Immigration Reform Bill Sputtering In Capitol
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WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – Even if Republican Senator Marco Rubio and the bipartisan Gang of Eight Senators can muster the support needed to pass comprehensive immigration reform through the Senate; it’s possibly dead on arrival in the GOP-led House of Representatives.
The House has an unwritten “Hastert Rule” that states the majority party will not bring any legislation to the floor of the House without support from a majority of the majority party, a majority of the majority rule.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Teusday that he will not put any bill on the floor that violates this so-called rule. Speaker Boehner has had to violate the rule at least twice, once on the fiscal cliff deal and then on Hurricane Sandy relief funding.
The House is drawing the line at border security and demanding major changes to move the bill to the right on the political spectrum or the House will not vote on it. The other potential roadblock is even if border security is toughened, would a majority in the House support a path to citizenship.
House Republicans have been outspoken in their criticism of the emerging Senate bill and conservatives have been even more vocal in putting down the supporters of the bill.
Republican Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA) said Senator Rubio was using “weasel words” in his push for immigration reform, according to Politico.com.
“Rubio is so mixed up and so confused. I think he has given up his rightful place to advise any of us in Washington what to do and…he’s given up any right to be trusted by the American people,” Rohrabacher told Politico.
In the Senate, members are set to start voting on amendments to the bill as early as Tuesday, according to the Washington Post. Two amendments from each party will be offered including one from Republican John Thune (R-SD) that would require a 700 mile double-layered fence be built along the Mexican border before any illegal immigrants could apply for legal status.
The House is also expected to pass its own version of immigration reform in the near future which then would presumably go to a conference committee between the two houses. Speaker Boehner has not indicated if he would allow a conference bill to be voted on if it violated the so-called “Hastert Rule.”