By Jonathan Easley
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) warned Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) would face a conference revolt that could threaten his Speakership if he allows a House vote on the immigration bill presently being debated in the Senate.
Conservatives have been pressuring Boehner to adhere to the unwritten "Hastert Rule" -- named after former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) -- that says no bill should come to the House floor unless it has the backing of a majority of a chamber's majority party.
Rohrabacher said if Boehner moves forward with a vote on immigration reform without a Republican majority, it would be a "betrayal" of his party.
"I would consider that a betrayal of the Republican members of the House and a betrayal of the Republicans throughout the country," Rohrabacher said on World Net Daily radio. "If Boehner moves forward ... and permits this to come to a vote even though the majority of Republicans in the House -- and that's if they do -- oppose what's coming to a vote, he should be removed as Speaker."
Rohrabacher conceded that he didn't know if a majority of Republicans in the House currently supported a vote on immigration, but said if they do, it's only because they've been deceived by propaganda from the media and a push from conglomerates looking to import cheap labor.
The Senate is debating a bipartisan Gang of Eight bill this week in the Senate, and could vote on it before the July 4 break. Proponents of the bill are trying to pull together an overwhelming majority in the Senate so it has momentum heading into the House.
Rohrabacher blasted his GOP colleague Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a member of the Gang of Eight, for his part in pushing immigration reform.
"Rubio is so confused and so mixed up I think that he has given up his rightful place to advise any of us in Washington what to do, and certainly given up any right to be trusted by the American people," he said. "It was over and over, contradiction after contradiction, lie after lie."
Rohrabacher accused Rubio of using "weasel words" to make the case for reform, and said the Florida senator claimed to support a stronger border as a pre-condition for the legalization of immigrants in the country illegally, but backed down in the face of criticism.
"He all along has been saying all along that we need to have border security first, and then when he gets on Spanish TV, he ends up saying, no, no, that will never get in the way, that legalization status isn't contingent on border control," Rohrabacher said. "Well, this is outrageous and no one should believe him."