Poll: Should John Boehner Allow Immigration Legislation to Go Through the Committees?

Michael Catalini, Naureen Khan and Peter Bell

Is it politically smart for House Speaker John Boehner to allow immigration-reform legislation to go through regular order?


Yes: 79%
No: 21%


“Call it rebranding.”

“Boehner would be smart to move to be standing alongside President Obama at a signing ceremony by July Fourth.”

“Bills this big should go through regular order if possible. It allows for everyone to understand what is in the bill and will hopefully lead to more consensus.”

“Republicans need to stop the bleeding on immigration. Stopping legislation does just the opposite.”

“If the House is perceived as stopping it, there will be serious political consequences for the Republicans.”

“Even if his conference doesn’t see it, this action will save their hides. It may cost Boehner his, though.”

“If he doesn’t, he and his party will be turned into a piñata!”

“A tough call. On one hand, he and his caucus are seen as the major obstacles to progress on every issue; on the other, the debate will put the worst of the GOP on full display and drive their negatives even further among groups they need to do better with to broaden their increasingly narrow base.”

“He will then have plausible deniability when it fails.”

“The House needs to look like it is functional and is capable of working.”

“Only if it passes. Otherwise, the Republicans will have set themselves back another 20 years with Hispanic voters.”

“He has to move a bill, but he also has to provide a valve for the Right to blow off some steam.”


“John Boehner lives under a dark cloud. With a divided caucus, the speaker will get hurt either way.”

“Boehner could lose control of this process very easily and get no bill.”

“In the interest of transparency, of course. In the interest of providing a platform for the nuts to come out, probably not.”

“If he wants to kill the bill, it’s smart.”



Is it politically smart for House Speaker John Boehner to allow immigration-reform legislation to go through regular order?


Yes: 88%
No: 12%


“Regular order is the best way to try to achieve fuller buy-in by conservatives.”

“It’s not a bill you can ram through the House, and apparently the speaker is not willing to burn any chits on this one.”

“No games, no gimmicks—unlike the Senate bill that was dropped at 2 a.m.”

“He may not have much choice. The best policy passes on its merits—not by manipulating the process.”

“This issue is too big for a backroom deal. All 435 House members have a right to participate.”

“The legislative process is a remarkable thing. Let it work.”

“Letting the body work its will is very much preferable to having every dissenting voice blame you personally for the final product’s every flaw.”

“An issue this complex, both substantively and politically, needs time to cook before it is served.”

“Regular order is the speaker’s best friend because it will shine a light on all the problems in the bill. A piecemeal, enforcement-first approach will be better for the party and the country.”

“Let everyone express themselves ... then pass the damn thing.”

“Regular order produces a product the majority can embrace, as opposed to one the leaders must bludgeon members into supporting.”

“To start with, yes, but eventually the speaker will have to decide whether this bill fits the criteria for passage with a minority of Republican votes.”


“Republicans need at least a year of endlessly repeating what kind of immigration reforms they are FOR. Without that kind of prep work, they will get zero credit for anything passed.”

“There will be crazy amendments from the Far Right and Far Left. The recorded votes will be used for election purposes, not to make policy.”

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