Are there dozens of House Republicans who would vote for comprehensive immigration reform?
Illinois congressman Luis Gutierrez says he has "40-50" House Republicans who would vote today for comprehensive immigration reform.
That is - if they could.
Gutierrez said many of the Republicans supportive of immigration reform don't want to be identified, but he insisted they would support comprehensive immigration reform.
"If they ask me today, go find those 40 to 50 Republicans, I'll tell them I found them. I know where they're at," Gutierrez said in an interview with Ed O'Keefe at the Washington Post.
"I'm not going to tell you the names of some of them. Because some of them I've spoken to, and they've said I'd love to do the activity with you. I want to be able to vote for it. I really don't need to draw attention to myself."
Gutierrez also predicted only a handful of House Democrats would vote against legislation that included a pathway to citizenship for the nation's estimated 11 million illegal immigrants.
He noted that only three Democrats voted in favor of legislation earlier this year aimed at forcing President Obama to deport illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children.
Forty or fifty Republicans who would vote for a path to citizenship? Methinks the Congressman has been tippling a little early in the day. This is a gigantic bluff by Gutierrez. He doesn't have that kind of intel where he could actually name 40-50 Republicans who support the Senate bill.
There are probably 10-20 Republicans who might vote for the Senate bill - with substantial amendments. Some of those amendments relating to border security triggers would be rejected out of hand by Gutierrez.
The bluff is designed to force Republicans to push for an up or down vote on the Senate bill when they come back from recess after Labor Day. That almost certainly won't happen and the GOP will continue with their piecemeal approach to immigration reform. There may be a big fight in the House over the status of illegal aliens already here. But it almost certainly will not include a path to citizenship.