TheBlaze’s Jason Howerton contributed to this report.
Speaker of the House John Boehner reportedly has agreed to follow the Hastert rule regarding any immigration bill put forth by the House, a key capitulation in a standoff that has pitted the Speaker against members of his own caucus who are taking a stand against immigration reform they say has ulterior motives.
Still, early reports signal he may have given himself a way out.
The Hastert rule — which is more of a longstanding, unwritten policy — is the idea that no bill can be brought to the floor of the House without support from a majority of the party in power.
The rule was being pushed for by a group of 70 Republicans led by Michele Bachmann (Minn.), Louis Gohmert (Texas), and Steve King (Iowa). As TheBlaze reported exclusively, the coalition said they were compiling signatures last week for a letter to send to Boehner asking him to honor the policy.
“I don’t see any way of bringing an immigration bill to the floor that doesn’t have a majority support of Republicans,” Boehner told reporters after a closed-door meeting with colleagues on Monday.
According to The Hill, “Boehner assured his colleagues that he would adhere to the rule,” a decision that would likely “complicate efforts to get an immigration bill to President Obama’s desk.”
One member who attended the meeting told The Hill, however, that Boehner wasn’t initially supportive:
According to a member who attended the meeting, Boehner argued against the Hastert Rule, noting that Hastert himself brought legislation to the floor that was opposed by a majority of his conference.
But on immigration, Boehner assured his colleagues that he would adhere to the rule.
And the outlet added that Boehner may have offered himself a way out:
However, Boehner may have given himself an out if the House and Senate both pass immigration measures and then work on a conference agreement reconciling their approaches.
Asked by a reporter if he would bring up a conference report on immigration with less than a majority support from House Republicans, Boehner responded with a quick “we’ll see when we get there.”
Such a “reconcile” approach appears to be what concerned Republicans have been fearing all along.
Last week, Boehner responded to a specific question about adhering to the Hastert rule by saying, “My goal is always to bring bills to the floor that have a strong Republican majority,” and “I don’t intend to bring an immigration reform bill to the floor that violates what I and what members of my party — what our principles are.”
TheBlaze reached out to Reps. King, Bachmann and Gohmert for comment on the morning’s developments but did not receive an immediate response.
House Republican leadership had previously told TheBlaze that it would hold a special meeting with members on immigration on July 10.
Bachmann, Gohmert, and King explained last week that the immigration push is part of a larger effort to introduce amnesty for illegal aliens and thus secure a voting block for progressives and Democrats.
The GOP members will be holding a lengthy press conference in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to raise awareness regarding the immigration push. They will be joined by conservatives from across the country and the likes of Glenn Beck.
TheBlaze will be attending and will bring you key updates.
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