Fred J. Eckert

House Republicans finally stood up to Speaker John Boehner this week and warned him that if he attempts to jam down their throats any immigration bill that does not have the support of at least half the House Republicans, they will oust him as Speaker.

Boehner promptly capitulated and did an about face. Reminded me of something Ronald Reagan often said to me, “If you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.”

So two cheers for the House Republicans. But only two.

They’ll merit three cheers only if they wake up and see the obvious and take the next logical step: force Boehner to quit aiding and abetting the Obama Administration’s Benghazi cover-up operations by his single-handedly blocking action on a proposal that more than two-thirds the House Republicans strongly support that is so clearly in the best interest of the country.

Boehner had lately been proclaiming that “immigration reform” was at the top of his agenda and even suggested in an interview with ABC News’s chief Democratic Party pitchman George Stephanopoulos that he was quite open to pushing through a bill opposed by most of his fellow House Republicans, something he has not hesitated to do before given his seeming fixation on annoying and humiliating conservatives.

“I would consider that a betrayal of the Republican members of the House and a betrayal of the Republicans throughout the country,” Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) said in a radio interview the other day and added that if Boehner dared do that “he should be removed as Speaker.”

Good for Rohrabacher. He said aloud what surely any sensible House Republican was thinking. By doing so he brought about an open confrontation in which at a behind- closed-doors meeting Boehner was subjected to the wrath of conservatives who were resolved that they were not going to take it anymore.

Apparently it sunk in that a consensus was emerging that not only should Boehner be removed if he did not bend to the wishes of the majority of House Republicans on this, he would be. Exiting that showdown, Boehner exhibited a remarkable change of heart by unequivocally stating to the waiting media that no way would he take up any immigration bill that did not have the support of a majority of House Republicans.

Looks pretty encouraging, huh?


Fred J. Eckert

Fred J. Eckert is a former Republican congressman from New York and twice served as a US Ambassador under President Ronald Reagan, who called him “a good friend and valued advisor.”