The current U.S. Presidential Race, combined with House Speaker Paul Ryan at the helm of the DC legislature, provides an opportunity to highlight just how close passage of Amnesty law was in 2014.
A passage that would have fundamentally, and irreversibly, changed the landscape of the U.S.A forever.
The senate “Gang of Eight” comprehensive immigration reform bill, which included amnesty legislation was not blocked by Senator Ted Cruz or Senator Marco Rubio – it specifically passed the senate because of them, not despite them.
A very insightful PBS documentary “The Immigration Battle” lays out exactly what took place during the 2013/2014 legislative time frame. If you have not watched the documentary I would strongly recommend you do so, it is profoundly enlightening.
The documentary walks you through a timeline explaining exactly who was doing what at the times discussed.
Here’s the trailer:
Watch Full Documentary – HERE
After the Senate passed the comprehensive immigration reform bill known as the “gang-of-eight bill”, the legislative activity shifted to the House of Representatives. Paul Ryan was an early member of the House team supporting passage.
Eventually, against ever increasing pressure from President Obama’s bully pulpit, it came to a moment in the House (June 2014) where Speaker John Boehner was going to take up a vote on the Senate Bill.
Speaker Boehner, Paul Ryan and a few other close insiders had been holding secret meetings discussing support for the bill. On Friday June 6th 2014 Boehner recognized there was now enough support for passage – he also knew it was going to be controversial.
Boehner asked Kevin McCarthy (House Majority Whip) to whip the vote and get a confirmed vote count on Monday June 9th 2014. A “whip vote” is a commitment from each representative expressing their intent to vote a specific way on a specific bill.
Unbeknownst to both GOP and DEM rank-and-file membership Boehner, Ryan and Eric Cantor already knew they had the votes for passage – the request to McCarthy was merely to confirm and lock them in place.
Speaker John Boehner was planning to schedule the vote for Thursday June 12th or Friday June 13th 2014. The determining factor on which date to hold the vote centered around political benefit, or lack thereof, through the media. Was it better for the GOP to celebrate, if so Thursday; -or- was it better to pass and get out of dodge, if so Friday.
The entire House of Representatives were officially whipped on Monday June 9th, 2014. The results confirmed what John Boehner and Paul Ryan already knew – They had enough votes to pass the gang-of-eight bill.
The following day, Tuesday June 10th, Speaker Boehner, Eric Cantor (Majority Leader) and Kevin McCarthy (Majority Whip) had lunch together discussing timing the vote Thursday night or Friday Morning.
However, later that same night the results from the 2014 Virginia primary showed an unknown conservative outsider, Dave Brat, had defeated (primaried) Eric Cantor.
At 7:00pm Tuesday night the first word went out that Cantor had lost.
Boehner, McCarthy and Cantor were STUNNED beyond belief.
The next day, Wednesday June 11th, the House of Representatives was also in a state of shock – Almost the entire reason for the defeat was the controversial immigration position of Cantor who openly favored the immigration bill.
Immediately panicked GOP congresscritters were calling Kevin McCarthy and revoking their previous (2 days earlier) positions of support for the bill. By lunchtime Wednesday June 11th it was obvious the Immigration Bill was NOW DEAD in the House.
That’s how close it was. Literally within hours of a vote for passage.
Amnesty didn’t die because of Senator Ted Cruz or anything he did or didn’t do. The gang of eight bill had already passed the senate.
Amnesty died exclusively because candidate Dave Brat beat House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Period.
If Eric Cantor had won his re-election, the House would have voted on the Gang-Of-Eight Bill two days later, and all of the controversial issues circling around comprehensive immigration reform would have been solidified into law.
Unbeknownst to the majority of Americans we were less than 36 hours away from the most fundamental change in the history of our nation.
Yes, it was THAT close.
And you can be absolutely certain the professional republican party apparatus don’t want us to remind ourselves how close they came to usurping the will of the majority once again.