Eliana Johnson of National Review Online reports:
One tacit premise of the Republican House leadership’s push for immigration reform is that it’s good politics. The four members of the GOP conference stepping on to a larger stage this year, as candidates for the U.S. Senate, will probably disagree, and the 2014 campaign season may pit House leaders, chief among them Speaker John Boehner, who are campaigning for reform, against some of the party’s rising stars who are likely to crisscross their states inveighing against it.
Two of the GOP’s Senate candidates, West Virginia congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito and Arkansas congressman Tom Cotton, are considered up-and-comers in the party. They are challenging incumbent Democrats but are considered likely to win their races. In the House last summer, Cotton led the conservative opposition to the Gang of Eight bill; one Republican congressman tells me that emails are “flying around lampooning the legalization proposal” being floated by House leadership, and “these aren’t guys like Steve King but guys like (Raul) Labrador and (Tom) Cotton and (Mick) Mulvaney.” Capito, for her part, states on her website that she supports a border fence, including a virtual fence “that uses cameras, sensors, and motion detectors”; opposes amnesty; and says it’s her mission to “ensure that millions of jobs are not taken from hardworking Americans by illegal immigrants.”
Louisiana’s Bill Cassidy and Montana’s Steve Daines are also likely to oppose the sort of piecemeal immigration reform that is likely to come through the House. Asked for his views on the current immigration debate, a Cassidy spokesman referred me to the congressman’s statement explaining his opposition to the Gang of Eight bill. Daines has stated that he will oppose “any proposal that contains amnesty for illegal immigrants currently in our country.”
How an intra-party debate on immigration will impact the 2014 landscape is an open question.
Whole thing here.