Ryan: No Immigration Reform If He’s Speaker

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Rep. Paul Ryan met with the Republican caucus in the House today and told them he was willing to run for Speaker. But only on his terms: unanimous support, reduced fundraising duties, and an end to mid-session attempts to remove the Speaker from power. According to a team of National Review reporters, he didn’t offer much in return—except for this:

Though it wasn’t a night in which Ryan was making many concessions — aside from a nod that he was seriously considering taking a job he has said publicly he does not want — he also hinted strongly that he will not bring an immigration bill to the House floor. He told his colleagues the issue was simply “too divisive” and he wanted to focus on the things on which the conference is in agreement, like border security and internal enforcement, as opposed to a comprehensive bill.

This doesn’t strike me as a huge concession. Ryan may be an immigration dove, but under the current circumstances there’s no way he’d try to cut a deal with Democrats for comprehensive immigration reform. Especially not during an election year. The conservative base rebelled over this in 2006 and then again in 2013. Bringing it up again would be nuts. And whatever else Ryan is, he’s not nuts.

So there you have it: no immigration reform this year or next. But you weren’t really expecting any, were you?

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