Speaker John Boehner has a dilemma.
The immigration reform bill that recently passed in the senate now moves to the House; leaving the Speaker with a difficult decision.
Party or position…country first or self aggrandizement and politics as usual.
House Republicans hate this bill. Their primary sticking point is that the senate bill provides illegal immigrants with a pathway to citizenship. Republicans can live with providing illegals a pathway to legalization…but a pathway to citizenship is a non-starter.
This brings us to Speaker Boehner’s decision.
Boehner can cite the Hastert rule and refuse to bring the senate bill to the floor for a vote. This would endear him to the right wing of the Party and secure his position as Speaker. But it would cause irreparable damage to the Party in the eyes of the Hispanic voters; a vote Republicans must have if they have any hope of winning elections in 2014 or 2016.
Or Boehner could cobble together a coalition of House Democrats and a small number of moderate House Republicans and pass the bill. The passage of this landmark piece of legislation would secure his legacy and help his party court the Hispanic vote. But it would infuriate the far right end his term as Speaker
Party or position?
Boehner has stated initially that he would not bring the vote to the floor unless he had the support of a majority of the majority. But Boehner is a pragmatic guy. He understands that immigration reform is good for the country and good for his Party.
Our guess is that he will find a way to get it done…even if it kills him politically.