John Boehner Amnesty Advocate

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We’ve been led to believe, by Speaker Boehner, that he was steadfastly opposed to immigration reform. “Led to believe” is the operative term.

If there were any doubts that comprehensive immigration reform efforts were dead on Capitol Hill this year, House Speaker John Boehner eliminated them on Wednesday.

Boehner repeated his long standing opposition to the Senate-passed immigration bill and his pledge the House would never vote on it, but he went a step further, drawing a bright line: “I’ll make clear we have no intention ever of going to conference on the Senate bill.”

That was November 13th. Three long, long weeks ago. When we were all young and innocent.

Since then, the Speaker has been a busy man. A fairly common truism in Washington is that “personnel makes policy”. The Speaker laid down an indelible marker this evening.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has hired a veteran expert on immigration policy, a move that could signal a renewed House effort to act on the issue in 2014.

Rebecca Tallent, director of immigration policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, will start her new job as assistant to the Speaker on Wednesday. Her arrival was one of several personnel moves Boehner announced Tuesday.

The Speaker has hired an “expert”, actually a “veteran expert”. And it’s pretty obvious she’s going to be leading the charge on any immigration legislation that goes through the House next year. The Speaker did say no immigration reform legislation THIS year. He didn’t say anything about NEXT year.

Just who is this “veteran expert”? Well…

Tallent previously served as chief of staff to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and was deeply involved in efforts to pass immigration reform in 2006 and 2007.

Advocates for immigration reform cheered the hiring of Tallent, viewing it as a sign that Boehner is serious about pursuing legislation in 2014.

There’s really not much to add to that. You wouldn’t be reading The Curmudgeon if you weren’t smarter than the average bear (I’m old enough to remember watching Yogi with my dad – nice memory by the way).

Look for a big push next year to patch together a series of bills that will let the Speaker keep his “promise” about not conferencing on the Senate bill while still accomplishing everything John McCain and Dick Durbin want to see accomplished.


Thirty to forty million newly minted American citizens right off the boat – so to speak – from Mexico. And they’ll be ready and willing to support an expanded version of ObamaCare to show their thanks.

You can put the Speaker on notice, his Washington office number is (202) 225-6205 and his fax is (202) 225-0704.

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