Friday, June 21, 2013

Much more hard-core politicking to go before any chance of immigration reform from Congress

Yes, it’s nice that the U.S. Senate says it has reached an agreement on measures meant to appease the ideologues on immigration reform that will be added to the overall bill that could get Senate support later this month.

BOEHNER: Putting reform on hold?
It’s also nice to see that Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., is making statements saying he’d be “proud” to back such a bill after siding with the conservative elements earlier this month – even though a close-read of his statement makes it clear he still wants to side with those ideologues.

BUT I CAN’T help but think the real “news” on the issue of immigration reform was made earlier in the week when House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the issue won’t even come up for a vote unless a majority of the House Republican caucus backs the idea.

Considering that many of them are among the ideologues who want this issue to go away (or want it converted into a measure that boosts the number of deportations from the United States and does little else), there’s a good chance that all of this political activity in the Senate is for naught.

The issue could wither away due to inaction in the U.S. Senate – since the Republican leadership there is not going to want anything that could boomerang back against their members.

There won’t be a roll call vote that could be used by the activists pushing for serious immigration reform to “out” those representatives come future Election Days.

MORE LIKELY, IT would become a whole lot of inactivity – perhaps procedural measures to bottle up such a bill so that it will continue to be pending for some future date when officials feel inclined to get around to it.

Which means the real activity on the part of activists ought to be to make the public officials inclined to get around to it.

Ultimately, government officials don’t act on behalf of what policy would be best for the people of the United States of America! They vote for what will get them re-elected.

They most certainly avoid taking any actions that could put their incumbency at risk. After all, they’ll be the first to say they can’t do any good to anyone if they have the title of “former Rep.” in front of their names.

IF ANYTHING, I find it interesting to learn that Boehner says this issue would become the ultimate subject of the “conference committee” – in which both legislative chambers pass their own measures.

Then, a gathering of members of both the Senate and House get together and try to work out a compromise bill.

Which means the House of Representatives could ultimately decide to pass something into law that appeases no one but the most hard-headed of the ideologues.

OBAMA: He wants the praise
They will know the Senate will never consider going along. It will be left to the conference committee to decide what ultimately gets sent along to President Barack Obama to sign into law at some future bill-signing ceremony so that he can boast that he “reformed” immigration policy.

EVEN IF THE resulting policy becomes something that appalls everybody – the ideologues who want nothing done and the activists who resent that anyone is bringing the largely-irrelevant issues of border security into the immigration reform equation.

But that’s the way our legislative procedure works. Let’s only hope it doesn’t create the complete bottleneck that prevents anything from being accomplished this year.

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