House Speaker John Boehner could get immigration reform through the House by splitting the Republican vote, but he’ll lose his speakership if he does, conservative commentator Pat Buchanan says.
Buchanan also told radio talk show host Laura Ingraham on Wednesday that he predicts a “Balkan war” in the Republican Party if immigration reform pushes through, because President Barack Obama will have driven a “wedge right through the Republican Party.”
Boehner is expected to unveil a brief outline of immigration principles at a three-day Republican leadership retreat in Cambridge, Md., this week, including plans to strengthen border security and create new visas for foreign workers, and to offer a path to legalization — though not necessarily citizenship — for the nation’s 11 million to 12 million undocumented immigrants.
Buchanan said he does not doubt that Boehner could push immigration reform through by attracting both Republicans and Democrats to vote for the measure, reports Breitbart, but the speaker will face huge political payback for the effort.
“There’s no doubt that if they do that, and you know they can probably bring along enough Republicans – get them lined up with all the Democrats and do that,” Buchanan said. “But if they do that, it’s the end of his speakership, I think at the end of this year. And John Boehner will have a nice job at a trade association.”
Immigration reform will be Boehner’s “last hurrah,” Buchanan predicted, saying Boehner is under huge pressures from many sides to pass an immigration reform measure.
The Chamber of Commerce and big business want immigration reform, Buchanan said, so their businesses can keep hiring immigrants. Further, he said, Boehner is also being pulled by moderates in the Republican Party who want to attract minority votes during this election year.
“If Boehner has signed onto this, even behind closed doors, he’s going to have to come out in the open and Barack Obama will have driven effectively a wedge right through the Republican Party,” said Buchanan.
“You will have a war inside the Republican Party, a Balkan war, this year, which will knock it off its present game, which is to lay out the problems with Obamacare and to show the American people that liberalism is a failure,” he said.
- Boehner to Release Immigration ‘Principles’ Next Week
- Boehner, Cantor: Immigration Reform a Priority for 2014
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By Sandy Fitzgerald