Speaker Boehner says that he doesn’t see the House passing immigration reform this year. The reason, according to Boehner, stems from a lack of trust in the president.
“The American people, and many of my members, don’t trust that the reform that we are talking about will be implemented as it was intended to be” said the Speaker.
The Speaker’s 180 degree shift comes a mere week after proffering a statement of principles that he believed would win the support of his caucus. He offered his personal support for a comprehensive bill that would address the plight of 11 million immigrants living in this country illegally. Now he says it’s not going to’ happen.
“I never underestimated the difficulty in moving forward this year.”
For the record…no one has been tougher on implementing the country’s current immigration laws than this president. In his five years in office President Obama has deported 4 times the number of illegal immigrants than his predecessor did in eight. He has invested more money, manpower and resources to secure our boarders than any previous president. Any suggestion that this president has been soft on
immigration is without merit.
We’ve seen this movie before.
If any of this looks familiar to you…it should…because it is a scene that we have witnessed on numerous occasions. Boehner comes to a conclusion or reaches an accord with the president only to have his caucus throw it back in his face. Remember the “Grand Bargain” that Boehner and Obama cobbled together in 2011? Over 4 trillion in cuts and a meaningful attempt to rein in long term debt were squandered because
Boehner could not sell it to his members.
So what is really going on with Republicans?
Republicans are chaffing at the president’s willingness to circumvent their obstruction by using executive orders to move the country forward. They like to refer to this course of action by such terms as: “breaking the law” or “abuse of power” and “impeachable offense.” In fact President Obama is merely using the powers afforded him under the Constitution. Lost on Republicans is the concept that we had an election and this president was chosen by the people in part because they trusted his judgment to make these types of decisions. The fact that the House of Representatives is more aptly named a House of Dysfunction is in no small part attributable to the weakness of its leader.
Speaker Boehner would have us believe that immigration reform is dead due to a lack of trust in this president when it fact it is because the Speaker, unlike his compatriot on the other side of the aisle, Nancy Pelosi, has no control of his caucus. Say what you will about Minority Leader Pelosi…when she says she has the votes…she has the votes. She is both feared and respected by her members. Boehner cannot make such a claim.
If immigration reform falls by the wayside, it will join back ground checks, raising the minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, extension of unemployment benefits, the Grand Bargain and a host of other legislative items supported by 70%+ of the electorate; all kicked to the curb because Boehner could not control his caucus.
In the long term, Speaker Boehner’s legacy will be that he presided over the most unproductive House of Representatives in our nation’s history.
In the short term, his suggestion that the impasse over immigration reform is due to a lack of trust in this president is pure fiction.
The real reason immigration reform is dead is because Speaker Boehner is really bad at his job.