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Immigration Reform 2013: Boehner Just Killed It, and Shot the GOP in the Foot

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Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced this past weekend that any immigration reform legislation will follow regular order, i,e. go through committee hearings before he will bring it to the floor. He added that a majority of the Republican members of the House would also have to agree to the proposed legislation (complying with the so-called "Hassert Rule"). This decision kills all chances of any immigration reform, comprehensive or piecemeal, being enacted by the 113th Congress.

Not only will immigration reform be dead, but it is likely the Republican Party will be damaged beyond repair. This could shape control of the next Congress and diminish any chances of the GOP winning the White House in 2016.

The Senate is in the process of debating and amending the Gang of Eight proposal with the goal of passing the legislation before the July 4 break. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), one of the authors of the bill and GOP front man for the Gang of Eight, is close to a compromise on stronger border security language that could ensure passage by a wide margin.

Speaker Boehner has stated his goal is to have a comprehensive bill on the House floor by the time the Senate passes theirs. Given his most recent statement, this imay be just a bunch of words meant to appease reform supporters. It appears he is more concerned with his image among the more conservative wing of the GOP.

Given there are enough GOP members of the House opposed to any path to citizenship, a key requirement in any bipartisan proposal, it is highly doubtful a majority of the party will support the comprehensive bill being written by the House Gang of Eight (now seven). This will give House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) a green light to proceed with piecemeal legislation which will have virtually no chance of being taken up by the Senate.

With immigration reform dead, the Congress has once again shown it is unwilling and incapable of dealing with the major issues facing our nation. Both parties are to blame, but it will be the GOP that suffers the most. 

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