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Saturday, January 22, 2022

John Boehner claims he ‘wanted to get immigration reform done.’ He had every power to do so

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Recall that Boehner’s tenure as Republican House speaker was marred with “making the Senate go first on just about everything,” NBC News reported in 2013, including on a comprehensive immigration reform package. So the chamber led by then-Democratic Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid did just that, passing legislation by 68-32, an incredible number then, and an incredible number now.

But when that bill reached his doorstep, Boehner refused to allow a floor vote. He also refused to allow the vote even though immigration reform advocates had the more than two dozen Republican votes they needed to pass legislation.

[T]here exist enough votes to pass immigration reform with a path to citizenship through the House,” advocacy group America’s Voice said in October 2013, several months after the Senate had passed its package. “Currently, there are 183 co-sponsors on the House immigration bill introduced two weeks ago. It is estimated that 200 Democrats could join with the 26 Republicans who are on the record supporting a path to citizenship, to ultimately pass such a bill.”

“Boehner also stood in the way of basic democracy on this issue, reassuring his caucus that he would not allow a vote on any bill that did not have a majority among House Republicans, even if the bill could have achieved bipartisan majority in the House as a whole,” Media Matters reported. But as America’s Voice also noted in 2013, Boehner broke his Hastert rule talking point for other pieces of legislation. “The Speaker and his caucus are out of excuses.”

Boehner is also lying through his wine-stained teeth when he claims that Obama set discussions on fire. The Senate passed its package in June 2013; President Obama’s executive actions on immigration came more than a year later in November 2014 (and came only because the House wouldn’t act). Boehner had all that time to pass something. He could have just allowed the floor vote. Instead he gave a floor vote to Iowa’s leading white supremacist and retired congressman, Steve King. But, sure, he has “no idea how” something like the America First caucus “showed up.”

This leads to Meet the Press host Chuck Todd, who could have told a lot of this straight to Boehner’s bronzed face, Media Matters reports. “… Todd should know all of this history—he co-wrote pieces at NBC News on how Boehner and House Republicans disregarded the Senate bill, ostensibly to pursue a House bill, but noted thatconservatives are now creating new excuses to oppose immigration reform,” the report said. Instead, Boehner called Todd a “shit” to his face. Todd then just chuckled at being insulted. Have some fucking dignity, man.


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