Why Has Immigration Reform Flatlined?

Ambers thinks the bill probably “never had a chance”:

Boehner is not willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of immigration reform. He could easily bring a bill to the floor, any bill, and get it passed, and then appoint conferees who will move towards the Senate version of the bill. But he won’t. If he did that, he’d be canned. Hence his “majority of the majority” rule, the Hastert rule, which is both a reflection of, and a contributor to, the anti-governing spirit within the Republican Party.

The louder parts of the GOP base, the talk radio hosts, are resolutely against compromise on immigration. Even Sean Hannity, who flip-flopped the day after the 2012 election because he (temporarily?) agreed with the smarties in his party that principles had to be exchanged for expediency, is now back where he was. Why? That’s where his listeners and viewers are.

Jonathan Bernstein notes that most Republican supporters of immigration reform in the House appear “more scared of their shadows than they are of a bill failing”:

It gets to something very important to know about legislating. Yes, counting votes matters. But intensity also matters. There are plenty of bills that have theoretical majorities but never go anywhere, either because of strong opposition or, even deadlier, a lack of strong support. What it comes down to is that comprehensive immigration reform probably can be saved — but only if those Republican politicians, Republican operatives and Republican-aligned interest groups who support it are willing to go all-out, and not just behind closed doors, to get it.

Klein and Soltas add:

The simplest way to explain the politics of the bill right now is that, after the election, the Republican Party was scared of the Hispanic electorate, and so they wanted to act. But Republicans are no longer that scared of Hispanic voters, and so they no longer want to act. Unless the Hispanic community can change that, there won’t be an immigration bill.