Boehner Unfit For House Majority Leader

Washington Post

Rep. John A. Boehner’s vote last month against a bill cracking down on illegal immigration is sending ‘tremors’ through the House Republican Conference as the Ohio lawmaker pushes his candidacy for House majority leader.

Immigration votes reveal one of the key policy differences between Mr. Boehner and Rep. Roy Blunt, Missouri Republican, in the race to succeed the former leader, Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas.

Overall, both candidates can point to strong conservative credentials and high ratings from conservative and business interest groups — both earned lifetime ratings of 94 from the American Conservative Union and scored high lifetime grades from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

But some differences are emerging based on votes on spending, school choice and, particularly, immigration.

Mr. Blunt, the acting House majority leader, voted for last month’s crackdown on illegal immigration and a 2004 amendment that said local law-enforcement officials should be allowed to report illegal aliens to federal authorities. He also voted against a 2002 bill that was termed a mini-amnesty for hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens under Section 245(i) of the immigration code.

Mr. Boehner voted the opposite way each time, to the chagrin of those seeking more limits on immigration.

‘I know how he feels about the issue — he is absolutely opposed to what we are trying to accomplish,’ said Rep. Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican and the leader of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus.

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