If former U.S. Sen. Majority Leader Trent Lott had House Speaker John Boehner’s job, he’d bring the Senate immigration bill up for a floor vote in the House, even though a majority of fellow Republicans oppose the idea Lott said in an interview in Philadelphia Tuesday afternoon.
In town for a panel on bipartisanship and public service at the National Constitution Center, Lott said he understood the logic behind Boehner’s decision to keep the bill in his back pocket — putting it up for a vote and angering his caucus could cost him his job. So Boehner has invoked the Hastert rule, an informal precedent set by former Speaker Denny Hastert that blocks a bill unless it has support of the majority of the majority party.
Still, Lott said he would allow a vote on the controversial measure. “If you don’t have the majority of your conference that you’re leading, and you do that too much, you won’t be the leader very long,” Lott said after the event. “As for myself, I would do it if it meant losing my job,” he later added.