At this point, the immigration bill appears likely to be passed in the Senate soon and then go to the House. The bill, like most, is complex and I don’t pretend to understand its ins and outs, though I do know more about it than I will get into today and my sense is it would create a much better “system” than we have now. Which wouldn’t be all that hard when you think about it.
But why bother getting into the pros and cons of the bill when the House Republican majority seems in such disarray that it is hard to imagine anything constructive happening in that chamber?
If you haven’t heard, Speaker Boehner could not deliver enough Republican votes to pass the relatively uncontroversial farm bill yesterday after indicating that he did have the votes, which reflects the chaos that is the House.
Of course, Boehner blamed the failure on the Democrats for not supplying enough votes themselves, but….. the point is a deal seemed to have been reached and then suddenly wasn’t. If you recall, the Speaker has thought he has had the votes on at least one other measure in the past that wound up failing, which suggests a degree of underlying chaos in his caucus.
For the Senate immigration bill to even come to the floor of the House, Boehner as Speaker has to allow that to happen and, according to the Huff Post Tuesday, he said: “[A]ny immigration reform bill that is going to go into law ought to have a majority of both parties’ support if we’re really serious about making that happen,” Boehner told reporters after a meeting with House Republicans. “And so I don’t see any way of bringing an immigration bill to the floor that doesn’t have a majority support of Republicans.”
Well, there is NO CHANCE that a majority of Republicans will support a bill, so unless he changes his mind about that, there is little left to say about immigration reform other than it will soon become a dead issue for the time being.
Now, could Boehner change his mind and let the bill go to the floor of the House and allow it to be passed largely by Democrats but with enough Republicans to make it through? Well, I think there is a long shot chance he could? Why? Because the mishandling of the farm bill was one more embarrassment for the Speaker and he is a proud man who just might be willing to risk losing his Speakership to a Tea Party rebellion if able to get something noteworthy accomplished in the House that figures to benefit his party in the next presidential election.
It would probably be political suicide, but there are worse ways to go and it would be taking a bullet, so to speak, for the Republican Party at large as opposed to its right wing factions. Simply put, if the Republicans are to regain the White House in the foreseeable future they will need more than the 30% of Latinos who voted for Romney in the last election. And this immigration bill would help in that regard.
I admit that is just my fantasy, but as a horse player who has won on the occasional longshot, I’d bet two bucks with anyone that he does just that, though you will have to give me 20-to-1 odds.