December 4, 2013

ROLL CALL: Boehner’s New Immigration Policy Director Has Deep Experience on Overhaul Efforts.

Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, is taking on a new and formidable immigration policy director, a sign that he could be more serious about passing immigration legislation than his critics suggest.

Rebecca Tallent, who currently serves as director of immigration policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, will join Boehner’s staff on Wednesday. Before joining the BPC, Tallent held several senior staff positions with Sen. John McCain, including chief of staff.

During her time with McCain, she helped the Arizona Republican draft a handful of immigration overhaul measures, including the last big push McCain made with the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., in 2007. In 2008, she was a policy adviser on McCain’s presidential campaign. Before working for McCain, she worked for former Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., a longtime advocate of overhauling the immigration system who was involved in immigration efforts before he retired in 2006.

So who has more influence with the GOP establishment? The GOP grassroots base, or the fatcat donor base?