Republican House members continued to sound the alarm about an immigration bill they say will mean amnesty for illegal immigrants in front of hundreds of people assembled in front of the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) responded to Speaker John Boehner’s assertion Tuesday that he would only bring forth an immigration bill that had a majority of Republican support, but his hedge about not bringing a conference report merged from approved Senate and House bills.
“He’s not promising not to bring a conference report that has amnesty — he’s not promising not to bring that to the floor,” Gohmert told TheBlaze.
TheBlaze reported Tuesday that Boehner (R-Ohio) had said he would honor the Hastert rule — a longstanding principle that prevents any bill from being introduced on the House floor that doesn’t have support from the majority of ruling party. But he appeared to leave a way out when he responded, “we’ll see when we get there” after being asked whether he would allow a conference report — which could include a compromise to any Senate and House bills — to be brought forward.
That’s what has Gohmert concerned.
“When the speaker sees that a majority of people support his following the law and keeping our promises that we ran on, then he’ll do that [not push through an unpopular immigration bill],” Gohmert said.
Wednesday’s event came after TheBlaze exclusively reported last week that Reps. Steve King (R-Iowa), Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Gohmert were leading a coalition of 70 House members determined to halt immigration reform from proceeding without additional debate.
Billed as a press conference, the bulk of the event was devoted to House members delivering speeches to the enthusiastic crowd, which was peppered with American and Gadsden flags. King, the primary organizer, was joined on stage by House members including Bachmann, Gohmert, Randy Weber (R-Texas), Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), Rep. Cynthia Loomis (R-Wyo.), Lou Barletta (R-Penn.) and Dana Rohrbacher (R-Calif.).
It was the first glimpse of the other House members who are part of the King-Bachmann-Gohmert triad; the group has not publicized the names of those supporting them in their effort, they say, because of the concern of political retribution by House leadership.
King told the audience he organized the event outside the halls of Congress to protest a process he said has been fast-tracked without proper debate.
“I’d hope we can have a slower debate…if it’s not going to be good enough inside, we’ll take it outside!” King said.
Larry Martin came to Washington from Houston, Texas with his 20-year-old son specifically to be a part of the event.
“I want to support these guys trying to make a difference,” Martin said.
His son, Zachary, said it’s the third conservative rally he’s been a part of, but that he’s fairly unique among others his age.
“They’ve all got their heads in the sand and don’t want to see what’s going on,” Zachary Martin said.
Bachmann electrified the crowd when she called for all audience members under age 18 to join her onstage. Bachmann herself picked up 6-month-old Tara Murray, whose mother packed her and her 6-year-old brother up and drove from their North Carolina home to Washington the day before.
Bachmann spoke about the cost amnesty would have for the future generation.
“[Tara] can’t live on 25 percent of her income. Not when we can be looking at the specter of hyperinflation and all the rest that could happen in an economy like this,” Bachmann said. “Let us look into the face of the future.”
This post has been updated.