No Conference

The Editors, National Review, August 14, 2013

Chuck Schumer has spent the better part of a year saying how essential it is that immigration reform be dealt with in a comprehensive bill. But he has had a sudden change of heart. He now says he is fine with the incremental approach emerging in the House. Forgive us if we don’t believe that this is because Schumer has abandoned hope for his Gang of Eight bill and its instant amnesty paired with large-scale increases in low-skilled legal immigration. Nothing if not a shrewd political operator, Schumer knows that the best chance for the Gang of Eight bill is a House-Senate conference and that the only way to get there is incremental legislation in the House.

Incremental fixes to the immigration system make sense on the merits, and House Republicans understandably want to show that they favor their own set of reforms rather than oppose anything and everything. But incremental bills are destructive if their ultimate purpose is to get to a conference committee that would bless a version of the Gang of Eight bill. House leadership aides pooh-pooh the possibility of a conference committee. Well, then, there is a simple way to allay our fears and those of other opponents of the Gang of Eight—for Speaker Boehner to make a blood-oath commitment to oppose any conference committee.

{snip} All he has to do is say, “No.” As in, “No, we won’t pass anything like the Gang of Eight bill. No, we won’t have a conference with the Senate over it. If the Senate wants to pass our reforms, wonderful. Otherwise, we will see you after the midterm elections.”

Instead, Boehner was unwilling to say even what his own position is on immigration on Face the Nation a few weeks ago, repeatedly describing his role as that of a “facilitator.” This is, needless to say, not confidence-inspiring. The speaker has said in the past that he favors comprehensive reform, and there is enormous private pressure from the Republican establishment and donor class to pass a comprehensive bill by hook or crook to “put the issue behind us.”

{snip} Republicans need to win more Latino voters, but the party won’t do it without developing greater appeal to all working-class voters—and flooding the labor market with cheap workers at the behest of Internet moguls and other business interests is not the way to do it.

It would be a travesty if the House leadership subverted the will of its conference to find a way to rescue the Gang of Eight bill. Speaker Boehner should crush Schumer’s hopes and give his word—no conference.

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  • Puggg

    This was the kind of stuff that NR once fired Pat Buchanan, Peter Brimelow, John O’Sullivan and others for writing.

  • Rick Brooks

    I certainly resent the fact that National Review has backstabbed a lot of true conservatives over the years but in this particular case the phrase “An enemy of my enemy is my friend” applies. It can’t due any harm to welcome and embrace their stance.

    • Charles Lufkin

      NR has taken a very good position in opposing amnesty.We need all the allies we can get at this time.Only the childish,such as Brimelow, continue to harp on positions from years past.NOW,NR and NRO have excellent article by Heather MacDonald.Steyn,Krikorian,Sessions,etc.We need a common front of ALL who oppose any amnesty and NR fits in this category.

  • NeanderthalDNA

    I saw “no conference” and was afraid there was a problem with the next Amren soiree.

    Even though I’ve never been and may never be there in body…

    Whew. Always love seeing the pics, watching the vids, reading the transcripts and knowing someone is out there trying.

  • robert

    The Jews are starting to wave the white flag on immigration.

    • Stentorian_Commentator

      You might be right. They apparently first thought that opening U.S. borders (while closing the borders of their beloved Israel) was in their best interest, but I think they finally realize that once whites are displaced with blacks and Hispanics, nobody is going to give a piece of excrement about the Jews or Israel. Their money will be no good anymore, as the blacks and browns will declare themselves entitled to it and take what they want. It’s about time.

      • David Ashton

        And Muslim immigration: a suicide bomb for Jewish interests.

    • Spartacus

      I wouldn’t be so optimistic if I were you…

  • bigone4u

    I’m for the Simple Immigration Plan: No immigrants from third world countries. Zero. Legally or illegally. None. Chew on that one, Boner.

  • ViktorNN

    Lately I’ve been thinking that if amnesty is stopped, but if we can’t get Wash DC to kick the illegals out, then fine, we should just condemn the 10 or 20 million illegals to living the rest of their lives as foreigners squatting in a foreign land, never to become citizens. After all, many of them are middle aged or older. Let them die here if they want.

    But citizenship – NEVER.

  • JackKrak

    I’m for eliminating immigration until unemployment is below 2%.

    What? Unemployment will never be less than 2%?

    Yes, I know.

  • evilsandmich

    Went to a town hall dealie with my Republican congress critter and he was adament that whatever comes out of the House will be border security/enforcement first. In hindsight his position was so consistently stated that I have to think that is the official House Republican line. This is reassuring since they know that hardly is anything more imortant to their base and that abandoning their voters on this issue will result in no base whatsoever.

  • MarcB1969

    If National Review is against this immigration bill as a collective, you can bet their readership is against amnesty by a huge margin. They only take stands like this after closely monitoring the wind direction from their readership, and the political winds have shifted and even their crowd from the erudite right understands the bill is a guaranteed suicide pact for republican candidates in presidential and senatorial elections in the not-so-distant future. Even Jay Leno jokes that Hispanic illegals are otherwise known as future democrats.