Wednesday, June 27, 2007

House Republicans Oppose Senate Immigration Bill

By a vote of 114-23. It's not unusual for lots of Members to miss a conference meeting -- even one that's rather important. Still, only 137 Republicans voting (out of 201 total) is a little curious. Notwithstanding that, Patrick McHenry says "this shows that 85 to 90 percent of Republicans" are against the Senate bill.

Regarding support for the Senate bill, CQ reports:

But Boehner said no one in the meeting spoke out in favor of the Senate measure. Instead, Boehner said, “most of the 23 were those concerned with the process we were going through.”

I have a hard time seeing how this passes the House if fewer than 30 or so Republicans support it. It would go too far in allowing moderate Democrats to be targeted for their party's leadership on the initiative.

Roll Call meanwhile, quotes House Immigration Subcommittee Chair Zoe Lofgren, who suggests that House Democrats intend to approach the issue de novo:

If the Senate is successful, a spokesman for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the goal is for the House to move on immigration when the House returns from the recess.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), a key player on immigration, said the Conference resolution was not surprising but is unlikely to affect the game plan in the House.

“You’d be hard-pressed to find very many people in America who support the Senate bill, including House Republicans and House Democrats,” she said, adding that if the Senate can complete the bill this week the House will move quickly.

“Our mission is to have a bill that will be better” than the Senate version, she said.

Can we infer from Ms. Lofgren's comments that the House Democratic alternative will be significantly different?

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