In today’s Washington Examiner, reporter Byron York looks at the question of whether the Republican House leadership has begun a strategy of downplaying the odds of immigration reform passing this year in order to take the focus off the issue and to thereby facilitate a “stealth” plan for actually getting the legislation through.
Republican Representative Paul Ryan, a leading House advocate of immigration reform, sounded decidedly cautious when asked on ABC Sunday whether Congress can pass a reform bill to send to the president this year. “I really don’t know the answer to that question,” Ryan said. “That is clearly in doubt.”
But Ryan’s words still set off suspicions among opponents of immigration reform. They’ve heard such pessimistic talk from reform advocates before and believe it has been an effective rhetorical tool for supporters of Gang of Eight-style reform.
In this way: If the public hears constantly that immigration reform is in trouble on Capitol Hill, that it has little or no chance of passage, then conservative activists, reassured that there’s no threat, aren’t likely to mobilize against it. What’s the need? It’s going to fail anyway. But if the public hears that immigration reform is steaming ahead, that the House leadership is determined to pass a bill, or bills, that will end up in conference with the Senate’s already-passed Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration reform measure — if the GOP base hears that, it will recognize the risk, speak out, and at the very least make things more difficult for immigration reform advocates.
The full article is HERE.