Who could have guessed? Who could have figured this would happen? Last year, Congressional Republican "leaders" seemed to be all on board for comprehensive immigration reform (CIR). They even managed to finesse some Senate Republicans (including Nevada's Dean Heller) into voting for S 744.
Yet a strange thing happened as S 744 made its way to the House. Even before it passed the Senate, House Republicans passed an amendment to deport DREAMers. Seemingly "pro-reform House Republicans" (like Nevada's Joe Heck) ran away from legislation they seemed to support earlier in the year. When HR 15 was unveiled, only 3 House Republicans agreed to cosponsor it. And a number of allegedly "pro-reform Republicans" (such as Joe Heck) continue to oppose HR 15.
Earlier this year, House Democrats unveiled a discharge petition for HR 15. This was an actual, concrete way to ensure a floor vote on real CIR legislation. Yet again, those supposedly "pro-reform Republicans" failed to sign the discharge petition.
Last month, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) actually mocked his own caucus for failing to pass CIR. He basically called them cowards for playing games with such critical legislation for American families and the US economy. Yet when asked why he hasn't already allowed a floor vote on HR 15, Speaker Boehner reverted to the same answer he's been giving for nearly a year: "It's someone else's fault!"
For nearly a year, House Republicans have been playing this game of charades on immigration reform. They support it... Or do they? What do they mean by "support"? What do they mean by "reform"? Their calls for "immigration reform" always seem to be an enigma wrapped in a riddle covered with mystery veiled by confusion.
Early last year, some pundits were wondering whether CIR was ever truly viable in the G-O-TEA run House. Now, it looks like their doubts are being validated. House Republican "leaders" are just too afraid of their own 21st Century Know Nothing base to allow any CIR to pass the House.
So we're left with this game of charades. Will they or won't they? Who means what? Is there truly any there there?
Maybe there is something there there? One House Republican, Jeff Denham (R-California), has proposed the ENLIST Act to allow legal status for undocumented immigrants to serve in the military. But of course, Boehner and his lieutenants have pledged to kill this bill. And not even Rep. Denham has signed the discharge petition for the full CIR bill (HR 15) he cosponsors.
So is there any there there? Or is this just one sick game of charades? It remains to be seen when House Republicans will stop playing these games and start... You know, doing their job.