Rep. Steve King signaled he could be softening to his party’s leadership the day after Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, all but pledged not to bring immigration legislation to the floor without a majority of Republican support.
“I’m not concerned about the bill,” the Iowa Republican said on Wednesday afternoon. “[Boehner] has given his word.”
But King said he still has concerns about what type of bill could be hashed out at the conference stage of the process, and on Wednesday those fears were also voiced by Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas.
“It’s not gonna come to the House because we’re not going to pass a bill like that one,” Gohmert said of the Senate immigration bill. “But my concern all along is, you go to a conference committee and the conference committee comes up with a bill that could have air dropped provisions that have amnesty in it.”
King and Gohmert were taking a break from an all-day immigration event on the East Front of the Capitol, where hundreds of protesters gathered to hear lawmakers and special guests speak out against the Senate’s immigration bill and any legislation that would provide pathways to citizenship without first securing the borders, what they likened to nothing more than an “amnesty bill.”
The news conference was, in part, designed to put pressure on leadership not to force a House floor vote on the Senate bill, or one like it. King’s comments indicated that he and his allies may have found a small victory, at least on that front.
Though Boehner appeared to hedge in a media briefing Tuesday about whether his compliance with the so-called Hastert rule applied to whatever legislation emerged from a conference with the Senate, a spokesman clarified his comments extended to all stages of the immigration bill’s legislative process.