Considering his refusal to bring a comprehensive immigration reform bill to the Floor, we find it pretty ironic that Speaker Boehner was mocking his conference yesterday at an event in his district over their resistance to taking action. From the Cincinnati Enquirer:
"'Here's the attitude. Ohhhh. Don't make me do this. Ohhhh. This is too hard,' Boehner whined before a luncheon crowd at Brown's Run County Club in Madison Township. 'We get elected to make choices. We get elected to solve problems and it's remarkable to me how many of my colleagues just don't want to ... They'll take the path of least resistance.'"
Well, Speaker Boehner, in case you haven’t noticed, more and more Republicans are pushing for a vote. Last night, Politico reported Rep. Peter King sent a letter urging the Speaker to take action on comprehensive reform:
“A House GOP lawmaker is urging Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to bring up immigration reform, saying it would benefit the nation and the Republican Party to undertake an overhaul that includes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.”
“The letter from Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) adds to a quiet but growing chorus of comments from House Republicans during the current congressional recess speaking in favor of immigration reform this year – which remains a steep uphill battle, with the House GOP fundamentally divided on the hot-button issue.”
“In the missive, dated April 23, King tells Boehner that a ‘confluence of events’ makes immigration reform possible, including a path to citizenship coupled with ‘strong and real’ border security and enforcement measures.”
“‘It would be in our country’s national interest as well as the interest of our party if this could be achieved and I want to assure you of my support as this effort goes forward,’ King wrote.”
And earlier this week, former GOP House Speaker Denny Hastert held a rally in Chicago where he was joined by Reps. Aaron Schock and Adam Kinzinger in calling for immigration reform. Also from Politico:
“’Quite frankly, I think if a man or a woman likes their American job, wherever they were born, they should be able to keep that job,’ Schock says… ‘We need a clear path to citizenship for workers who are already here and a fair and efficient on-ramp for those who want to come here.’”
“Schock, who has expressed support for a pathway to citizenship before, made the economic case for reforming the immigration system, arguing that various industries throughout Illinois – such as agriculture – face serious hurdles in trying to hire immigrant workers legally.
“And though Kinzinger doesn’t explicitly endorse a shot at citizenship for those in the United States illegally, he called for a way to find a legal status for them. ‘We must work hard to come to an agreement on how to bring undocumented workers out of the shadows, legally entering the work force and becoming part of the American melting pot that makes this country great,’ Kinzinger says in his testimonial. ‘However, if we do not adequately secure our borders, we could be facing these same problems a few years down the road, which is why this must be the first step of the reform process.’”
Now if only there was something the Speaker could do about it… oh wait, there is! With 191 Democrats backing a discharge petition and more and more Republicans coming out in support of reform, it's long past time to bring a bill to the Floor for a vote. The Speaker said it himself: Members get elected to “make choices” and “solve problems.” It’s time for the House Republican leadership to do just that.