A spokesman for Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate’s “Gang of Eight,” told Breitbart News exclusively on Saturday that the House should not pass individual piecemeal immigration bills in a “ruse” to get to a conference committee that would result in a comprehensive immigration bill.
“At this point, the most realistic way to make progress on immigration would be through a series of individual bills,” Rubio spokesman Alex Conant said in an email. “Any effort to use a limited bill as a ruse to trigger a conference that would then produce a comprehensive bill would be counterproductive. Furthermore, any such effort would fail, because any single senator can and will block conference unless such conference is specifically instructed to limit the conference to only the issue dealt with in the underlying bill.”
In taking such a stance, Rubio has now publicly opposed the procedural mechanism through which House GOP leadership and Senate Democratic leadership had planned to try to slip a backdoor amnesty through Congress and save the Senate bill.
Technically speaking, the House could pass any bill or group of bills related to immigration to move to conference. Several immigration bills are ready to be taken up on the House floor, having already made it through their respective committees. If such an immigration bill, or group of bills, passes the House, the Republican leadership could take the bill or group of bills to the Senate and open a conference committee. A conference committee is a formal negotiating body where the House and the Senate will each send key negotiators, or conferees, to argue with each other about both the Senate’s Gang of Eight bill and whatever bill or bills the House brings to the table.
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