One of the House negotiators on immigration reform said Republicans “cannot stop” a bill from moving forward.
“I have come to the conclusion that the Republican majority in the House of Representatives has no understanding, just does not comprehend the depth, the width, the broadness of the American people’s support for comprehensive immigration reform, and, unfortunately, our movement for immigration reform spent all of its energy, fortunately successfully in getting the bill through the Senate,” Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) said on MSNBC.
“…We’re going to be together on this, but so are some pundits on some other TV stations that aren’t quite with the issue in the past,” he continued. “Look, you cannot stop this. And when it is felt, I really believe that you’re going to get a vote of the majority.”
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) intends to meet with his caucus July 10 to gauge “majority of the majority” support for bringing the Senate bill, which passed last week, to the floor.
“Having said that, look, we’re also going to be smart and practical and flexible. We need to give a safe place for Republicans, and there are dozens of them. Like Paul Ryan and like Rubio in the Senate and others that put that bill together, and Paul Ryan who I know is going to help us put it together in the House of Representatives. We need to give them a bipartisan space,” Gutierrez continued in his strategizing.
“So here’s what the speaker says. He says we’re not going to accept the Senate version. We don’t have to accept the Senate version. We can come with a version from the House of Representatives and we can go to conference and we can come out with a bill that the president can probably sign.”
Gutierrez predicted that a conference committee to forge a final bill wouldn’t be “dissimilar in terms of fundamental issues,” such as a path to citizenship for the 11 million estimated illegal immigrants in the country.
“Before the Republicans kind of had an argument. Well, when the Democrats were in charge and Obama was elected president, they didn’t bring about comprehensive. They had their chance and they blew it. And they’re really not that serious about it,” he said.