House Republican leaders would be "hypocrites" if they block a bipartisan majority from taking up an immigration bill, Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., said this morning.
Less than an hour after Speaker John A. Boehner said he didn't see “any way” that an immigration bill could come to the House floor without the backing of majority of Republicans, Hoyer predicted that the Ohio Republican would feel "a lot of pressure" to take up the Senate's immigration overhaul legislation, should it pass that chamber with bipartisan support.
"There's been a lot of pressure on the speaker on the so-called 'Hastert Rule,'" Hoyer said of the informal policy established under then-Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., that required a majority of majority support as a condition of bringing legislation to the floor. "Perhaps that is what [Boehner] is responding to.
"But I am very optimistic that the Senate will pass a bipartisan bill," Hoyer continued in his briefing with reporters Tuesday morning, "and if they do I think there will be a lot of pressure on ... Republican leaders ... to let the House work its will. They say that a lot. They either mean it or they don't mean it, they're either hypocrites or they're not. They want the House to work its will [and] the only way to have the House work its will is to have matters put on the floor for consideration and votes."