THE FIVE

Boehner calls Senate's current immigration plan 'laughable'

Speaker threatens to block reform without support from GOP majority

 

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," June 19, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: Today, the Senate began voting on a series of amendments to the bipartisan immigration reform bill, but the legislation could be dead on arrival if it gets to the House. Speaker Boehner says he will not push it through unless most Republicans back it. He even kind of trash talked the gang of eight's plan earlier, calling it laughable.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER, R-OHIO: I don't see any way of bringing an immigration bill to the floor that doesn't have a majority support of Republicans, and I frankly think the Senate bill is weak on border security. I think the internal enforcement mechanisms are weak, and the triggers are almost laughable.

And so, if they're serious about getting an immigration bill finished, I think the president and Senate Democrats should reach out to their Republican colleagues to build broad bipartisan support.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PERINO: Then, Senate Majority Leader Reid shot back at the House Speaker.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID, D-NEV.: I have talked to four Democrats on the gang of eight. I told them concentrate on the Senate. Don't at this stage worry about what's going to happen in the House.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PERINO: Andrea, I want to ask you a political, tactical question. Should the Senate pass a bill that could not pass the House?

ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST: It depends, if you're a Republican or a Democrat. I think they should because right now in its current form the way, the Senate bill is looking, it's a mess, and the really good work on it I think is being done in the House. I think John Boehner is smart the way he handled it. He's not going to push his members out there without the majority to walk the plank, he knows midterms are coming out.

But a lot of the bill turned into a Christmas tree. And though I support and we talked about doing something, you have to do something, the border amendment bill, for example, that failed today, the amendment, it's not strong enough. So, a lot of Republicans voted against it because they said this is not good enough, the poison pill as you talk about, Dana.

They said I would rather vote against this that says border security than allow something to go through that might not be as strong, and they have a lot of work to do in the Senate, a lot.

PERINO: I'm going to ask the two of you something, kind of a similar question. Is there anything that the Senate could do that could convince the right that this is a good bill?

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: I think there is, and it would take -- probably not pass the Senate, to get the right on board, it would have to be the border has to be secure first. That's the one issue that's dividing now.

Now, Senator Marco Rubio watched our show last night, he called me, and said, can we talk about this a little? He said I do want to pass some legalization first, pass a bill first, and then secure the border later. I said, Senator, how do you do that, how are you going to secure the border, how do you know it's going to secure?

He says, he had a three part plan. It sounded good, but for me I think Senator Paul is right on the other side saying get the border secure first, and then work on the other thing. I am telling you, privatize the border. It's the best way to handle, I'm a free market, that's the way to do it.

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: That's not going to happen.

And a deal is in on security defense that's already been cut. They voted it down today, going to get a stronger bill with much more support, and the HBO came out today and said that this --

PERINO: HBO -- the CBO.

BECKEL: Excuse me, the CBO came out today and said that the bill will save $197 billion over 2014 to 2023. But beyond that, this is a deal that's inevitable. I've seen these so many times in Washington, the train is moving out of the station. Boehner is doing what he needs to do. There will be a bill in the House, they'll get to conference, and the Republicans are not going to stop a conference bill.

PERINO: Let me ask Greg this. I can guarantee a way for a GOP congressman or senator to get front page The New York Times coverage. Do you know how?

GUTFELD: How?

PERINO: Attack one another. It's always the best way. The left has been able to skate under the radar with their division. Do you think it is hurting the right or the GOP, this debate?

GUTFELD: I don't know, we keep being told, you know, it is good policy. Don't convince us it is good policy, convince us it's right.

And Republicans need to form a coherent argument about why the other side's promise of free stuff is enslavement through dependence and that hard work and achievement is why you come to the United States. They've got to do that whether they're for immigration or not. I think the 11 million documented workers are heroes because they're raising awareness about our border.

BOLLING: Undocumented.

PERINO: Undocumented.

GUTFELD: It is a little joke there.

Let's stop calling it -- two things, stop with the gang of eight. There's the gang of four, but gang of eight, call it a gaggle, because that's a lot of people. Don't call it a fence or border, call it a friendship hedge.

BOLLING: They're actually about a fence, a double fence around San Diego that's working. But one of the most important things, what happens if you do do this, what happens if the gang of eight gets it through, House decides to do it, it goes through. You're an illegal currently here. Why would you do -- why would go through the process of 10 to 15 years before you get citizenship, pay your taxes for 15 years, and hope at the end it is still going to be there for you.

Why wouldn't you just do what you're doing now? Just work illegally.

PERINO: I think the level of anxiety for people is too strong. I think there's an economic argument to be made that companies are uncertain about how to handle things, and some companies are accused of abuse, and that could hopefully be taken care of with E-verify. The economic thing is not being discussed because of the border argument.

TANTAROS: But the political thing is weighing over their heads. You heard Bob say, Republicans don't pass it, they'll use it as a club against them.

We're not really having a real policy discussion, we're having a political discussion about what we can do to punish each other, instead of do what's right or what's smart.

BOLLING: All things are local and all things are political.

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