Boehner tells House Republicans he won't bring Gang of Eight bill to the floor
Jonathan Strong, a reporter for NRO, tweets that "Boehner just told Rs the House will not bring up the Senate immigration bill."
This is a tactical move on Boehner's part, largely taken to head off a conservative revolt that would tear the party apart in advance of the 2014 mid terms.
Simply put, by not bringing the bill to the floor, but allowing some stand-alone immigration reform bills to be voted on, Boehner is not taking any chances that the Senate bill will pass. The Dems are saying they won't go to conference with any bills from the House that don't include a path to citizenship. That almost certainly won't happen, unless Democrats can convince 50-60 House Republicans to force Boehner to bring the Senate bill to the floor - a very long shot, indeed. If the Dems follow through, the GOP looks less obstructionist than if Boehner brought the bill to the floor and Republicans defeated it.
Allah's take sounds about right:
In terms of PR, he doesn't want to make it any easier for Democrats to paint the GOP as anti-reform; shelving the bill is better in that sense than putting it on the floor and letting House Republicans demolish it. On the other hand, maybe he's not so sure that it would actually be demolished. Pelosi can probably pull together 170-80 Democratic votes for it. In that case, all you'd need are 40-50 wayward RINOs to defy leadership and cross the aisle and the bill will be on Obama's desk. Can't chance it.
That doesn't mean, though, that they're not suddenly under heavy pressure to oppose a Gang-style compromise. Per Rasmussen's new poll, fully 51 percent of likely voters say that immigration is now "very important" to how they'll vote in the midterms. One Senate staffer in Roger Wicker's office told the Daily Caller that they got 500 calls yesterday alone. House Republicans will hear it even louder than that now that they're the last line of defense from passage and grassroots favorites like Palin are calling openly for primary challenges against people who vote for the Gang's bill:
This is what happens when a president uses the biggest megaphone in the world to make visible any issue he chooses to. Republican voices are drowned out and all the momentum is now for passage of some kind of immigration reform.
But there are probably enough safe Republican seats to prevent full blown amnesty from passing both houses of Congress. What might emerge from a conference committee (if the Dems drop their insistence on a path to citizenship) is half a loaf for Obama - visa reform, guest worker provisions, and DREAM act expansion.
That will probably be enough for most voters to let the GOP off the hook.