In a break from President Obama’s recent outreach to the GOP, Vice President Joe Biden boldly predicted on Wednesday that House Speaker John Boehner will cave and pass the Senate’s bipartisan immigration bill.
“We’re going to pass this bill, this Senate bill that we’re talking about here,” Biden said in an online forum hosted by Microsoft’s Bing and Skype. “It’s going to happen.”
Biden made his Joe Namath-esque guarantee after a young DREAMer asked whether she and her parents might gain permanent protection from deportation one day.
“You’re not going to have to worry about anything,” the vice president said. “And your parents are not going to have to worry about getting deported.”
Boehner derided the Senate plan in November as “a 1,300-page bill that no one had ever read,” restating his intention to pass a series of smaller bills instead. While Obama previously challenged the House to take up the Senate bill in his public remarks, he has since changed his tone to try and soothe Boehner’s intransigence. In an olive branch to the House GOP, Obama has indicated in speeches and interviews that he could tolerate Boehner’s piecemeal idea.
“As long as all the pieces get done soon and we actually deliver on the core values we’ve been talking about for so long, I think everybody is fine with it,” Obama said in a speech on immigration last month in San Francisco. “They’re not worried about the procedures. They just want the result.”
In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews last week, the president complained that a “faction in the Republican House party” was resistant to reform but went out of his way to play up Boehner’s role as a potential partner.
“I continue to be optimistic we’ll get it done, and I think John Boehner is sincere about getting it done,” Obama said.
Biden, by contrast, played the bad cop to Obama’s good cop on Wednesday by personally challenging Boehner to take up the Senate bill.
“It’s really pretty basic – pass the bill, John Boehner,” he said. “Bring the bill up and let us pass it.”