A new PBS documentary looks at the 2014 Congressional vote on amnesty for illegal aliens and shows exactly how close the GOP Congress came to caving in to the illegal alien lobby and handing Barack Obama a huge political victory.
After the Senate passed the comprehensive immigration reform bill, the activity shifted to the House of Representatives. Paul Ryan was part of the team supporting passage.
Eventually, against ever increasing pressure from President Obama’s bully pulpit, it came to a moment in the House (June 2014) where Speaker John Boehner was going to take up a vote on the Senate Bill.
Speaker Boehner, Paul Ryan and a few other close insiders had been holding secret meetings discussing support for the bill. On Friday June 6th 2014 Boehner recognized there was now enough support for passage – he also knew it was going to be controversial.
Boehner asked Kevin McCarthy (House Majority Whip) to whip the vote and get a confirmed vote count on Monday June 9th 2014. Unbeknownst to both GOP and DEM rank-and-file membership Boehner, Ryan and Eric Cantor already knew they had the votes for passage – the request to McCarthy was merely to confirm.
Speaker John Boehner was planning to schedule the vote for Thursday June 12th or Friday June 13th the consideration on either date circled around political benefit through the media: Was it better to celebrate, if so Thursday -or- was it better to pass and get out of dodge, if so Friday.
So the GOP House Members were officially whipped on Monday June 9th. The results confirmed what John Boehner and Paul Ryan already knew – They had enough votes to pass it.
On Tuesday June 10th Speaker Boehner, Eric Cantor (Majority Leader) and Kevin McCarthy (Majority Whip) had lunch together discussing timing the vote Thursday night or Friday Morning.
However, later that same night the results from the 2014 Virginia primary showed an unknown conservative outsider, Dave Brat, had defeated (primaried) Eric Cantor. At 7:00pm Tuesday night the first word went out that Cantor had lost.
Boehner, McCarthy and Cantor were STUNNED beyond belief.
The next day, Wednesday June 11th, the House of Representatives was also in a state of shock – Almost the entire reason for the defeat was the controversial immigration position of Cantor.
Immediately panicked GOP congresscritters were calling Kevin McCarthy and revoking their previous (2 days earlier) positions of support for the bill. By lunchtime Wednesday June 11th it was obvious the Immigration Bill was NOW DEAD in the House.
That’s how close it was. Literally within hours of a vote for passage.
Amnesty didn’t die because of Senator Ted Cruz or anything he did or didn’t do. The gang of eight bill had already passed the senate.
Amnesty died exclusively because candidate Dave Brat beat House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Period.