On Laura Ingraham’s Friday radio show, Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul said that if Speaker of the House John Boehner passed an immigration reform bill similar to the Gang of Eight’s, it would be one of the “final things he did as speaker.”
Paul offered an update on Congress’ immigration reform efforts: Earlier this summer, the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate passed its version of immigration reform legislation. Despite that, Paul still lobbied for his amendment that would put Congress in charge of making sure the border is secure.
“I’m not hearing much,” Paul said. “It’s gone pretty quiet on it. And I still think they’re still working on something in the House and the conservative members that have come up to me — what I keep saying and what I come back to is my amendment is trust but verify and in my amendment, I say you have to have congressional votes each year for about five years and each time we have to vote to say the border is more secure.”
Host Laura Ingraham was skeptical of Paul’s position, noting that Congress may be in hands of Democrats who would like to see a weakened border for their own political gain. Paul said that would still be better than a president with sole discretion.
“There’s always the risk of that but the most important thing is that I want Congress to be in charge of whether the border is secure or not,” he said. “The president — whether it’s a Republican or Democratic president — I want Congress to be in charge because I have more trust in the people’s representatives because they’re closer to the people. Is it perfect? Probably not perfect, but that’s what I want to have happen, that Congress is in charge of it.”
Ingraham fired back, saying Paul seemed to be suggesting he would like to see the process head to a conference committee between the House and the Senate and a bill be negotiated that both chambers could vote on.
However, Paul said if House Speaker John Boehner were to bring a questionable bill to the floor out of that conference, then it could be the end of his tenure as House Speaker.
“I’m worried about conference, and what I would say is the only way to avoid the problem with conference is for the speaker of the House to say we are not going to conference on — we will not allow a vote on anything coming out of conference that resembles the Senate bill,” Paul said. “And if there were a much more limited bill that emphasizes border security first, then we would do that. But he has to hold the line. I think if he [Boehner] allows something to pass out of conference that looks anything like the Senate bill and it is passed with a majority of Democrats, I think that’ll be the final thing he does as speaker. So I think he knows that and I think he’s going to be very cautious. But I hope he will defend us on this and not pass something that looks like the Senate bill.”