Suddenly The Stakes Are Clear


This is a very big whoops. There will be plenty of recriminations for Republicans if they don’t get their act together on the farm bill, and the only way to get their act together is if they acquiesce to reality and agree to move something that isn’t completely toxic to Democrats.

But more broadly, it’s tough to look at the farm bill fiasco and imagine the House passing an immigration reform bill that Dems don’t carry.If that’s the case, then the key to the whole immigration reform effort really is John Boehner accepting the internal consequences of just putting something similar to the gang of eight bill on the floor and getting out of the way.

You can watch the farm bill fail and reason that Boehner might think immigration reform isn’t worth it. Or you can watch the farm bill fail and reason that he might decide to dispense with all the member management theatrics and throw in with Democrats and GOP donors. But you can’t watch the farm bill fail and see the House GOP passing a Hastert-rule compliant immigration reform bill and going into conference with the Senate.


Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at