The House’s immigration gameplan is to pass individual bills rather than take the comprehensive approach advocated by the Senate. Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) team isn’t trying to cut a deal with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), these aides caution. But deeply-divided Republicans want to get a read on what members of the minority party would back when immigration reform comes to the floor.
The legislation under discussion between Republicans and Democrats includes bills reworking the employment verification system and legislation to toughen border security, according to sources both involved in and familiar with the talks. In strategy sessions and planning meetings, Republicans have said that support for immigration reform is soft among GOP lawmakers — and leadership is skeptical that there is backing for anything more drastic than border security and E-verify.
Moving legislation before the August recess is now almost completely out of the question — lawmakers are going to have to spend the month at home, with immigration lingering.
These contacts are in the early stages, but the discussions are aimed at running up big bipartisan majorities for a series of GOP-authored bills, that could counter the bipartisan Senate bill. In short, Democrats would smooth the prospects for passage.