I'm getting more and more confused about where we go next with immigration reform. And I'm starting to feel that perhaps the Democrats have totally misjudged this, and overplayed their hand, and ultimately it will turn out to our advantage.
Here's what we know so far:
Last night the Senate passed the border security amendment, by enough votes that both Lindsey Graham and Chuck Schumer were delirious with excitement. Reid is moving to cloture on the bill, by the end of the week, and hopes for passage before the 4th of July.
Reid wants the bill passed before the Senate adjourns, and the good people back home in several states can express their displeasure.
The House is working its will in the regular order, and seems likely to produce a bill that will only address border security. The GOP caucus will not be led astray by Boehner this time, and he has promised NOT to bring any bill to the floor for a vote unless it has the approval of the majority of the GOP caucus. It is as yet undetermined if the House will produce a bill before leaving for its August recess. I suspect it will NOT, and this is a good thing, as members will hear from their constituents at town halls. Polls suggest that Americans overwhelmingly want border security dealt with first, and the House will accurately reflect that sentiment in the bill it produces.
So then, sometime in the future, we will have two pieces of legislation, and they will go to a House Senate conference committee. Multiple pundits have already expressed fear that the committee will somehow produce a bill that can get through the House.
However, to me, that seems impossible. There is absolutely nothing in these two bills that can be reconciled to produce a single piece of legislation that would pass both the House and Senate.
The mechanics of the conference committee are clearly defined, but as a practical matter it hardly functions when different parties control the respective branches of Congress.
The House determines the number of its conferees. The authority to appoint them must come by a vote of the House. Leadership can attempt to exert influence on the conferees. The House can pass instructions to the conferees, but this is non-binding.
Basically, the conservative Republican Study Group can control the legislation, and the leadership.
Which again begs the question: why even bother with a conference? And without a conference, there's no bill, and nothing happens. And we remain status quo until we have a GOP Senate in 2014, and Congress can then pass a bill, which Obama will veto, and we remain as we are until the 2016 presidential election.
So why should we be any more concerned than we are now. Our borders are still porous, and we have no control over who comes in? That's not going to change.
The Democrats are pushing amnesty for two main reasons:
1. They believe it will be a huge political plus for them in 2014.
2. If they are successful in its present form, it will ultimately produce millions of new voters expected to vote Democrat.
But what if they're wrong?
The House is NOT at risk in 2014. I suspect the GOP will actually gain a few seats, and the caucus will become even more conservative. Leadership will be cognizant of this, or be at risk.
The GOP is better than even money to take the Senate next year, and it is the Democrat push for amnesty, along with Obamacare and the multiple scandals in the administration, that will likely cost multiple red-state Democrat incumbents their seats, and the Democrats control of the Senate.
The Democrats/left/MSM live in a bubble, and they are completely disconnected from the majority of the country. The genius of the Democrats to date is that they have successfully managed to depict this as an intramural struggle within the GOP. I'm sure that we all are ever so thankful that Charlie Rangel is concerned for the future of the GOP. That alone should convince us that we are on the right path. All that is missing is for Tom Daschle to pen an op-ed for the New York Times, bewailing that he is "deeply saddened" by Republican actions in the House.
I apologize for straying somewhat from the opening premise of this diary, so I would like to return to it, in closing. I don't see any chance of a conference committee coming up with a bill that can pass the House, so why even bother?