A new report from the Texas-based Quorum Report, published by longtime Texas journalist Harvey Kronberg, says that House Speaker John Boehner plans to push amnesty legislation through the House, after the primary filing deadline for candidates. The move would prevent Tea Party from challenging GOP lawmakers who support amnesty in 2014.
Scott Braddock reported on Tuesday that “in recent weeks, various Texas business interests have told Quorum Report that Boehner has been telling them that he will start holding immigration votes not long after the filing deadline has passed.”
Braddock noted that those business community sources spoke with him “on condition of anonymity because their conversations were held behind closed doors and they added it wasn’t made clear to them just how confidential the information was meant to be.”
“Nevertheless, what was made clear was that Boehner felt the need to protect House Republican incumbents who are otherwise seen as conservative but have expressed an openness to immigration reform that includes a robust guest worker program,” Braddock wrote, before citing three specific Texas GOP congressmen: Reps. Ted Poe (R-TX), John Carter (R-TX) and Sam Johnson (R-TX).
Carter and Johnson were, until recently, members of the House version of the “Gang of Eight.” Carter and Johnson left the group in mid-September, stating that President Barack Obama’s selective enforcement of immigration laws concerns them. They felt he would selectively enforce whatever Congress passed in any kind of immigration reform package. “The administration’s practice of hand-picking what parts of laws they wish to enforce has irrevocably damaged our efforts of fixing our broken immigration system,” the Texas lawmakers said in a joint statement at the time. “If past actions are the best indicators of future behavior, we know that any measure depending on the president’s enforcement will not be faithfully executed. It would be gravely irresponsible to further empower this administration by granting them additional authority or discretion with a new immigration system. The bottom line is – the American people do not trust the president to enforce laws, and we don’t either.”
The Texas lawmakers comprised half of the GOP members of the negotiations, along with Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Raul Labrador (R-ID). Labrador also left the group, citing concerns over the House Democratic leadership led by Nancy Pelosi, specifically their refusal to prevent illegal aliens from getting access to Obamacare.
Poe, the third GOP congressman Braddock cited in his story for Quorum Report, is someone who had expressed willingness to work with activists pushing for amnesty. Traditionally in favor of border security before any citizenship process, Poe told Fox News Latino earlier this year: “I’ve changed.”
“I used to think we had to do border security before we ever talk about other immigration issues,” Poe said in April 2013. “But we have to do them in tandem, because [otherwise] we’ll never get to those other issues. The border is really not secure because of the drug cartels.”
Poe recently took a strong stance against the current versions of an immigration deal in an exclusive for Breitbart News.
“The President has proven over the last few weeks that ‘negotiating’ means conservatives must give in and that it’s his way or no way,” Poe said in an email to Breitbart News in late October. “In his opinion, there is no compromise, just intimidation with inflammatory rhetoric. The President is putting his political agenda ahead of what’s best for America.”
“He wants to do what’s best for his legacy,” Poe said of Obama. “Conservatives want to do what’s best for our nation.” Poe added that he thinks “there’s no question that our broken immigration system needs a lot of work.”
“That’s why conservatives will still work on individual bills, such as border security, interior enforcement, E-verify and filling our future labor needs,” Poe explained. “Future, temporary, foreign workers must not displace any American. Conservatives will not support a wrapped up present with amnesty inside. Amnesty, to quote the President, is not negotiable.”
Poe, Johnson and Carter are connected closely with the Texas business community, which Braddock noted in the Quorum Report story are very much in favor of amnesty.
“Though our sources for this story did not wish to be named, it is no secret that Texas homebuilders like Perry Homes and Weekley Homes, the Texas Association of Business, The Greater Houston Partnership, the Texas Farm Bureau, and other business interests find it difficult to recruit enough authorized workers and therefore support comprehensive reform,” Braddock wrote.
This news from the Texas donor community comes as Boehner hired amnesty advocate Rebecca Tallent as his new immigration policy adviser. “Rebecca Tallent will join the office as Assistant to the Speaker for Policy handling immigration issues,” Boehner’s office said in a release on Tuesday. “Rebecca comes to us from the Bipartisan Policy Center, where she is the director of immigration policy.”
Boehner’s spokesman Michael Steel has not responded to multiple requests for comment from Breitbart News regarding Tallent or regarding the Quorum Report article.
Tallent previously worked for Senate “Gang of Eight” member Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on immigration policy. She helped him and the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) draft their final immigration proposal—one that ultimately failed.
“During her time with McCain, she helped the Arizona Republican draft a handful of immigration overhaul measures, including the last big push McCain made with the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., in 2007,” Roll Call wrote of Tallent on Tuesday. “In 2008, she was a policy adviser on McCain’s presidential campaign. Before working for McCain, she worked for former Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., a longtime advocate of overhauling the immigration system who was involved in immigration efforts before he retired in 2006.”