It's an imitation that has folks talking, but will the House Speaker's portrayal of immigration vote-fearing GOP House members get legislation on the issue moving?
Immigration advocates were abuzz about a video, reported Thursday by The Cincinnati Enquirer, of House Speaker John Boehner impersonating GOP members who are refusing to vote on immigration reform in front of a Rotary Club.
The mockery comes after Boehner told a group of donors he was "hell-bent" on getting immigration reform done this year, after Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., urged Boehner to bring up immigration reform in a letter, according to Politico, and after two Illinois GOP House members made statements in support of immigration reform at an event hosted by the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition.
Advocates, though, said Friday Boehner shouldn't be blaming GOP House members' bellyaching for the immigration reform stall.
"John Boehner has it completely within his power to bring this to a vote anytime he wants to, and to claim that he's having to deal with a bunch of babies is simultaneously true and beside the point. He can do this anytime he wants," said Gary Segura, co-founder of Latino Decisions, a polling and research firm often commissioned by advocates.
Democratic political consultant Larry Gonzalez of the Raben Group, said Boehner's bit was a "refreshing acknowledgement" that his party does not want to deal with immigration reform if they don't have to because it's too controversial.
"It sparks hope for movement on immigration reform, but considering the raging opposition within the party over immigration reform, it probably only serves to strengthen the resolve of tea partiers to oust him as speaker," Gonzalez said.
Former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, who helped create the super-political action group Republicans for Immigraiton Reform, said Boehner is frustrated, as are others who feel this is the year to get reform done. Gutierrez doubts things will change.
"Everyone is worried about 2014 being a primary year and Republicans are worried about a challenge from their right ... We are just ducking the problem," said Gutierrez, who served under President George W. Bush.