House Republican leadership will hold a special meeting next month to discuss immigration, one of the demands of a group of GOP members determined to stop an immigration reform bill from moving forward.
But a spokesman for the House Republican Conference told TheBlaze that it was “always” their plan to hold the meeting.
“It has always been leadership’s plan to schedule a special conference meeting on immigration which is why we put one on the calendar and noticed to Members and staff this week,” communications director Nate Hodson said in an email.
Hodson did not respond to a followup query about when notice of the meeting was sent, particularly whether it was before Thursday, when TheBlaze reported that 70 Republican members were petitioning for the special conference in a potential face-off with House Speaker John Boehner. The group wants to invoke the Hastert Rule, a principle that requires support from a majority of the House majority to bring a bill forward.
Two congressional offices confirmed to TheBlaze that the meeting has been scheduled for July 10.
GOP Reps. Steve King (Iowa), Michele Bachmann (Minn.) and Louie Gohmert (Texas) have been serving as spokespersons for the group. King told Glenn Beck on his radio show Friday that they are not yet releasing the names of the 70 members who have signed on to the effort so as not to expose them for possible targeting.
However, the office of Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas) confirmed to TheBlaze that he has been part of the effort.
Going against House leadership is a risky political move that could result in retaliation, including getting passed over for committee chairmanship positions.
King, Bachmann and Gohmert explained their opposition to the current immigration reform effort on Beck’s TV program Thursday night, saying that a “Trojan horse” bill is in the works to essentially trick the GOP into voting for amnesty for illegal immigrants and ensuring a permanent voting block for progressives and Democrats.