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U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) pauses during remarks to the American Conservative Union's annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, February 9, 2012.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)
You've got to love these two paragraphs from Chris Frates' National Journal piece on how Republican leadership is spinning their decision against moving forward with immigration reform:
Republicans discussed their options and decided there was no reason to pass legislation before August.

“There’s no rush on this. There’s no deadline. We want to get this done, and we want to get this done right,” another House leadership aide said.

Actually, it's more like John Boehner decided against letting immigration reform come up for a vote because he was afraid doing so would cost him his job. The issue wasn't that it wouldn't pass the House—it's that it would pass, but mainly with Democratic votes. A majority of Republicans would have voted against it, and then next thing they would have done would have been to remove John Boehner from the speaker's office—probably even before President Obama signed the legislation into law.

That's why Boehner hasn't let immigration reform move forward. And that's why the real drama isn't whether the House can pass immigration reform, it's whether John Boehner will ever allow it to pass immigration reform—and, if he does, whether he'll figure out a way to save his job. I wouldn't be surprised if Boehner privately wants to see the Senate bill pass, but his private aspirations don't mean a thing if he can't deliver results.

Perhaps the jam-packed legislative calendar this fall will actually put enough balls in the air to create an opening for immigration reform, in which case Boehner will have pulled off the feat of both getting immigration reform done and keeping his job. But that's a pretty big if, and so far he hasn't been willing to take a personal risk in order to accomplish immigration reform.

One last thing worth noting: If Boehner fails, it won't be entirely accurate to say Republicans refused to address immigration reform, because they have. Earlier this year, they voted nearly unanimously in favor of Steve King's proposal to require President Obama to deport DREAM Act children. And that means that if Republicans don't change course this fall, Steve King really will be the face of Republican immigration policy, not just in tone, but also in substance.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 09:33 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  They are scared to death of this issue... (8+ / 0-)

    There are already commercials running in Colorado for Mike Coffman - the wingnut Limbaugh loving congressman from Colorado's 6th.  They are touting his 'sensible, tough, immigration plan'.  I have no idea what it is, but I can guarantee if it doesn't call for the immediate deportation of anybody considered 'illegal' - it will not get a vote in the House.  Yet these commercials are running in Denver in prime time.

    “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck

    by RichM on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 09:40:49 AM PDT

    •  A conundrum without solution! Pass a law that is (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RichM, cocinero, skillet

      good for the Country and will get some Hispanics to give Republicans another look, or continue to demonize Hispanics in order to get the base (and base they are) to show up on election day. It is a case of heads we lose and tails you win (for the GOP).  Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of bigots.

    •  Coffman is trying to set the narrative (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that he is now for immigration reform so it's not his fault if Republicans refuse to consider it.  He has held public meetings on it where he spoke Spanish to the crowd and tried assure them that his old days of race baiting when he served up red meat on illegal immigrants to the rabid Tom Tancredo CD 6 constituents are behind him.  Coffman is a clever politician who is working overtime to rehabilitate his image with his constituents who are 20% Hispanic.  His announced opponent Andrew Romanoff is a former Speaker in the state legislature and taught English in Costa Rica and Nicaragua as a young man.  This is going to be one of the hot races of 2014 and Romanoff has a great chance to unseat Coffman.

      •  Coffman's scared out of his wits on this issue (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Bad enough that he represents a swing district that is high on the Dems target list for next year. Even worse that he 's drawn a top tier opponent like Romanoff. But the immigration issue has the potential to kill his chances in 2014 and he knows it. Hence he's going the McConnell route and running adds this far in advance. He's scared.

        •  Hmmmm.... (0+ / 0-)

          I just looked up the voting record.  Coffman voted for Steve King's amendment to immediately deport DREAMers.  Seems like there is an opportunity for Romanoff right there.

          “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck

          by RichM on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 03:48:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I get e-mails from Romanoff... (0+ / 0-)

        I don't know how I could have missed this :)  This is good news.

        “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck

        by RichM on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 03:41:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  • of the Titans!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ericlewis0, JeffW, Aunt Pat
  •  To put balls in the air, one has to have balls. (7+ / 0-)

    Ayn is the bane! Take the Antidote To Ayn Rand and call your doctor in the morning: You have health insurance now! @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 10:11:24 AM PDT

  •  Well, see, there's a new problem that (3+ / 0-)

    wasn't apparent back when potential immigrants were segregated according to whether they had antecedents already living here. Since then there have been a couple of cases which have affirmed that the requirement to treat people equally applies to "persons" within the jurisdiction of the Constitution, including foreign nationals captured by our military in foreign lands. That is, the Constitution follows the flag.
    So, excluding some people from coming into the U.S. because they don't bring enough money to sustain themselves in hotels is, on its face, un-Constitutional. Also, since we don't require work permits for everyone, requiring permits of foreigners is also un-Constitutional, just as depriving foreigners of driver's licenses would be un-Constitutional, if the permit were issued on any basis other than residency and the ability to drive a car.
    Never mind that immigration law presumes to control the behavior of people not in the jurisdiction of the U.S. who might or might not be planning to settle here for the rest of their lives. In short, what we have here is an effort to pass laws that affect people who aren't here and affect their behavior preemptively.
    Doing things ahead of time or late seems to be characteristic of the instinct-driven.
    Why not be content with deporting foreign nationals if they are convicted of an actual normal crime? Because that would make sense and present little opportunity for grandstanding. Also, it would deprive the segregationists of a cause.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 10:15:35 AM PDT

  •  Ian Reifowitz's Sunday Diary... (3+ / 0-)

    ...had an  intriguing solution for Boehner's dilemma:

    Given that possibility, maybe Boehner and Nancy Pelosi would come to an agreement that would allow Boehner to remain the titular speaker at the head of a coalition of Democrats and a few dozen not-insane Republicans, in return of course for passing what would amount to a Democratic budget, as well as a clean debt ceiling bill and anything else the new "majority" supported. Since House Democrats remain in the minority, this is something I could live with. Rep. Pelosi strikes me as the kind of person committed enough to substance to let someone else hold the gavel while she wields the real power and does what is right for the American people.
    It would probably doom no less than 75% of the GOP Critters who followed Boehner on this scheme to being successfully Primaried in the coming cycle, so it's pretty much an intellectual exercise in the art of the possible. But it's no more far-fetched than any other possible path forward given this Congress.

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 11:09:45 AM PDT

    •  Nope, sorry, not seeing that... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr MadAsHell

      You started losing me at "Boehner and Nancy Pelosi would come to an agreement" and by "a few dozen not-insane Republicans" I was laughing too hard to finish the rest.

      I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

      by mojo11 on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 01:54:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So the only "jobs" Boehner is interested in, (4+ / 0-)

    is his own.

    I guess that's why the call for "jobs, jobs, jobs," has no traction in the House.

    It disgusts me that this man represents the Buckeye State. It is sad beyond description.

  •  He can't control the racist wing of his party (2+ / 0-)

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 01:38:36 PM PDT

  •  A Do Nothing GOP House (3+ / 0-)

    being Led by a Do Nothing Speaker.

    Just Ignore all the Money and Time WASTED on
    Obamacare Repeal Votes.

    The IRS "Scandal" Hearings and the Benghazi "Investigation"
    are taking a Long Summer Vacation.

    Those Monumental Issues will be Revived when
    we get closer to the 2014 Midterm Elections.

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 01:49:37 PM PDT

  •  If Nancy Pelosi were speaker (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Liberal Capitalist

    Would we want her to bring legislation to the floor that would pass with a bunch of Republican votes and a handful of Democrats, with most Democrats voting against it?

  •  The only thing better than Boehner (0+ / 0-)

    as the face of the GOP to Hispanics is Steve King as that face.

    Turn the Southwest Democratic blue for two generations.

    Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

    by blue aardvark on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 02:03:46 PM PDT

  •  Debt ceiling is the only "must vote" issue (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Boehner will stall on anything else that he can, since he has no winning hand to play.

    I am sure he would like to avoid the debt ceiling too, but he is stuck with it.

  •  Poor incompetent dickweed. (0+ / 0-)

    Screwed no matter what he does.
    (tiny violin playing way in the distance)

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 02:20:28 PM PDT

  •  Yep, no rush (0+ / 0-)

    According to ICE's statistics, not including convicted criminals, fugitives, or those caught attempting to enter the country, the US deported 104,079 people last year. Which means that for every month that John Boehner and his jolly band of buffoons wait to act, there is an average of over 8500 people being torn away from their families for the crime of trying to find a better life for themselves and their children. Shame on you Mr. Boehner.

  •  What "jam-packed legislative calendar"? (0+ / 0-)

    Has something happened that I missed?  Is there, all of a sudden, some reason for the Republican Congress to actually get something done? Has their agenda been light up to now?  No work to be done?  Really?  It's all just now coming down the road this fall?  Pfft!

    The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain, is floating in mid-air, until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. Jane Addams

    by Alice Olson on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 02:46:07 PM PDT

  •  Can Boehner be forced out during this Congress? (0+ / 0-)

    "... and then next thing they would have done would have been to remove John Boehner from the speaker's office—probably even before President Obama signed the legislation into law."

    Of course he has to stand for re-election to Speaker by his caucus in January 2015, if they win the majority next elections.  And of course he could choose to resign earlier than that, should his caucus make his life such a living hell that he decides to spend more time working on his tan.

    But can he be forced out by his caucus?  The rules on that are subject to change at the beginning of every Congress.  This last January I looked for news stories covering exactly what the rules for this Congress had to say about changing Speakers -- and the even headier topic of changing control of the chamber to a different caucus, should a dissident bloc of moderate Rs decide to join the Ds -- but found nothing to satisfy my curiosity on that subject.

    Anybody know?

    The states must be abolished.

    by gtomkins on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 02:57:40 PM PDT

  •  He is the most gutless politician I've ever seen (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    A complete and utter coward who lives in quaking fear of his caucus. A disgrace.

    I keep expecting Boner to be visited one night by the ghosts of Speakers past disgusted by his weakness. I picture Sam Rayburn and Tip O'Neil smacking him across the face and moaning, "Grow a pair!"

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