Who knew one bill could cause this much ruckus? Who thought one bill that was never expected to pass the House could scare House "leadership" so much? And who figured one bill that's often deemed "hopeless" by many media pundits could determine the future of an entire political party?
Meet HR 15. House Republican "leaders" have done everything possible to kill it. Rep. Joe Heck (R-Backbench) has said everything possible to excuse his inaction on it. And the national Republican Party has tried everything possible to "rebrand" it away.
Yet try as they might, they still haven't succeeded in killing HR 15. And now that House Democrats have already collected 190 signatures for their HR 15 discharge petition, it's become completely unavoidable.
It wasn't that long ago when House Republican "leaders" themselves declared their interest in passing comprehensive immigration reform (CIR). And earlier this year, they tried to wow everyone with their "principles for immigration reform". Yet despite their occasionally lofty rhetoric, they've failed to match that rhetoric with action.
Instead, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-P90X) boasted about killing his own "principles". And even after declaring his "support" for CIR, Ryan nonetheless recently voted twice against reform: first on the House floor to defeat a parliamentary maneuver to move HR 15 forward, and again in the House Budget Committee to reject inclusion of the measure to reduce the federal budget deficit by $900 billion in his House Budget (that's destined to go nowhere). (And FYI, Rep. Joe Heck also voted against CIR on the House floor.)
House Republicans have been trying so hard to evade this one bill. They've yet to realize that HR 15, along with the larger issues behind it, is unavoidable. No amount of parliamentary parsing and/or silly "rebranding" can change this reality.
They can't have it both ways. They can't pander to Latin@ voters with vague promises of reform while simultaneously pandering to their 21st Century Know Nothing base with real, concrete anti-immigrant/anti-reform votes. They must eventually make the unavoidable decision: Will they finally allow a floor vote for CIR, or will they eventually admit that they never really wanted to pass any kind of CIR?
Who knew one bill could so forcefully call out House Republicans' duplicity on immigration reform? Apparently, HR 15 is. And this truth is increasingly becoming unavoidable.