RACINE, Wisconsin — Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) made a little-noticed pronouncement at a town hall Friday that could have major implications for the prospects of immigration reform passing the House of Representatives.
Comprehensive immigration reform passed the Senate in June, but its prospects have remained uncertain in the Republican-controlled House. That’s because reform opponents like Rep. Steve King (R-IA) are pressuring GOP leadership only to bring forth an immigration package that is supported by a majority of Republicans, a move known as the Hastert Rule. Doing so, however, would likely preclude a pathway to citizenship from becoming law because, although a pathway almost certainly has majority support in the House at large, most Republicans oppose it. Bringing it to a floor vote, therefore, would violate the Hastert Rule.