Johnson has been working on rewriting immigration policy since 2009, when he started behind-the-scenes conversations with other House members.
When Openshaw asked Dave Heil, Johnsonís chief of staff, to explain what the Texas Republican was up to, Heil responded in an email.
ďIn Samís view, sitting around and doing nothing is a great disservice to his constituency, his state and his country. He doesnít want to be having this debate in another 10 or 15 years, we need to solve this problem now and for the future,Ē Heil wrote.
Supporters of the immigration group also think Johnsonís reputation will help sell their bipartisan deal.
ďHeís a great American. Everyone loves him and he can do whatever he wants. If a POW of seven years is behind something, youíre just an asshole if you oppose it,Ē a GOP House aide said.
Maybe, although prudence would dictate some caution. Just ask McCain.