Dem memo: We can pass the Gang of Eight bill in the House -- if Boehner will bring it to the floor

Exemplary trolling from pro-amnesty forces via Greg Sargent. Although, is it really trolling if it’s true? I don’t doubt for a second that if Boehner allowed an up-or-down vote on the Senate bill, there’d be 20-30 Republicans willing to go all-in on amnesty with the entire Democratic caucus. The one and only thing stopping this from passing is John Boehner’s solemn promise that he won’t allow a vote on anything that doesn’t already have the support of a majority of the GOP majority.

You trust an old Hill hand like him to stand firm on that promise with the entire GOP establishment, virtually to a man, bleating for the party to pass immigration reform as soon as possible, don’t you?

If there is a vote on comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship in the House, it will pass with a bipartisan majority. If all but a handful of the House Democrats vote yes, and at least 20 Republicans from the list below come along, reform can easily clear the 218 necessary to pass the lower chamber. Looking at the list of 99 House Republicans below, it’s clear that capturing those 20 or so Republican votes is well within reach. Our target list includes several different groups of Republicans, such as:

* Republicans with growing numbers of Latino and Asian constituents. While redistrictring has temporarily insulated many House Republicans from the “demographic cliff” their party faces if it caters only to white voters, at least 38 Republican members of Congress represent heavily Latino districts — and approximately 25 GOP memberes are in diverse swing districts where the growing Latino, Asian, and immigrant vote is crucial. These include California Republicans Jeff Denham, David Valadao, Gary Miller, Buck McKeon and Devin Nunes; Colorado Republican Mike Coffman; Florida Republicans Mario Diaz-Balart and Illeana Ros-Lehtinen (both of whom are longtime supporters of immigration reform); New York Republicans Peter King and Michael Grimm; and Nevada Republican Joe Heck…

* Republicans who understand the need for the Party to tackle immigration reform for its own future. Several leading figures in the House GOP have come out in favor of immigration reform since the election, understanding that, as a Republican National Committee report put it this spring, “among the steps Republicans take in the Hispanic community and beyond we must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform. If we do not, our Party’s appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only.” This group includes Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), who told reporters last month that he believes the House can pass immigration reform with a path to citizenship; NRCC chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), who told USA Today last month that he believes the undocumented should have access to a path to citizenship; and rising star Raul Labrador (R-ID), who has remained committed to immigration reform even after leaving the bipartisan House “Gang of 8.”

The only thing standing between an amnesty bill landing on Obama’s desk, in other words, is Boehner’s resoluteness. And the only reason Boehner has to be resolute (he’s surely not irretrievably opposed to the Gang bill on principle, and we know he’s willing to violate the Hastert Rule on occasion) is if he still wants to be Speaker. If he passes immigration with 20 or so GOP votes, the caucus might remove him. But maybe he’s okay with that. As Eugene Robinson asked last week, why would he want a job this thankless anyway? He could pass amnesty, resign, and then enjoy sweet kisses forever from an adoring Democratic media for having helped the party pushed through one of its longtime policy dreams. (In between kisses, they’ll remind the public that Republicans are Latino-hating racists for not passing a bill that’s even more generous to illegals than the Gang’s bill.) Or maybe they wouldn’t remove him at all. Boehner’s got Paul Ryan in his corner to make the case for reform to the rest of the caucus and to the public. If Boehner violates the Hastert Rule to pass the Gang’s bill and Ryan (and Cantor, McCarthy, and the rest of leadership) vote yes, does that defuse the caucus’s efforts to oust Boehner?

Also, via Mickey Kaus, if Boehner’s ruled out a floor vote on the Gang bill, what does this tidbit from Andrea Mitchell mean?

GREGORY: Right. Fire is all around them, no real second-term agenda when they have to deal with all these problems.

MS. MITCHELL: And immigration was going to be the one thing that they could have pointed to. And I think that conversation with John Boehner and the president, the president doesn’t have a whole well of trust in Boehner saying, you know, hang with me, I can get this done by the end of the summer. Boehner still doesn’t have the support and you heard what– what Congressman Labrador has been saying, they don’t have a Marco Rubio on the House side who can try to work around the edges…

What kind of bill does Boehner think he’s going to pass that Obama will be pleased with? Gulp.

Update: Double gulp.