Boehner has added Rebecca Talent, an advocate for immigration reform to his staff.
While the Senate has already sent up its own Immigration Reform Bill….The House has not even engaged the issue….Amnesty WILL be a trigger word for Conservatives….
The President has pushed for a comprehensive Reform Bill, but has indicated that he’s Okay with Boehner’s plan to do a piece meal approach to issue….
But even starting to staff up has caused several Conservatives alarm….
“I think it’s a very strong signal sent by the Speaker as to what his intentions might be,” said Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), an immigration reform foe who has watched Boehner’s moves closely over the past year.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) also voiced concern, saying that McCain’s stance on immigration put him “totally out of touch with the rank-and-file Republicans throughout the country.”
“To hire somebody who was directing him on that issue — it didn’t help John McCain and it isn’t going to help us,” Rohrabacher said.
Boehner on Thursday reiterated his commitment to tackling immigration reform, but he has frustrated advocates by refusing to offer a timetable for action and by avoiding taking a position on the most contentious aspects of an overhaul.
In nods to conservatives in the GOP conference, Boehner has ruled out taking up the Senate-passed immigration bill and has vowed that no proposal would come up for a vote without the support of a majority of House Republicans. He has said the House would take up immigration legislation piece by piece, and last month he went a step further by ruling out negotiations on the full Senate bill.
Still, King said he has “never accepted the idea that amnesty was foreclosed by the Speaker’s words.”
The hiring of Tallent, he said, “adds up to the message that they’re at least setting the stage to be able to bring some type of immigration through this House with some kind of strategy. And I can tell you emphatically there is nothing good that can be passed out of the House of Representatives with regard to immigration that has a chance to get through the Senate and a signature from the president.”
“Any kind of initiative like that would split our conference,” King said….