Hill staffers involved in the 2007 immigration fight recall the overwhelming consensus that appeared to greet the bill — President George W. Bush and Sen. Ted Kennedy and Sen. John McCain! — and attribute the law’s eventual defeat to the effort, mounted by Sen. Jeff Sessions and others, to slow it down, mobilize the conservative grassroots, and use unpopular or divisive parts to undermine the once-unstoppable whole. That will be the strategy this time, too.
Chait keeps an eye on Boehner:
The main question is whether a bill that passes the Senate, which seems highly probable, can get a vote in the House. If it does, it can probably pass, with mostly Democratic votes and a handful of Republicans. Will Boehner let that bill come to a vote? Costa quotes a Republican insider, who tells him, “All of the conservatives, they think they have frozen Boehner; he’s in their pocket.” On the other hand, the pro-reform contingent thinks he will allow a bipartisan vote. Roll Call reports, “Even while they say there is no explicit commitment from Boehner, members and aides who are part of or close to the bipartisan group seem to have confidence, even cockiness, that Boehner secretly has their back.”