Depending on which echo chamber any one reader/listener is following this week, the massive, behemoth, typical leftist-sized Immigration Bill (loaded with a Pandora’s Box of surprises) is either going to the floor in the House of Representatives in short order, or it’s DOA.
Guessing which is the real truth is useless, because I suspect, as do a lot of people who watch House Speaker John Boehner’s leadership style with curiosity rather than disdain, that this bill will actually go to committee and not so quietly be assassinated, or put in an iron maiden. That is not to say that the issue is dead. Far from it, as there are real problems related to immigration policy failure facing the country right now, but this gigantic Trojan Horse known as “amnesty” is not the answer. And don’t think most House Republicans don’t know it.
National Review’s Robert Costa has been profiling some of the more prominent names in Republican leadership of late. This morning, a short piece on Mr. Boehner appeared with this about his likely leadership on immigration:
Instead, Boehner will toss immigration reform back to Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte, who is already working through a handful of bills. “Boehner’s preference is for the committees to lead, since that creates a bottom-up policy,” says Hal Rogers of Kentucky, the Appropriations Committee chairman. “That’s smart politics. We don’t have earmarks anymore, so the speaker is limited in what he can do to win votes. Working through the chairmen is a good way to find leverage in a job with few options.”
That isn’t the leadership style that Americans are accustomed to seeing from the Speaker of the House. We are far more responsive to somebody standing on the platform before the Speaker’s Chair making bold declarations of sincere life or death, than bills sent to the appropriate committee to be hashed over and killed by the supporting cast. But, that’s Boehner’s preference, and, frankly, is far more likely to produce better results as the committee members, in order to debate and kill the bill with cause, have to actually READ the three reams of the damn thing before they start debating.
The other tidbit that cropped up in my echo chamber in the last couple of days, and which is referenced by Rep. Rogers in the quote above, is that the House Republicans favor implementing a series of bills each dealing with a different topic within the overall immigration issue. One for the border fence, one for HB-1 visas, one for a path to citizenship, and on and on. With this approach, the chances of getting some pieces passed and other parts dying in committee is pretty good. It would not be a blockbuster of headlines and a signing ceremony, but would get the job done.
There is yet another reason for Boehner to refrain from bringing the Immigration Bill to the floor of the House in it’s current form before filtering it through the committees. It helps slow down the freight train that the left has steaming at full speed. The transient population of Washington is headed home for a short Fourth of July break, and according to reports a July 10 meeting is scheduled to discuss “a way forward” or next steps. And then there’s August when the whole swamp empties out.
Summer break is coming soon and [Boehner] has no intention of having a quick vote so the Congressmen and Senators too, for that matter, are going to have to go home and face the voters!!!!! Whoa Nellie, what a golden opportunity to exercise grass roots, retail politics by letting our Rep’s know exactly how we feel!!!
And there, my fellow Americans, are our marching orders. The Foggy Bottom Theater of Scandal will go dark with the August recess and our congresscritters will mostly head home for the summer stock known as Town Hall Meetings. Time to make like it’s 2009-10 all over again. John Boehner would be very smart to encourage the people to make their voices heard in this fashion. He says Congress is headed home to listen to the constituents next week. Visuals are much more impactful than words on a page. Show up at rallies and fireworks displays where the creatures will be and tell them what you think.
Immigration as a political issue will not die until it is dealt with, which it needs to be. No one disagrees – it’s getting to a mutually disagreeable solution that’s the problem. (No one’s going to be happy with the final version, that’s for sure.) Due to the violence spilling over the southern border, we need a fence and appropriate personnel to do the job of maintaining its integrity. To remain not just competitive, but be ahead in technology, we do need the best of the best in wonky technology sorts* – and our schools are not really producing them (probably by the choice of the students, actually). Many of us descend from imported skilled labor, so working something out in this regard would actually be a good thing. It’s the idea of outright amnesty that’s the problem. Of course, that is not all there is to a complex issue, but ramming through the current bill is not the answer, either.
And so, John Boehner, a creature of closely guarded habit, Mr. Costa tells us, is most likely going to send the can of snakes through committee to die there because that is established procedure at this time, while the committee people craft individual topic bills for specific immigration topics instead. As long as it gets the job done and the bill dies, the fence gets built and there is no outright amnesty, do we really care how it happens?
* Don’t forget that we went to the moon courtesy of German engineers – just like the Soviets.