Appearing on Hannity last night, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor promised to enforce the so-called “Hastert rule” on immigration reform, refusing to allow any proposal from a joint House-Senate conference committee to reach the House floor without the support of a majority of Republicans. When asked by Sean Hannity whether he would “insist” on the Hastert rule, the Virginia Republican replied, “Yes, I absolutely would, and I think the speaker of the House has said the same, that he would as well.”
Asked about the possibility (raised yesterday by liberal Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent) of House Democrats joining with 20 or more moderate Republicans to pass a bill resembling the controversial Senate version, Cantor declared, “That’s not going to happen.” He singled out for particular criticism the Senate’s approach to border security:
I think one of the most offensive parts of the bill is the actual border-security piece, because in the House we don’t want to just say, “Well throw money at it, and at some point you’ll get it done.” I think that a much more deliberative approach is called for; that we have to go about trying to address a real distrust among the American people.
Cantor also warned that the current controversy over President Obama’s delays and revisions in implementing his health-care-reform law bodes ill for the efficacy of the Senate’s border-security measures: “If the president can selectively enforce a provision under Obamacare, what’s to say that he can’t selectively enforce or not enforce a provision on border security in the immigration package?”