For those of you who thought that our previous warnings about an amnesty push in the near-term were overblown, today’s developments should serve as a wakeup call. In what was clearly a coordinated effort by the establishment, Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor issued a call for passing immigration legislation this year during their weekly conference meeting at the same time Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue made an emphatic pitch for amnesty.
Boehner and Cantor
House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) both included an immigration rewrite among the top 2014 priorities they outlined during a closed-door meeting with the GOP ranks, lawmakers said after the gathering.
Mr. Boehner told Republicans on Wednesday that he expected to release a set of GOP principles in the coming weeks. The speaker had announced in November that Republicans, including House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.), planned to draft the guidelines before bringing any immigration bills to the House floor.
Although many House Republicans have been wary of changing immigration laws, GOP leaders have consistently maintained they plan to tackle the topic in their own fashion.
Mr. Boehner told lawmakers Wednesday that “‘This is an issue we have to deal with and I continue to believe that,’” said Rep. Matt Salmon (R., Ariz.). [WSJ]
The president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce vowed Wednesday that 2014 will be the year his organization pulls "out all of the stops" to pass immigration reform, pledging that the Chamber will turn the 2014 midterm elections "into a motivation for change."
"We're determined to make 2014 the year that immigration reform is finally enacted," Donohue said at his 2014 State of American Business address. "The Chamber will pull out all the stops – through grassroots lobbying, communications, politics and partnerships with unions, faith organization, law enforcement and other – to get it done."
Donohue refuted the idea that immigration reform would not pass in 2014, a midterm election year when very little, if anything, gets done on Capitol Hill.
"We hope to turn that assumption on its ear," he said. "It's based on a simple theory: If you can't make them see the light, then at least make them feel some heat." [CNN]
We’ve made this point a number of times, but it’s worth repeating. Why would Republicans be in a hell-fire rush to pass immigration legislation when they have so little political power? These are the same folks who suggest that we can’t even block bad things with control of just the U.S. House, even though the House is vested with control over the purse strings. Why would they think we can pass new immigration legislation built on conservative principles if it requires the cooperation of all three branches? Why in the world would Republicans reward Obama’s malevolence and disregard for our immigration laws by granting him his biggest second-term agenda item? Why not wait until Republicans control the White House, and we can trust the president to faithfully execute the enforcement first, thereby precluding another 1986-style disaster?
Moreover, why would we distract attention from Obamacare and dispirit Republican voters in an election year?
These are all rhetorical questions. As we know, the GOP elites and their special interest backers do not share our values. They agree with Obama 100% on open borders.
And speaking of the special interests, the Chamber is promising to reward those who support their views and punish those who oppose amnesty. Accordingly, in light of their large media buy in support of Senator McConnell, has anyone asked the Minority Leader about his plans for immigration? Will he support the push in 2014?
Furthermore, McConnell’s biggest selling point for his reelection is that he would be slated to become Majority Leader of the Senate. The most important consequence of obtaining that position is that he would control the floor schedule. And thanks to Harry Reid’s new precedent, that would include control over the amendment process. Will McConnell pledge not to bring any immigration legislation or amendments to the floor as long as Obama is in the White House?
We all know the answer to that question. The tribe has already spoken. The fix is already in.