By ROBERT ROMANO
Moderate Republicans appear intent on throwing away the House majority in Nov. 2018 when the midterm elections and are now reportedly five signatures away from a discharge petition bringing immigration amnesty legislation to the House floor for a vote.
What are they thinking?
The so-called Queen of the Hill debate will bring legislation by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) to the floor, but not to pass. Instead, the plan is to allow for four bills in the nature of a substitute come to the floor. The plan is to defeat the Goodlatte bill and offer up an immigration amnesty bill to pass instead with Democrats and few Republicans voting in favor.
The idea is to embarrass President Donald Trump, who ran explicitly against amnesty or any other accommodation without building a wall, ending chain migration and moves to a merit-based system.
The Goodlatte bill fits those specs but the House is not going to pass the Goodlatte bill. If the point was to pass the Goodlatte bill, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) would bring it to the floor and House Republicans would pass it.
Instead, Ryan is standing against the effort. “I can guarantee you a discharge petition will not make law,” he said at a press conference after speaking against the effort while Republicans were in conference, hinting that President Trump would veto anything that does not match his priorities on immigration.
And he’d be right.
Again, the purpose of this exercise is not to enact the Trump agenda or anything Republicans ran on in 2016.
It’s to not enact the Trump agenda, and to defy Republican leaders who are pleading with their members not to embrace what amounts to political suicide for the House majority.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) McCarthy has similarly come out against the discharge petition stating, “If election is today we win. Will we continue to grow. But few things can disrupt us. We cannot disrupt ourselves. Intensity levels are still not there, and discharge petitions release the power of the floor that the American people gave us the responsibly to hold. When you release that power the majority goes to Nancy. If you want to depress intensity this is [the] number one way to do it. We can debate internally but don’t let someone else like Nancy decide our future.”
McCarthy is right, this is how Republicans could lose in November. And if he and Ryan are committed to preserving the majority, they have to begin acting punitively against these faithless representatives who no longer represent what their party stood for in the last election.
Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government. You can read more of his articles at www.dailytorch.com.
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