Politico reports that House Speaker John Boehner — who just finished up a meeting with Nancy Pelosi on whether Democrats will join the Benghazi select committee or not — is considering pushing a scaled-down immigration reform bill in the House.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said on Tuesday there has been talk about scheduling a separate floor vote on the ENLIST Act after Republican leadership blocked the bill from coming to the floor as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act — a defense policy bill.
The bill , introduced by Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), would allow undocumented immigrants who entered the country before they were 15 years old to join the military. After their service, these immigrants would be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship if they were honorably discharged.
“We have supported it in the past, but trying to do this on the the National Defense Authorization Act bill seems to us to be an inappropriate place to do it,” Boehner said.
When asked if Republicans planned to allow a standalone vote on the ENLIST Act on the House floor, Boehner said, “There have been discussions about that.”
House Republicans have been skeptical of moving forward on immigration reform, with Boehner repeatedly saying the conference does not trust President Barack Obama to enforce the legislation.
Two questions: Is this what the military needs? Does John Boehner himself trust Barack Obama to enforce the law?
The Politico wording suggests that while the GOP caucus in the House doesn’t trust Obama, Boehner isn’t saying.
But he did say, a year ago, when ABC’s Martha Raddatz asked him.
“Do you trust President Obama?” Raddatz asked.
“Absolutely,” Boehner replied.
“Absolutely?” Raddatz emphasized.
“Absolutely,” Boehner repeated.
More recently, Boehner publicly mocked Republicans who don’t trust Obama, and don’t want the House to take up a comprehensive immigration bill out of fear that Obama will simply jettison any security measures while going ahead with granting legal status to illegal aliens.
The evidence suggests that Boehner trusts Obama more than he trusts his own caucus. Perhaps it’s time the GOP caucus chose a speaker who trusts them.
As for whether the ENLIST Act is good for the military, it’s hard to say. Boehner himself doesn’t want it tied to the defense bill, but that doesn’t tell us whether he actually supports the idea or not. We would be allowing people into sensitive defense positions who probably have not been vetted all that well — they are in the US illegally, after all. While most who join will presumably serve honorably, we are still at war with jihadists. Hizballah is among the jihadist groups known to be operating in several countries in the Americas, including Mexico. Loosening standards for military enlistees, if it is to be done, ought to be done with great care. Tying immigration into any change politicizes it. That’s unwise.
Before we get into allowing illegal aliens into the US military, how about someone in the government — John “What’s the worst that can happen?” Kerry? — get our Marine out of prison in Mexico? Why is our government so bent on giving illegal aliens benefits when it is ignoring a citizen stuck in Mexico, and the veterans who are being mistreated by the VA?