U.S. Rep. Tom Cole is denying reports that House Speaker John Boehner will delay a vote on immigration reform until after candidates can register to run for House seats.
Some see Boehner as trying to trick people who think he'll be tough on immigration. When tea party candidates fail to register against incumbents, he'll push reform through, according to one report.
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"I don't think it is true. I don't think the speaker would do that. Frankly, he's a pretty stand-up guy, whether you agree with him or don't on a given point," Cole told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"What [the] speaker has suggested is that he wants a step-by-step, piecemeal approach — border security, no amnesty . . . Those are the kind of things that Boehner envisions, and it's something that's dramatically different than what was passed in the Senate," Cole said Wednesday.
The Quorum Report, a nonpartisan newsletter about Texas politics, quotes sources as saying Boehner has told Texas business interests that immigration reform votes will be held up until after filing deadlines have passed.
Cole, a Republican and the House's deputy majority whip, says amnesty will not be able to pass the House in any vote.
"Not only do I not favor it, I'll just tell you, politically, it couldn't pass the House, and there's no proposal out there that actually embraces amnesty," he said.
"You might not agree with what they require in terms of background checks, fines, going to the end of the line, waiting 13 years, all that sort of thing, but, again, I don't think there's ever any entertainment of amnesty."
On the Affordable Care Act, Cole says Republicans should pass one alternative to the healthcare law that Americans will like.
"Actually putting one on the House floor and passing it would be an enormously smart thing for us to do and say, well, if you don't like how this thing is working, and we know most Americans don't, here's our alternative," he said.
"We're not going to be able to get it through the Senate, the president's certainly not going to sign it, but we want you to know what it is. We should do that. We should take that argument away from them."
Cole said he expects ACA premiums to begin increasing next year.
"The initial rates, which are already higher than what many people are paying, are going to go up yet again," he said.
"I don't see a way out of this mess for the president, and frankly for a lot of Democrats who voted for it who made the exact same promises that the president made.
"He's never going to have to run again, but most of them are, and they're going to be held accountable at the polls."
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