by Jim Nintzel
This week's cover story focused on how the question of border security was the key topic as lawmakers in Washington debate comprehensive immigration reform, as well as how the politics of immigration play against an effort by the Republican Party to capture a larger percentage of the growing Latino vote.
That topic of security came up today as House Speaker John Boehner announced a key decision: He will not bring an immigration bill to the floor unless it has the support of the majority of the GOP caucus. Boehner had previously sidestepped that question.
Boehner also complained, like many Republicans, that the security mechanisms in the Gang of Eight's bill are too weak. Here's Talking Points Memo:
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) assured his fellow conservatives in a private meeting Tuesday that he would not push the Senate immigration reform bill through the House without support from the majority of Republicans—a principle he has violated in the past when he has had "zero leverage," according to Politico.
"Let me be clear,” Boehner said, according to a source in the closed GOP meeting who talked to Politico. “Immigration is not one of these scenarios. We have plenty of leverage. And I have no intention of putting a bill on the floor that will violate the principles of our majority and divide our conference. One of our principles is border security. I have no intention of putting a bill on the floor that the people in this room do not believe secures our borders. It’s not gonna happen.”
Boehner elaborated further on his concerns with the bill's border security provisions at a weekly press conference on Capitol Hill.
"I frankly think the Senate bill is weak on border security," he said. "I think the internal enforcement mechanisms are weak, and the triggers are almost laughable. And so if they’re serious about getting an immigration bill finished, I think the president and Senate Democrats ought to reach out to their … Republican colleagues to build broad bipartisan support for the bill.”