Roll Call reports that amnesty backers in the House are planning on proceeding without Republican support:
Members say they are feeling newly emboldened to go their own way after the White House this month signaled a willingness to tackle the controversial issue next year. What’s more, Democrats recognize the issue is a politically sensitive one for Republicans hoping to curry favor with Hispanic voters in 2010.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), who heads the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Immigration Task Force, said Hispanic lawmakers were taking notes during the health care reform debate, when House Republicans stood firm in their opposition to key aspects of the Democratic plan. In the end, he said, Democrats preserved the heart of their proposal by holding together, not by chipping away at core principles to win over Republicans.
“Had we negotiated with the Republicans on a bipartisan basis, we wouldn’t have had a public option, so there would have been nothing to mobilize us. We did that with immigration reform in the past,” Gutierrez said, signaling that he plans to begin the immigration reform process with a less compromised bill than he has before.
“Our bill will be to immigration reform what the public option was to health care reform,” Gutierrez said.
Good luck with that.