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July 15, 2013

Boehner's Choice

New York points out there's a compelling Establishment reason for Speaker John Boehner to pass an immigration-reform bill: "It has become a Washington truism that the party must expand its appeal to Latino and minority voters if it wants to remain viable in the future."

"The trouble is that there is one group that emphatically doesn't want immigration reform, at least in its current Senate iteration: a key, very conservative cohort of the House Republicans, which Boehner just happens to lead. Which means his speakership, of late, has become a case study in minefield walking, forcing him to balance one survival instinct against another. If he doesn't make an attempt at a serious bill, he'll have almost nothing to show for his leadership, suffering yet another humiliating defeat in a two-plus-year string of humiliating defeats. But if he tries to forge a deal with the Democrats and let the bill come to the floor (where it will need Democratic support to pass), he'll face a revolt from his own rather large backbench--and he already survived one this winter, when twelve Republicans tried to oust him in a coup."

"And so, faced with choosing between passing historic legislation and saving his own hide, John Boehner has spent most of this summer punting."


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