Paul Ryan’s dueling promises on immigration.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has a commitment from Republicans to see a Senate debate on the future of nearly 700,000 immigrants currently protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in the next three weeks. But the real hurdle for immigration reform is in the House of Representatives.
It all comes down to a promise Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) made in 2015, before taking over the speaker’s office: He assured the most conservative members of his conference — the very ones who ousted his predecessor John Boehner — that he would not let an immigration bill pass without the support of the majority of House Republicans.
It’s called the Hastert Rule, an unwritten Republican leadership principle named after former Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert. (Yes, the same Dennis Hastert who went to prison for a bank fraud conviction related to him molesting young boys.) And it has dictated how the immigration debate has lived and died in Congress over the past decade.
At the height of the government shutdown, Senate Democrats were demanding assurances from Ryan and President Donald Trump that a bipartisan DACA deal would make it not only out of the Senate but through the House and to the president’s desk. By the end of the shutdown, these calls had ultimately quieted.
But Democrats’ concerns still stand, and as the immigration debate gets underway in Congress, the political headwinds in the House will likely prove to be the biggest test.
A brief history of the Hastert Rule
Hastert, the longest-serving Republican speaker of the House, coined the “Hastert Rule” in 2003, when he said the “job of the Speaker is not to expedite legislation that runs counter to the wishes of the majority of the majority.”
In other words, speakers shouldn’t allow a vote Read More Here