House Democrats introduced their own massive immigration bill Wednesday, most likely in an attempt to show their left-wing and ethnic-chauvinist constituency groups that they’re doing something on the issue. The measure is basically just the Senate’s Schumer-Rubio bill in its original form, before the addition of the phony Corker-Hoeven border-security measures. It’s dressed up as bipartisan because even though it has no Republican sponsors, the border-security language it substitutes for the Corker-Hoever provisions has been passed as a stand-alone bill by the House Homeland Security Committee, sponsored by Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee and Republican Mike McCaul.
Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee recognized this and said Pelosi’s proposal “is basically the Senate bill. I strongly oppose the Senate bill.”
Saying you “strongly oppose the Senate bill” is nice, but in this instance is deceptive. Goodlatte — along with Cantor, Boehner et al. — is determined to pass something, anything, with the word “immigration” in it so they can go to conference with the Senate. The result of the negotiations between the two chambers would not be a series of step-by-step bills but rather one “comprehensive” Obamacare-style monstrosity, but with a few tweaks that make it seem more “Republican.” Tweaks like, say, Schumer’s original border provisions laundered through a House committee. In other words, something indistinguishable from Pelosi’s new bill is the most likely product of any House-Senate conference that considers the Schumer-Rubio bill.
Pelosi’s preview of a conference committee’s work just reinforces Bill Kristol’s message from earlier this year: “No Capitulation, No ‘Comprehensive’ Bill, No Conference.”