Rep. Tim Huelskamp tells Newsmax that President Barack Obama is more interested in making immigration reform a political issue than actually enacting the immigration bill passed by the Senate.
The Kansas Republican also says he expects Americans to support his proposed amendment to restore the Defense of Marriage Act when they "wake up" and see the repercussions of the Supreme Court's decision to strike it down.
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Huelskamp, first elected in 2010 and a member of the Tea Party Caucus, is one of four Republicans the GOP leadership removed from key committee posts for failure to toe the party line, a move the congressman called "petty."
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In an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV, Huelskamp was asked if the immigration bill passed by the Senate on Thursday is dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled House.
"I sure hope so," he says. "I had a meeting with Sen. [Mike] Lee and Sen. [Rand] Paul yesterday morning with some other House members trying to figure out how we stop this in the House.
"As it stands now our leadership will not be running this bill. They've made a verbal commitment that nothing will come to the House floor on immigration unless it has a strong majority vote in the Republican conference."
Right now there is no majority support for the Senate bill in the House, Huelskamp discloses.
"If you would think how would one design a bill that would guarantee no passage in the House, this would be the bill.
"I am still convinced that [Obama] does not want a solution. He doesn't want to solve this problem. He wants an election-year issue for 2014. So he got the Senate to act, and he got a bunch of Republicans to join on board to call it bipartisan" so Obama could criticize the House "over the failure to give amnesty to millions of potential Democratic voters," he adds.
Asked how Huelskamp and other Republicans can hold Speaker John Boehner to his vow not to bring up the Senate immigration bill for a vote without a majority of Republicans in support, Huelskamp responds: "In the House there's a procedure called 'adopting a rule' that has to be adopted by a majority of the body before you can continue on to debate a bill.
"I am committed that if the bill comes up that is anything close to this Senate bill, I will vote against the rule so it doesn't come up for a debate.
"It all comes down to those votes and whether or not folks keep their word over here in the House leadership.
"I would guess the speaker would be very worried for his job if he suddenly said, 'You know what? We're just going to do what Nancy Pelosi wants to do on immigration,' and that would be a disaster.
"I still think it was a very bad decision by many of our senators to go down this path and provide this opportunity for the president to continue to decide what issues are going to be debated in Congress, rather than be aggressive and proactive. Right now we're reacting to a president with his poll numbers falling and scandals everywhere and they give him a huge victory in the Senate with Republican help."
Huelskamp believes that GOP support for an immigration bill that includes amnesty won't win over millions of new voters.
"Consultant after consultant, pollster after pollster in Washington, D.C., have been telling us for months since the election, and years before that, if we would just create amnesty, somehow, magically, folks would start voting for the Republican Party that haven't in the past. That didn't work for John McCain, it didn't work for Mitt Romney, and these are the same folks that ran these campaigns making that suggestion.
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"Republicans have to stand up and actually promote our pro-growth, pro-family agenda and talk about economic opportunity" instead of "saying if you get amnesty, somehow 11 million new voters are going to pull the lever for Republicans."
Following the Supreme Court's decision to strike down DOMA, Huelskamp on Wednesday announced he will seek to restore it by introducing the Federal Marriage Amendment, a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between one man and one woman.
Discussing the amendment's future, Huelskamp tells Newsmax: "It is a big, uphill climb. Our founders of the Constitution intended it that way — a two-thirds vote of the House and Senate and three-fourths of the states [are required]. Today we have three-fourths of the states that still define marriage as between one man and one woman, and we'll do well there.
"It's going to take a long time, but when the American people wake up and actually look at this opinion and look at what it's done to their country, done to their institutions, they'll be very upset.
"One thing that does get lost in this whole debate is the idea that somehow the desires of adults should trump the needs of children, and I disagree. Our children should come first. Research is very clear that the best place to raise a child is with a mom and a dad, and marriage has been the least intrusive way to promote stronger families and stronger children and a better society.
"It's a difficult battle. We are beginning the process of signing up cosponsors. We picked up quite a few in 24 hours, but we have a long way to go."
Syndicated columnist and Fox news contributor Charles Krauthammer says nationalized gay marriage is now inevitable. Huelskamp disagrees.
"They obviously could not get the fifth vote for that," he says. "The liberals on the court have allowed their personal preferences to overcome any constitutional principles, but I was happy to see in that particular part of the ruling an inability to find a fifth vote to undermine every restriction on marriage across 50 states. I know they had that desire, four of them did.
"They've invited an avalanche of lawsuits, which is exactly what the Obama administration wants to do. They want to short-circuit the Democratic process.
"But we've made tremendous progress almost every year since [Roe v. Wade] in promoting life. I hope the same thing can occur on the issue of marriage."
Huelskamp also says that since his removal from key committees by the GOP leadership, along with three other staunch conservatives, "there's been a real backlash and leadership had to come to the table and make promises, such as we won't bring an immigration bill like the president and Pelosi and Reid want us to do.
"Same thing when there was a farm bill that failed last week because their leadership was not willing to listen to conservatives. [Republican Rep.] Eric Cantor wanted to expand Obamacare a month ago and thought that was some great strategy. Conservatives again killed that. So we're slowly getting the message across.
"People are starting to pick up the phone and say, 'Wait a minute, we elected Republicans and we elected what we thought were conservatives. How come you're not doing that?'"
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