As the Senate Judiciary Committee marks up the bipartisan “Gang of Eight’s” attempt to rewrite American immigration law, another gang across the Capitol — striking as much for its small numbers as for the intensity of its views — organized its own effort to stop the Senate bill.
“You all know how badly I despise Obamacare. I have spent years of my life fighting against Obamacare,” the group’s leader, Iowa conservative Steve King, said. “It’s terrible, it diminishes the destiny of America. But if I have to choose, if it came down to this: if there was an offer that you are going to get one or the other and you have to choose one, I would take Obamacare and try to live with that than ever accept this amnesty plan. Because the amnesty plan is far, far worse than Obamacare because we can’t put it back in a bottle.”
King and five other House conservatives argued that Republicans have been swindled into thinking that immigration reform must pass this year for the survival of the party. They anticipated that the opposition to the plan would grow as the bill moves through the Senate. King said he is deeply concerned that the House would pass several small bills and then go to conference with the Senate, a procedural maneuver he warned could mean an eventual up or down vote in the House without amendments, passing by virtue of strong support from Democrats.