Party Before Country, Politics before Government

Via the Washington Post:

Backers of President Bush's bid to revamp immigration laws scored another small victory in the Senate yesterday, but they are increasingly concerned about a House Republican policy that could block final agreement even if a bipartisan majority is within reach.

Speaker J. Dennis Hastert's insistence that major legislation reach the House floor only if it appears to be backed by a "majority of the majority" could throw a high hurdle in front of efforts to reach a House-Senate compromise on immigration later this year, lawmakers said. Hastert (R-Ill.) has invoked the policy in blocking bills that appeared likely to win approval from more than half of the House's 435 members but less than half of its 231 Republicans.

That is the scenario that could emerge in the House this summer, sources say, because the immigration debate divides both parties along unusual lines. It is possible, they said, that enough House Democrats and Republicans -- but not a majority of the Republicans -- could support a version of the legislation backed by Bush and most senators to enact it into law.

But Hastert would prevent House action on such a measure under his leadership policy, spokesman Ron Bonjean said yesterday. Hastert still embraces the majority-of-a-majority rule -- first enunciated in a 2003 speech -- "and he intends to do so with any immigration bill that comes out of [a House-Senate] conference," Bonjean said.

One Republican senator, speaking on background to avoid inflaming colleagues, called the policy "a death-blow standard."
Definitive proof that the GOP is more concerned with making their party looks 'good' than actually running the country. "Majority of the majority" ensures that any bipartisan legislation be created and passed with Republicans in the position of power even if that means that legislation that the majority of The House - representing the majority of Americans - support never gets voted into law.

So much for 'an up or down vote.' I guess that only counts when the Republicans know they're going to win.

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