Rep. Kevin McCarthy Posturing on Immigration, Talking Amnesty Quietly

Last week, Breitbart reported that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was talking tough on immigration, criticizing a discharge petition by 20 fellow Republicans that would likely bring an amnesty bill to the House floor.

“Our numbers are better,” McCarthy told House GOP members. Breitbart cited a source who was privy to the conversation.

“If election is today we win,” McCarthy said. “Will we continue to grow. But few things can disrupt us. We cannot disrupt ourselves. Intensity levels are still not there, and discharge petitions release the power of the floor that the American people gave us the responsibly to hold. When you release that power the majority goes to Nancy. If you want to depress intensity this is number one way to do it. We can debate internally but don’t let someone else like Nancy decide our future.”

McCarthy is right – an amnesty vote sponsored by Republicans is the surest way to lose the House during the 2018 midterms. It would be a strategically foolish move.

But Politico is reporting a whole different story – one that reeks of D.C. swamp behavior on the part of McCarthy.

“Republican leadership — Speaker Paul Ryan, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise — are quietly promising the figures behind the discharge petition and those who might sign that they will put a bunch of immigration bills on the floor next month for a vote,” says the article.

Publicly, McCarthy appears to have donned the macho-man stance on immigration by declaring the foolishness of an amnesty vote. But privately, as he postures for a potential run for Speaker of the House, McCarthy is singing a different tune by appealing to the pro-amnesty “Republican” crowd.

In fact, McCarthy has promised a vote on an immigration bill introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). The bill would impose new limits on legal immigration while granting amnesty to DACA recipients, which the Republican base that elected President Trump does not favor.

McCarthy is clearly hedging his bets. Losing the House would leave him no chance to become Speaker. Perhaps House Republicans should defer to their voters on immigration, as they were elected to do.

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