 19, 2013 at 12:18 PM

I doubt a lot of them will sign up to be legal. It will cost a lot of money and despite all the bleeding hearts, I don’t think they get bothered by legal authorities that much. Congress is just going to spend money on the parts that make them look good, ignore the parts that will secure the country and take a bow. You know, like the fix every “problem” more imagined than real.

Cindy Munford on June 19, 2013 at 12:32 PM