House Judiciary Chairman: Immigration Bill Must ‘Follow Regular Order’

by Robert Costa

Representative Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.) is the chairman of the judiciary committee and a critical player in the future of immigration reform.

In an interview today with ABC News, he said the fate of the Gang of Eight’s bill will be decided, in part, by how it’s moved through the House. “It is absolutely important that they follow regular order,” he said. He wants it to come through his committee, and not pushed through Congress from “the top down.”

Here’s the exchange:

GOODLATTE: ….The second time, 2007, I think it failed because it was done from the top down. And the Senate right now is at a critical point. They have worked a small group with, we found out today, a representative of the White House in all of the meetings, in helping to draft this when the staff meetings –

KARL: Is that a problem for you?

GOODLATTE: Not a problem for me. But it is a problem how they go from here. It is absolutely important that they follow regular order, Marco Rubio is right, that they have a full exposition of it. He said this morning to you, it would be wonderful to have the other 92 Senators have their full input in this process and bring it from the ground up. The same thing you see happen in the House.

KARL: But a quick bottom line, do you think what he’s talking about, what Rubio’s talking about, could you envision it passing in the House?

GOODLATTE: I think, I think the specifics of that bill will be different than the specifics of the bill in the House. But we have to address legal immigration and reform, we have to address enforcement. And we have to address what we do with 11 million or more people who are not lawfully here….