Less than twelve hours into the Republican retreat and the leaks and attacks came fast and furious. John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy, and Paul Ryan intend to push immigration through the United States House of Representatives.
The bulk of the House Republicans thus far seem opposed, but Boehner and his lieutenants intend to find a path forward. They will start bid and grandiose and whittle their way down into something, anything, to show they intend to move the ball forward.
Conservatives inside and outside the retreat began preemptively crying foul. The bill is going to suck. We all know it will suck. But we only have a few digestible nuggets.
John Boehner is reaping what he sowed. During the last great fight — the Ryan-Murray plan — Boehner attacked conservatives who, relying on press leaks from his office to reporters, opposed the deal. “They had not yet seen the deal,” Boehner claimed and, consequently, were opposing something they had not seen with no basis for opposition.
Once he made the case and had people rally to his cause, he rushed through the Ryan-Murray bill in less than seventy-two hours. Boehner expected that many of those who joined him in ridiculing conservatives for their opposition to Ryan-Murray (again: based on leaks from Boehner’s own crew, but before the entirety of the package was released) would stand with him.
Instead, it looks like they know the game that is about to be played. John Boehner and his friends will craft a package behind closed doors. They will leak it to the press. They will attack conservatives for daring to oppose that which they have not seen. Then he will rush through a package as quickly as possible, relying on Democrat votes to get it done.
The Chamber of Commerce will be happy, the base will not be, and Boehner can retire to a cushy K-Street job with Chambliss, Latham, and his other BFF’s who are retiring this year.
Unfortunately for the Speaker, the alliance he built for Ryan-Murray was an alliance for that legislation only. Many of those with him then are not only opposed now, but see how he played that game. So they’re rallying as early as they can.