House GOP kills comprehensive immigration reform

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Completing the trifecta, or "hat trick" for hockey fans this week in the House, the GOP has killed comprehensive immigration reform. Steve Benen reports, 'It's just not gonna happen now':

Though it got less attention, there was also a bipartisan House "gang" that's been [crafting comprehensive immigration reform legislation]. In May, the House lawmakers announced they were just about done with a comprehensive bill. And then again in June, they said the House bill was very nearly complete. And then in July, the House members said their bill really, truly was poised to be unveiled.

But
then, nothing. For all the periodic assurances about success, the
House's "Gang of Seven" was always standing in the doorway, ready to
enter, but unable to take the next step. Greg Sargent reports this morning that the bipartisan group is ready to call it quits.

In a blow to the hopes of passing immigration reform anytime soon,
the bipartisan House "gang of seven" plan is probably dead, and almost
certainly won't be introduced this fall as promised
, a top Democrat on
the "gang" acknowledges.

"It doesn't appear that we're going to move forward with the group of
seven," Dem Rep. Luis Gutierrez, a key player on immigration as a
member of the gang, said in an interview with me. "The process is
stalled. I don't believe we're going to produce a bill anytime soon."

What seems to be the trouble? Gutierrez told Greg that
the Republicans in the "gang" haven't received support from House GOP
leaders, and just can't bring themselves to endorse the bipartisan
proposal. "It's just not gonna happen now," the congressman added.

The
next question, of course, is what might happen next. We are, after all,
talking about a popular, bipartisan effort that secures the border,
shrinks the deficit, and boosts economy growth. It enjoys the support of
the White House, business leaders, religious leaders, GOP strategists,
leaders from the Latino community, and a clear majority of the country.

Given this, is the legislation simply going to wither on the vine?

There's not much the Senate can do; it already passed a good bill.
There's not much the White House can do; President Obama is standing by,
eager to sign reform into law.

The future of reform rests
squarely on the shoulders of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and the
House GOP leadership
. They could, in theory, simply bring the Senate
bill to the floor, let the House vote on it, and accept the
consequences. That won't happen, though, because rank-and-file House
Republicans won't let Boehner pursue this.

There's also talk that
the House GOP might break up comprehensive reform into pieces and try to
pass them one at a time. That's not likely to work, either — not only
does the far-right fear the piecemeal approach leading to a compromise
with the Senate, but the whole point of making this "comprehensive" is
to include provisions intended to generate buy-in from a variety of
constituencies on one legislative package.

I continue to push the idea of a discharge petition, which I hope will get a second look now that the "gang" option appears to be collapsing.

Regardless,
Gutierrez's comments today suggest the odds of success on immigration
reform are getting worse. If it fails, the consequences for Republicans
are unpredictable, but may very well be severe.

Voter retribution at the ballot box — Kick 'em all out!

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