The House will face pressure to pass immigration reform no matter what John Boehner says, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters on Tuesday.
“I have talked to my four Democrats, the Gang of Eight. And I have told them, ‘Concentrate on the Senate. Don’t, at this stage, worry about what’s going to happen in the House.’ And I say that no matter what statements the speaker may have given,” Reid said at his Tuesday media stakeout.
Earlier in the day, House Speaker John Boehner had suggested he won’t bring an immigration bill to the House floor unless it’s backed by a majority of House Republicans.
“I don’t see any way of bringing an immigration bill to the floor that doesn’t have the majority support of Republicans,” Boehner told reporters at his own press conference on Tuesday, saying he would “maybe” lose his job as speaker of the House if he brought the Senate’s bill up for a vote.
If Boehner holds to that guideline, known as the “Hastert rule,” it could pose significant trouble for “comprehensive” immigration reform as Democrats and some Republicans would like to enact it: A pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants will likely be a tough sell among House Republicans.
Reid said that when the time comes, the House will face pressure to act.
“No matter what he has said, there’s going to be significant national pressure on the House to do something on immigration. I’m only worried about what’s going to happen here [in the Senate],” Reid told reporters. “And I’m not going to say how I really feel about it, OK?”