House Speaker John Boehner has consistently argued that he will not support any form of comprehensive immigration reform in Congress. Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid thinks otherwise though, as his views on this topic can be seen in his recent interview with The Hill.
“I think that John Boehner will conference with the Senate. Why wouldn’t he? He’ll have a lot of pressure from his members now that the election is getting closer,” claimed Reid in his interview.
Harry Reid believes that the public’s support for immigration reform will prove too strong for Boehner to ignore. He will have to get his caucus behind a deal soon, as immigration reform is a major issue with American voters.
Boehner just may give in and back an immigration bill, as he has bucked the more conservative wing of his party before, most notably on the recent budget deal.
“Some of his members are in very marginal districts where they need to do something on immigration,” continued Reid.
According to Reid, the 2014 mid-term elections will prove too important for the Republican Party to ignore immigration as an issue. Reid thinks that the Republican Party will weigh the perceived detriments of caving on the immigration issue with the perceived detriments of losing seats in the House over the issue.
Conservatives can’t be expected to sit by quietly on the sidelines if Boehner does endorse a major deal with the Senate.
A current proposed piece of immigration legislation, which is over 1,200 pages long, includes funding for increased border security, but also provides a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants that are in the United States illegally. Conservative commentators have decried this latter aspect of the bill as nothing more than amnesty.
Conservative outcry over the Senate legislation has even led Sen. Marco Rubio (R- Florida) to distance himself from it. This is notable because Rubio happens to be one of the authors of said bill. He instead has endorsed a more piecemeal approach to immigration reform, and he believes that the House of Representatives should work on creating this more cautious approach.
Even with Harry Reid’s bold claim that Speaker Boehner will work with the Senate on comprehensive immigration reform, it is highly unlike that this is the truth.
Last month, Speaker Boehner took a firm stance against a Senate bill, noting, “I’ll make clear we have no intention ever of going to conference on the Senate bill. I want us to deal with this issue, but I want to deal with it in a common-sense, step-by-step way.”
Whether or not Sen. Reid knows something about Boehner’s stance on comprehensive immigration reform that the larger public does not know is unclear. It is hard to reconcile what Sen. Reid is saying with what Speaker Boehner is saying in regards to a compromise. One of them is wrong, but we won’t find out until early next year at the earliest.