House Speaker Has No Spine: No Vote On Immigration Bill

House Speaker John Boehner said he would not bring the current Immigration Bill to the house floor unless a majority of the Republican majority was ready to support the bill. Hiding behind a plaint that the bill was too important to bring to a vote unless a majority of both parties were in support, Speaker Boehner is doing his best to avoid doing his job because it could potentially embarrass those party members before the 2014 elections who feel compelled to vote against the bill.

…Speaker John A. Boehner raised potential new obstacles for the bill, saying he would not bring any immigration measure to the floor unless it had the support of a majority of House Republicans.

Earlier Tuesday, Mr. Boehner, Republican of Ohio, tried to put to rest discussion that he would consider pushing through an immigration bill with a combination of Democrats and a minority of receptive Republicans in the House, where conservative Republican sentiment runs strongly against allowing those who entered the country illegally to qualify for legal status.

“I also suggested to our members today that any 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, 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,” Mr. Boehner said at a news conference after meeting with House Republicans.

So instead of doing the right thing and bringing a bill of major national import to a clear vote in the house, the speaker is essentially invoking the Hastert rule because his own party has threatened to remove him from his post…again:

Representative Dana Rohrabacher, Republican of California, said Mr. Boehner “should be removed as speaker” if, on immigration, he violates the “Hastert rule” — an unofficial principle named for J. Dennis Hastert, a former Republican speaker who would rarely allow a vote on a bill that did not have the support of a majority of his conference.

Mr. Boehner is well aware of the difficult political situation he finds himself in. When asked if he believed he could lose his job if he violated the Hastert rule on immigration, he said, to laughter, “Maybe.” Mr. Boehner would not initially say whether he would also require majority Republican support on any legislation to emerge from negotiations with the Senate over a final bill.

“We’ll see when we get there,” he said. But his staff later clarified that he would not violate the Hastert rule on anything coming out of conference, either.

Come on, Speaker Boehner! Bring the bill to a vote, let your party actually make their votes and live with them in 2014…and if they are so petty as to remove you from your post for doing your job…you don’t want to lead them! No, really you don’t!!


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